Scouting Locations for New York’s Next Great Grungy Restaurant

There's something about urban blight that puts us in the mood for uni.
There's something about urban blight that puts us in the mood for uni. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York has a long history of putting some of its greatest eateries in unusual and unappealing places — and we don’t just mean Murray Hill or the basement of Grand Central. And now the man has declared both Roberta’s, in a cinder-block garage in Bushwick, and M. Wells, closing soon, but nevertheless housed in an old rundown diner, to be two of the city’s premiere eateries. So we wondered: What will be the next unlikely spot to sprout a fantastic New York restaurant? The requirements for the space seem obvious: The place should have cheap rent, and sport some industrial/urban appeal as well as an interesting history or backstory. It needs to be dodgy, sinister — the kind of place where crime scenes can feasibly happen and runaways are sometimes found. (A place for a rooftop and/or backyard garden would be lovely, too.) So! We dug through the city’s commercial real estate listings to find eight available, totally viable locations for New York’s next hot restaurant. Consider it a public service for the greater good. All a young chef has to do is sign on the line that is dotted, move in a few electric burners and stools, and get cookin’. You’re welcome, New York.