Can Downtown Support Another Steakhouse?Grimly optimistic developer Larry Silverstein announced today that Capital Grille, the steak chain with a midtown location, has signed a ground-floor lease in his 120 Broadway tower. By luring the D.C.-based operation to join neighbors like Bobby Van’s Steakhouse, Silverstein said, “downtown has become a true beckon for foodies.” (We think he meant beacon, but he said “beckon.”) In the same speech, Silverstein said 86 percent of lower Manhattan’s new businesses have come from outside the financial sector. But since there are already at least six other steakhouses in the neighborhood, can all those new nonfinancial (and presumably, more edamame-inclined) sectors keep them all in business? Silverstein argues that the influx of spendthrift apartment owners around Wall Street will attract more prominent retail, which will make the area a perfect business hub. Hmm. Sounds like Soho to us, a neighborhood that has yet to open, much less support, even one fratty meatery. —Alec Appelbaum
Fabiola Beracasa Gets Us Into the Gramercy Park Hotel’s Roof Club
How do you get to the Roof Club and Landscaped Garden of the Gramercy Park Hotel? Just take the elevator. Thing is, you’re going to need a private membership card to key it — and that’s why we suggest you set aside any ambition of seeing the place’s Damien Hirst paintings and amazing view in person and simply let Fabiola Beracasa give you the video tour. Chances are, even if you have $545 for a room or the wherewithal to gain admittance, you’re not going to have a drinking companion as lovely as Fab.
Back of the House
Rocket Rod Dances Back Into the River Café; Nobody Likes IlanRod Stewart, banned for life at the River Café for pulling his own “rod” out, gets readmitted after a penitential jig for owner Buzzy O’Keefe. [NYDN]
McDonald’s coffee “the cheapest and the best,” according to Consumer Reports. Of course, it was only going up against Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Starbucks. [NYDN]
Frank Bruni also thinks Marcel got the shaft in the Top Chef finale. Does Ilan have any fans in the media at all? [NYT]
Ask a Waiter
Dirty Delta of Lucky Cheng’s Serves Orgy Bowls to Britney Spears
Dirty Delta came to New York eighteen years ago and was introduced to the gay scene via nightspots like Club 58. It wasn’t until she got a job at Lucky Cheng’s a month after it opened that she fell in with the drag queens; for thirteen years the bartender and server has seen the East Village institution through visits from disco divas (“Grace Jones came in and tried to cop pot. We had to let her go”), East Village freaks (“my family”), as well as swarms of “crazy bachelorettes and crazy birthday girls.” As it turns out, her most unforgettable encounter (that we could print) was with a certain pop star.