In a surprise twist — or raspberry-flavored swirl, maybe — to the ongoing saga of Junior’s Cheesecake and the Imminent 50-Story Tower, Alan Rosen says he’s not selling the building after all, despite some savory offers that reached $450 per buildable square foot. “This is Junior’s identity, is this building [sic]. This is the one where I came on my first dates. It’s where my family spent most of their waking hours,” the owner of the Brooklyn institution tells the Times.
The news that Rosen was planning on shutting down Junior’s Flatbush Avenue flagship in February hit some dessert lovers harder than a five-pound block of food-service cream cheese. Junior’s would add a new Brooklyn location, thought to be close to or within Barclays Center, while demolition and construction took place at the site, which has housed the restaurant since 1950. Plans included a proposal for a 50-floor, 385,000-square-foot tower.
Yesterday, Rosen said that the high offer he received for the building, which was $45 million, did not include a provision for the restaurant to reopen within the same footprint after construction, while offers at half that amount did. He told the Times that the decision came after sleepless nights, a visit to his therapist, and a consultation with his father Walter Rosen, who is 81 and retired but who still visits the restaurant.