Yes, that’s a “FOR RENT” banner up on 282 Bowery, the building that Keith McNally is planning to turn into an Italian-ish restaurant serving brick-oven pizza, but we’re assured by broker Alan Shmaruck that McNally still has his eye on the space and indeed will likely sign a lease in the next couple of days. Shmaruck is convinced that “the Bowery is going to be the next meatpacking district,” saying that he’s done several deals in the past eight months, from art galleries to a wine store. Shmaruck says that McNally has enough sidewalk space to put an outdoor café on Houston Street, though probably not on Bowery. Either way, he’s convinced he’s just the man to put the building’s fifteen-foot ceilings and 2,500 square feet to good use. “I wouldn’t even entertain a restaurant there until I heard from Keith,” he says. “He can help make a neighborhood. Right now the Bowery is changing into something else, and he could really be a catalyst.” So sign on the line that is dotted, Mr. McNally.
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