The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) has awarded over $137 million to 168 Hell’s Kitchen eateries, averaging out at $818,363 per business. The funds were handed out in amounts ranging from $5 million to $3,919. It’s a lifeline for those businesses fortunate enough to get an award — but many struggling restaurant owners have been left with rejection and $0.

Smth’s Bar pre-pandemic in June 2019. Photo: Phil O’Brien.

Congress created the restaurant fund as part of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The initial order was for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to prioritize funding for businesses owned by women, people of color and military veterans. However, after white business owners sued, claiming that the program went against the Constitution’s equal protection clause, some grants were rescinded and the awards were thrown into chaos.

Two weeks ago, the $28.6 billion RRF ran out of money, leaving some Hell’s Kitchen bars and restaurants as lucky winners — but many frustrated and worried about their futures.

Over 370,000 eateries across the United States applied, seeking $75 billion in assistance. At the close of the fund, 101,005 were told they would receive grants averaging about $282,909 each.

On Friday, after a Freedom of Information request, the SBA released a database with details of the businesses that were awarded government support.

W42ST has taken the national data and focused in on the three zip codes covering Hell’s Kitchen and Midtown — 10018, 10019 and 10036 — and separated the businesses into those on 8th Avenue and West (Hell’s Kitchen) and those east of 8th Avenue (Midtown/Theater District).

There are 319 businesses that have been successful in their grant application across the area — with 168 of those in Hell’s Kitchen and 151 in Midtown. But there is a startling disparity, with the average award in Midtown being $1,691,143, while Hell’s Kitchen’s average funding is less than half that, at $818,363. What’s even more surprising is that the biggest winners in Midtown are Theater District restaurants like Sardi’s ($4.5 million) and Carmine’s ($5 million), which have remained shuttered throughout the pandemic.

In Hell’s Kitchen, the average is boosted by larger operators getting big payouts. The SBA allowed individual locations to recoup up to $5 million worth of lost revenue in 2020 compared to 2019, and $10 million max for groups operating multiple locations.

Only two local businesses received the maximum grant of $5 million — Joe and Lidia Bastianich’s Becco on Restaurant Row and the US’s most expensive sushi restaurant, Masa, at Shops at Columbus Circle.

Two food halls/grocery stores — Essen on 8th Avenue and Hudson Market at W57th Street — were close, with awards of over $4 million each.

Smith’s Bar at the corner of W44th and 8th Avenue was granted $3,993,887 — the popular bar has been closed throughout the pandemic.

In Hell’s Kitchen, 22% of the awards were made to women-owned businesses, 1% to veterans and 47% to businesses that were 51% owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged.

One of the surprises on the list was the award of over $858,850 to Prive Hospitality Group LLC — the owners of Le Prive and Casa Del Toro on 10th Avenue between W44/45th Streets. Back in May, before the grant was awarded, the owner, Sanjay Laforest, was reported to be facing $17 million embezzlement charges.

Eater reported that Lucky Strike, a California-based bowling alley chain with a temporarily closed location on W42nd Street, received $10 million and that Amy’s Bread received an award of $5,292,644 at their Long Island City Bakery.

Amy Scherber has been baking throughout the pandemic and business for 29 years.

The Robb Report said the US Michelin three-star restaurants that received the max $5 million award were all from New York: Eleven Madison Park (operating under Birth of the Cool, LLC), Le Bernardin and Masa. Other NYC three-star holders Per Se (at Shops at Columbus Circle) and Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare (on W37th Street between 9/10th Ave) did not receive grants.

The SBA couldn’t cover $43 billion-worth of applications that came in from across the country and the fight for survival is now on for those excluded from this funding. On June 8, a bipartisan group of Senators and US Representatives introduced the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Replenishment Act of 2021. The legislation would replenish the RRF with a $60 billion second round of restaurant relief, but the bill has not progressed.

It would be shameful if 65% of New York applicants are shut out of the program permanently. Replenish now!

andrew rigie

“I am one of the unlucky ones that got $0.00 from the RRF Program,” said Pat Hughes, owner of Scruffy Duffy’s and Hellcat Annie’s on 10th Avenue, who made headlines and went on television around the world after putting his bars up for sale for Bitcoin offers during the pandemic. “I was counting on the funds and had sorta changed my mind about selling the bars,” he added.

Pat told us this morning that the bars are once again for sale. “Perhaps one of my recently enriched fellow restaurateurs is interested in expansion? For some of my friends in the neighborhood, it has been like hitting the lottery! It’s certainly a lot easier to make the rent, make payroll and pay the taxes with those RRF dollars sitting in the account! As I type this, sales taxes are coming due, real estate taxes are fast approaching,” he said via email.

