Following in the footsteps of 15 Central Park West, soon-to-be-tallest-residential-building 432 Park Avenue will include an entire restaurant (8,500-square-feet with an adjacent 5,500-square-foot tented terrace) open only to residents and their guests. Private restaurants, originally popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, may be a resurging national trend, according to the Wall Street Journal, but they are not without their drawbacks. The main one is that, except on holidays like Valentine's Day or Mother's Day—times when everybody is scrambling for a reservation somewhere fancy—they are rarely going to be full, or even busy. To counteract that, Bentel & Bentel, the 432 Park restaurant's designers, worked with picaresque truck driver Harry Macklowe to create a space that would look crowded even when it wasn't, which involved 15-foot chandeliers and an open kitchen where guests can watch their food being prepared.
The other problem is that these restaurants don't really make money and have to be subsidized by the residents themselves. In 432 Park, residents will have to pay $3,500 annually, which will go toward their "dining minimum." If you're dropping $3 million on staff quarters, though, that shouldn't be too big of a deal. And once you can get past the price the benefits, of course, are manifold—the restaurant will have a computer database of each resident's dietary restrictions and preferences.
· The Popularity of Private Restaurants [WSJ]
· 432 Park coverage [Curbed]