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On the menu for Worth Avenue: New restaurant to open in Esplanade

Posted On: 10-16-2016

By Aleese Kopf

Daily News Staff Writer

Worth Avenue is expected to welcome a new restaurant inside The Esplanade this season.

The shopping center at 150 Worth Ave. has been missing a restaurant since 2014. Theo’s Palm Beach — previously Cooklyn — began construction over the summer and was supposed to open in November but plans fell apart last month.

> Special Section: Season Preview 2016-2017

Yvonne Jones, director of property management for The Esplanade, said a new restaurateur has signed a lease and plans to open on the second floor in December. She said the restaurant is Costa Palm Beach, but owners have been tight-lipped on everything else.

“They’ve been pretty quiet,” she said. “I don’t know anything about the menu. I don’t know the chef. They’re looking to get on the December agenda for Town Council approval for an operator change.”

Zoning Administrator Paul Castro said he hasn’t received an application yet, but the restaurant will need “special exception” approval from the council.

Experimar, the marketing agency that Jones said represents the restaurant, did not return phone calls.

Despite not knowing much about the restaurant, Jones said, “I don’t think anybody is going to be disappointed.”

“They’re all very excited about it,” she said of the other Esplanade tenants. “We’ve been working to get a restaurant there for two years now. It was disappointing that it didn’t work out with Cooklyn, but we worked really hard to get a replacement and we feel really good about who we have going in there.”

Tenants hope the new restaurant will increase foot traffic within the shopping center and on the Avenue.

“I believe that for the shops in Esplanade, a restaurant as the second floor anchor is very important,” said Robin Miller, general manager of the Worth Avenue Association. “

Added association President Marley Herring, owner of Marley’s Palm Beach Collection: “A new restaurant in The Esplanade is extremely important as it will become another reason to visit Worth Avenue. Everyone loves to try a new dining experience, and it will anchor the 100 block to the rest of the street restaurant-wise.”

Season outlook

Miller and Herring said foot traffic has been down season to season, but it’s too hard to predict what business will be like this season.

“We are forever optimistic, and this coming season is no different,” Herring said. “We have been affected by the election, hurricane, algae bloom and Zika to name a few. Nonetheless, our client base continues to grow every year, and Worth Avenue will always cater to them all as only Worth Avenue can.”

Miller said there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

“I’m actually excited to see a bookstore open on Worth Avenue,” she said. Raptis Rare Books plans to open at 226 Worth Ave. in November. “It’s an unusual tenant for our Avenue, but I think it will draw a new clientele to the Avenue while offering a place to explore volumes and ‘hang out.’ ”

More community events also are aimed at bringing more traffic to the Avenue. The annual pet parade, Halloween costume contest and Christmas tree lighting are staples. But, events that were new last year, such as the season-opening Music to Menus and season-ending Luxury Pops events, will return.

Executives with Luxury PR Group, the Avenue’s marketing firm, said they plan to attract more tourists by working with Discover the Palm Beaches, the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce and Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.

“We hope to drive foot traffic with our special events and tours for targeted shopping groups,” said Marianna Dubois, a partner and co-founder of the firm. “We organize luxury shopping tours with groups from country clubs and other organizations within the drive market from Boca to Jupiter to Vero.”

Dubois said stores in The Esplanade will stay open until 7 p.m. on Thursday nights, an hour later than the usual closing time, and there will be live music and free valet parking from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays.

“We’re calling it shopping after dark,” Dubois said. “Each one of the stores will have special promotions going on inside.”

The later closings will begin Nov. 17 and continue until Jan. 1, Dubois said. Saks Fifth Avenue will stay open later all season, she said.

The only vacancy at The Esplanade — the former Kiosk space on the first floor — will be used as an event space for cocktail parties and charity fundraisers.

 

 

 

Source: Aleese Kopf, October 16, 2016, Palm Beach Daily News

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