Maya Joseph at Sullivan Street Bakery on W47th Street was excluded. “Sadly, we did not get RRF funds. We were not able to apply because at the bakery only 15% of our business was retail sales. The rules said it had to be over 30%,” she told us. The bakery did apply for their Chelsea location on 9th Avenue (which has more retail sales). However, they were not successful there either.

“Though we applied the first day the applications were open, we were not successful. From what I have read, the grant funds were mostly gone by the time the priority groups were processed. Many in Hell’s Kitchen, and the City, are in a difficult situation — the 2nd PPP loans are almost exhausted, and sales have not come back to anywhere near pre-COVID levels,” said Corey Samuel at Kashkaval Garden. “We’re not expecting much of a bump until tourism and office workers come back, which could be months or years. Without the grant, many places in New York and in our neighborhood may be closed within a few months. Hopefully, the bill to refund the RRF passes before we permanently lose another round of small businesses.”

Brian Keyser, the owner of Casellula (which was successful with their application) was critical of Senate Majority Leader Schumer, saying that his “word isn’t worth very much.” Keyser told us: “In two zoom meetings with restaurant owners in the spring, Schumer told us not to worry because congress knew that the RRF didn’t have enough money and they would replenish the fund as necessary. And yet he has been dead silent since the fund ran out of money 48 hours after the application opened. Now, independent restaurants will go under unnecessarily while waiting for Senator Schumer to live up to his word. Assistance delayed is assistance denied.”

“I’m worried to see so many neighborhood restaurants shut out of this program. The Council has made helping restaurants a priority, from creating the outdoor dining program to capping the fees charged by delivery apps. But the industry needs more, and the federal government needs to replenish the RRF program immediately, and make sure that everyone who was approved and later rescinded gets the support they need,” said Speaker Corey Johnson who represents Hell’s Kitchen.

Andrew Rigie, Executive Director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, has appealed for more funding. “RRF must be replenished so all the places that need the relief get it ASAP, including those that were approved in priority groups and then had the support rescinded. It would be shameful if 65% of New York applicants are shut out of the program permanently. Replenish now!” he said in a Tweet.

We will update this report as more bars and restaurant owners share their views.


Below is a list of all Hell’s Kitchen businesses approved by the SBA for RRF grants — these companies have not necessarily accepted the money. Please email phil@w42st.com if you spot any discrepancies. The SBA only provided business names — the restaurant names below have been researched using the New York State Liquor License Database, Community Board 4 records and other corporate databases. Thanks to Catie Savage, Sandra Mangan and Michael Caveliere for their help with data cleaning and analysis.

