Stephen Starr shut down his Meatpacking District multiplex Buddakan for a day and a half to let Sex and the City: The Movie film there; he was paid just $50,000 by the movie's producers, which is less than what he says the restaurant would have grossed over the same period of time. In return, his venue got to be ground zero for, like, that heartbreaking scene with Miranda and Steve and Big and ... um, yeah. Frank Bruni, indulging the post-post-SATC beat, discovers that Starr would have done it again, for free:
Thats because he knew. He just knew. Put a pair of Blahniks on Carrie Bradshaws feet and her acolytes will find their way to those shoes. Put Carrie and Samantha and Charlotte and Miranda at a dinner table in a splashy setting, and their devotees will figure out where theyre supping, and sup there themselves.
Since the movie opened, he said, thousands of diners mostly women, many from abroad, especially Japan have arrived at Buddakan for the first time, inspired by the movie.
Immediately following the movies May release, the uptick in business was discernible, he said, and the uptick was obviously connected to "Sex and the City."
You knew it because you had groups of four or six women having pictures taken of themselves where the scene was shot, he told me.
Bruni wonders: Had SATC kept its claws on air just a bit longer, what restaurants would have been marked with its golden scratches? He suggests Freemans and PDT for the taxidermy thing, but we're not so sure Charlotte would tolerate that. At any rate, there would have been at least two episodes devoted to getting into the Waverly; perhaps the Beatrice, though it would have to depend on the lighting. Anywhere else?
'Sex' and the Spring Rolls [Diner's Journal/NYT]