Have a Look Around Brookfield Place During Lunch Hour
Between the revitalization of the Seaport and development in Battery Park City, there's lots of change going on in the financial district, much of which brings new dining options to the area. Perhaps no project was as anticipated as Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place (200 Vesey Street), though, a food court-like collection of high-end fast casual concepts from local concepts like Num Pang, Black Seed Bagels, and Dig Inn and national chains like Umami Burger.
A salad from Num Pang, now open at Brookfield Place
"It's not labeled a food court, and it shouldn't be labeled a food court," says Adam Eskin, the founder of Dig Inn. "I don't know that there's anywhere else like this. Brookfield wanted to curate tenants that could deliver a premium experience to the people who live there every day. It was a great project to sort of tether ourselves to. It took a lot of work to get off the ground, but we're pretty excited about it."
Judging by our lunch hour experience, the collection of restaurants is also drawing nearby office workers, who queue up for food and then take their trays to one of the seats next to the windows, which overlook the water.
It's a good way to experience spots that might command lines elsewhere -- the wait for Umami Burger was only about six people deep, for instance -- as well as get your hands on, say, some Mighty Quinns if you work downtown and don't have time to run up to the East Village for lunch. We caught the tail end of the lunch rush and found waits under five minutes across the board -- it seems that this many restaurants in one place keeps the traffic spread evenly.
A couple of exceptions: Don't expect to beat the Black Seed crowd by heading here; by 2 p.m., the kiosk had run out of bagels. And the longest line, by far, was for Sprinkles Cupcakes -- it wrapped around the side of the stand and wound its way back into the seating area.
Eskin believes we'll see many more developments like this in the coming months: "I think this project is going to lead into a cascading effect of new projects," he says. "The old days of Burger King, Taco Bell, and Cinnabon are giving way to higher end, chef-driven concepts."
By way of proof, he offers Hudson Yards, where a redevelopment project is currently underway, and where, he says, "we'd be very interested in doing something similar."
See photos of the space on the next page.