Battery Park eatery to reopen with new owner
The city is serving up a new restaurant to take the place of American Park, an upscale waterfront eatery in Battery Park that had struggled after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Battery Gardens hopes to open on April 26, said Jes Weinberger, director of catering. Executive chef Tommy Lee is still working on the menu, Weinberger said, but the cuisine will be American with an Asian flare.
George Makkos, a partner in Battery Gardens, already has a presence in Battery Park as the operator of concession stands under this family business, M & T Pretzel. But the restaurant, opposite 17 State St., is a separate venture, he added. Another partner in the restaurant is Paul Nicaj, former manager of the Pierre Hotel.
Makkos declined to say how long he had considered a restaurant on the waterfront spot, which overlooks the Statue of Liberty.
The location is magical by itself, Makkos said.
The city owns the land the restaurant occupies, and the Department of Parks and Recreation had moved to evict American Park when it fell behind in revenue-sharing payments after Sept. 11, 2001. Restaurant officials appeared before a bankruptcy judge in January. Tony Golio, president of the Shellbank Restaurant Corp., which opened American Park in 1998, did not return a call for comment.
In December, Ron Lieberman, the director of the Parks Departments revenue division, said that the restaurants parent entities owed a combined amount of $1.36 million to the city. Megan Sheekey, a spokesperson for the Parks Department, confirmed that American Park was evicted and referred specific questions about the settlement to the Law Department. A spokesperson for the Law Department said the attorney who worked on the case was unavailable for comment.