Hell’s Kitchen Businesses — Restaurant Revitalization Fund

Restaurant NameBusiness NameAddressZipGrant Amount
BeccoPola Restaurant Inc355 W 46th St10036$5,000,000
Masa NYCMasa NY LLC10 Columbus Cir Suite #40110019$5,000,000
EssenAMICI 519 LLC519 8th Ave10018$4,958,099
Hudson MarketHudson Market 57 INC601 W 57th St10019$4,247,859
Smith’s BarHAYJAY CORPORATION701 8th Ave10036$3,993,887
Brereton & Lewis CateringBRERETON LEWIS CATERING LLC321 W 37th St10018$3,582,423
5 Napkin BurgerLa Scala Restaurant LLC630 9th Ave10036$3,530,748
Canard Inc (Catering)Canard Inc.503 W 43rd St10036$3,094,093
MarseilleDana’s LLC630 9th Ave10036$2,840,207
John Jay College CafeteriaMBJ Cafeteria Corp524 W 59th St10019$2,650,739
Joe Allen GroupWF Restaurants Inc322 W 46th St10036$2,454,776
Cantina RooftopCantina Rooftop Inc605 W 48th St10036$2,416,278
BeaZONEA FOOD & BEVERAGE INC403 W 43rd St10036$2,403,458
Joe Allen’s326 Restaurant Corp326 W 46th St10036$2,191,926
Brasserie 46City Star restaurant LLC729 8th Ave aka 300 W 46th St10036$2,141,061
Sushi DamoMinoru Inc330 W 58th St10019$2,001,751
TacubaS.SCOTTY ENTERPRISES. INC802 9th Avenue10019$1,979,729
Kung Fu KitchenKUNG FU KITCHEN INC610 8th Ave10018$1,931,381
Boxers HKBOXERS ENTERPRISES LLC742 9th Ave10019$1,866,924
Obao647 NINTH AVE CORP647 9th Ave10036$1,815,923
Times Square DinerSAS RESTAURANTS LLC807 8th Ave #410019$1,696,663
Real Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns RamenBARUCH BROTHERS INC811 8th Ave10019$1,570,473
Roxy Diner694 Enterprises INC694 8th Ave10036$1,535,344
Hell’s KitchenTwo Guys & Tom Inc.754 9th Ave10019$1,528,058
GuantanameraMamma Ristorante Corp.939 8th Ave10019$1,493,480
Don Antonio’s PizzaDon Antonio Restaurant LLC309 W 50th St10019$1,483,220
Tir Na NogTNN Enterprises LLC315 W 39th St10018$1,477,361
BareburgerBare City Three LLC366 W 46th St10036$1,469,417
NizzaPonente LLC630 9th Ave Frnt 210036$1,465,771
Chick-Fil-AKTY FRANCHISE HOLDINGS INC.918 8th Ave10019$1,417,732
El CentroChow Down Inc824 9th Ave10019$1,275,298
The Ritz Bar & LoungeG Cubed Corporation369 W 46th St10036$1,261,341
Red Poke600 bakery cafe corp600 9th Ave10036$1,223,206
Ageha SushiAGEHA JAPANESE FUSION INC767 9th Ave10019$1,209,091
Mom’s Kitchen and Bar701 RESTAURANT LLC701 9th Ave10019$1,183,194
Le Rivage340 West 46th Street Corp340 W 46th St10036$1,117,423
Yong Kang StreetNEW YORK MG 168 LLC1000s 8th Ave10019$1,102,190
Frankie & Johnnie’s SteakhouseThree and One Group LLC320 W 46th St10036$1,097,686
Tori ShinIdealize Inc.362 W 53rd St10019$1,086,110
Wok to WalkRestaurant 570 8th Ave LLC570 8th Ave10018$1,085,472
West Side SteakhouseWEST SIDE STEAKHOUSE LLC597 10th Ave10036$1,043,720
Carve DeliCarve Deli ESLT LLC760 8th Ave10036$1,031,422
McAnn’sEighth Avenue Enterprises Ltd.625 8th Ave Port Authority Bus Terminal Mezzanine Level10018$1,015,705
DanjiPrivy LLC346 W 52nd St First Floor Restaurant10019$1,009,095
Red PokePCPR CORP885 8th Ave10019$1,005,673
Barbetta RestaurantBarbetta Restaurant Inc321 W 46th St10036$971,533
True BlueLa Buca Restaurant inc349 W 46th St Frnt 110036$934,352
China XiangTHE SUN BISTRO LLC360 W 42nd St10036$926,356
Cha Pa’s Noodles & GrillCha Pa’s Noodles and Grill Corp.314 W 52nd St10019$920,098
Sombrero RestaurantC A P Restaurant Corp303 W 48th St10036$894,310
Sake Bar Hagi 46Hama New York Inc.358 W 46th St10036$890,020
Fuji HibachiFUJI HIBACHI INC321 W 42nd St10036$873,687
ValhallaTPMJV Bar & Rest Corp.815 9th Ave10019$871,674
Le PrivePrive Hospitality Group LLC505 W 37th St10018$858,850
Cascade CafeTHREE BROTHERS NY DELI INC900 8th Ave10019$858,608
2 Bros Pizza2 BROS 9TH AVE INC542 9th Ave10018$850,191
