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UES Italian Restaurant War Might End With New Hotel

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What makes the sale of pricey Upper East Side buildings better: when the transactions are part of a war between two high-end Italian restaurants. The Post brings word of such a feud between Nello and Serafina over two 61st buildings. Serafina's lease at 29 East 61st Street was set to expire in November, but the restaurant thought it was in the clear after negotiating a deal to buy the building for $19.5 million. Then rival Italian joint Nello made a deal to buy the building for $21 million instead, with plans to put a less expensive version of Nello and a hotel where Serafina now stands. Ruh-roh! But that was just the opening salvo.

Serafina turned around and spent $8 million on 27 East 61st Street, the neighboring building, which means it now owns properties on either side of Nello's new purchase. According to Serafina's owners, Nello won't be able to build up without their agreement. This is starting to feel like a life-size game of Monopoly.
· Food fight! Celeb-friendly pasta spots in turf war on East 61st Street [NYP]