Allstars Sports Bar & GrillAlaia Wings Inc.327 W 57th St10019$826,009
Etcetera EtceteraProgetto Inc.352 W 44th St10036$824,029
Dafni Greek TavernaThree Twenty Five Restaurant Corp325 W 42nd St10036$808,858
Aura Zoob Zib Thainutpopthai inc460 9th Ave ground fl10018$790,608
Flaming SaddlesFlaming Saddle NYC # 1 LLC793 9th Ave10019$771,088
As Is71 Worth LLC734 10th Ave10019$708,102
Grace CafeGRACE 38 CAFE INC572 8th Ave10018$706,095
Pure KtchnH&L Pure Kitchen INC352 W 46th St10036$684,884
Beer CultureDarduro LLC328 W 45th St Ground Floor10036$683,767
Rustic TableCreative Food Crafts LLC533 W 45th St Apt 4C10036$683,375
Ground Central Coffee Co501 SEVENTH GROUP LLC888 8th Ave10019$680,912
CasellulaCasellula LLC401 W 52nd St Frnt 110019$677,202
The HarrowMIH 23 Inc720 10th Ave10019$671,994
Z Cateringz catering corp351 W 42nd St10036$657,429
Soho Park17 Stone Street LLC832 8th Ave10019$651,696
AnejoAnejo LLC668 10th Ave10036$618,539
House of Brews363 West 46th Street Tavern Inc363 W 46th St Frnt 110036$614,939
KochiSC HOSPITALITY LLC652 10th Ave10036$599,825
Gabriela’s TaqueriaGabrielas Row 44 LLC700 8th Ave 2nd Floor City Kitchen10036$564,474
Casa EventsCasa Events Bar LLC625 W 51st St Fl 210019$522,925
Gregory’s Coffee (not confirmed)630 9th Coffee and Bakery LLC630 9th Ave10036$515,785
Il MelogranoSIXSILY LLC501 W 51st St10019$505,666
New Green EmporiumGRACE 48 INC791 8th Ave10019$494,756
K-Chicken528 Corp.528 9th Ave10018$492,317
Turkish CuisineAA CATERING INC.631 9th Ave10036$485,959
Barrage683 Ninth Avenue Inc683 9th Ave AKA 401 West 47th St10036$483,392
Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles IIYUMMY HAND-PULLED NOODLES INC.648 9th Ave FL 110036$474,522
Black SushiBS Globe Corporation719 8th Ave10036$471,740
Hide Chan RamenPLG Hospitality LLC314 W 53rd St10019$471,455
Medi Wine BarMedi Winebar LLC811 9th Ave10019$456,094
Route 66 Cafescenic route 66 cafe Inc.858 9th Ave Frnt 110019$440,031
Poke InnPoke Inn Inc357 W 49th St10019$427,492
Aroma Trattoria8th ave trattoria inc.932 8th Ave10019$422,371
Poke FunPoke Fun Inc334 W 37th St10018$421,180
TurkuazHUNTER 53 INC310 W 53rd St10019$420,021
Pisces Bar & TavernPisces Bar Tavern Inc543 8th Ave10018$404,772
Blockheads (not confirmed)kiosk 50 corp322 W 50th St10019$402,444
Vivi Bubble TeaS S Tea Cafe Inc607 9th Ave10036$378,822
SubwayAkota Corp735 11th Ave10019$357,395
Horus TooELSAYED 4 LLC416 W 46th St10036$357,184
Blue RuinBlue Ruin Inc538 9th Ave10018$356,318
Jax-BBQ (now Tavalino)Porkys Salvation Inc496 9th Ave10018$354,759
Daa! DumplingsARTISAN RUSSIAN DUMPLINGS LLC886 9th Ave10019$331,606
RexRKC Consulting864 10th Ave10019$323,435
Taqueria Diana542 TACO LLC524 9th Ave10018$322,685
Noodies Thai KitchenNoodies Thai Kitchen830 9th Ave10019$316,005
Hudson Bagel (not confirmed)NARAE FOODS INC.691 9th Ave10036$293,795
Wine EscapeWINE ESCAPE INC405 W 44th St Ground Floor10036$292,953
Ñaño Ecuadorian RestaurantNano Endeavour LLC691 10th Ave10036$289,951
Trattoria Casa Di Isaccotratoria pesce pasta restaurant corp536 9th Ave10018$284,240
Chez NapoleonElymar Restaurant Corp.365 W 50th St10019$279,882
Kung Fu Kitchen805 NOODLE INC805 8th Ave10019$276,831
Atlas SocialOxido Corp753 9th Ave10019$273,566
The MarshalWMW Restaurant Group LLC628 10th Ave10036$272,392
DoughnutteryDoughnuttery Turnstyle Inc1000S 8th Ave10019$265,785
2 Bros Pizza2BP5 LLC519 8th Ave Rm 80010018$259,777
Hummus KitchenSharon Hoota768 9th Ave10019$259,249
China GourmetCHINA GOURMET 877 INC877 8th Ave10019$257,658
Kare ThaiEdwardstarscorp752 10th Ave10019$255,602
16 Handles16 Handles Turnstyle1000s 8th Ave10019$254,484
El Centro CantinaScoobs 359 Inc359 W 54th St10019$248,985
Il Baretto to GoGASTRONOMICA CORP.790 11th Ave10019$247,303
SubwayAkota Four Corp555 W 42nd St10036$246,967
PinkberryPB786 COLUMBUS CIRCLE CORP330 W 58th St10019$240,277
Down The Road PubDown The Road Pub LLC683 9th Ave10036$226,617
Not KnownJunior Productions LLC790 9th Ave store north10019$221,190
JDA Gotham West MarketJDA Gotham LLC600 11th Ave10036$218,764
Der KrungBoonnak Tone Inc.860 9th Ave10019$216,424
Little Pie CompanyLittle Pie Company Ltd424 W 43rd St10036$210,805
Booth 4 Gotham West MarketBargotham LLC600 11th Ave Booth 410036$207,389
Not KnownU World Corp792 9th Ave10019$202,139
Abitino’s PizzaMamma Anna 730 LLC730 10th Ave10019$201,450
Pocket BarPocket Bar NYC455 W 48th St10036$199,738
AquihitoOtani Inc359 W 39th St10018$198,761
Chong Qing NoodleCHONG QING XIAO MIAN NY INC796 9th Ave10019$196,726
Longo BrosCAMAPA LTD474 9th Ave10018$192,524
Kam-Wei KitchenNEW KAM WEI FOOD CORP630 10th Ave10036$182,612
Aleef CafeAleef cafe inc333 W 39th St10018$180,713
Coco Fresh Tea & JuiceCOCO 46 INC646 9th Ave10036$173,202
Aiyar Thaiaiyara thai inc.480 9th Ave10018$172,132
Sheba EthiopianSheba Ethiopian restaurant Inc.650 10th Ave10036$165,683
Non Solo PiadaI LOVE PIADA LLC302 W 37th St GR. FLOOR10018$164,252
Walter’s CottageRosierae’s inc500 W 43rd St10036$162,371
Al Hornoal horno lean mexican kitchen inc417 W 47th St Frnt 110036$160,510
KahveZEREN LLC403 W 51st St Frnt 110019$158,757
Justino’s PizzaUpper West Side Pizza Inc881 10th Ave10019$155,452
MeskeMeske inc.468 W 47th St10036$153,554
Subway45 street catering inc442 W 45th St10036$152,265
Ponche TaqueriaPonche Taqueria Corp420 W 49th St10019$149,299
Vintner Wine Marketvintner cafe677 9th Ave10036$138,246
CKY OccasionsCKY Occasions LLC359 W 45th St10036$128,507
2 Bros Pizza2BP3 LLC519 8th Ave Rm 80010018$127,632
City Limits VendingCITY LIMITS VENDING INC612 W 52nd St10019$123,450
ArdesiaThe Vendange Group LLC510 W 52nd St Frnt A10019$119,536
Food KingLins Chinese Kitchen Inc694 10th Ave10019$93,463
Broadway BagelsBroadway Bagels Inc.515 W 42nd St10036$93,005
Abace SushiAbace Sushi INC695 9th Ave10036$90,684
Hold FastJoin Us HK LLC364 W 46th St10036$77,258
BeijingBei Jing Chinese Restaurant Inc860 10th Ave Frnt 210019$72,069
Not KnownKGM Partners LLC301 W 57th St. 46E10019$67,902
Happy Joy760 HAPPY JOY INC.760 10th Ave10019$67,413
Ikebana-zenOmakase LLC401 W 53rd St10019$64,888
Not knownDeSousa LLC744 9th Ave10019$61,179
The RestaurantGloria Restaurant LLC506 9th Ave10018$55,086
Back Pocket BarPBNYC2 CORP462 W 49th St10019$54,070
Lollino | Gelateria & Espresso BarMade By Franchetti LLC1 River Pl #381110036$50,567
Modern Tea ShopMODERN TEA 300 INC300 W 49th St10019$40,093
XOXO NYC BarXOXO NYC Corp336 W 46th St10036$20,580
The Jolly GoatMuse Coffee Roasters Inc.515 W 47th St Frnt 210036$20,567
Corner SliceCORNER SLICE LLC600 11th Ave10036$14,630
Hussam Abdulghaffarhussam abdulghaffar612 W 52nd St10019$7,210
Kohinur RahmanKohinur Rahman606 W 57th St Apt 43710019$3,919

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4 Comments

  1. Why are shuttered businesses like Barrage and Boxers HK getting money? Also, how did Chik-fil-A end up with funds while Scruffy Duffy’s and Vice Versa are left in the dust. This makes no sense.

  2. Agreed – I know La Vela on 11th didn’t get any money, and I’m sad to see placed that have already been emptied out of their spaces get funds, like Rustic Table.

  3. I think it’s ridiculous that Chik-Fil-A and Subway got RRF money but not other, more community-based organizations.
    The irony of Chik-Fil-A — with its right-wing, anti-gay political stance — getting taxpayer dollars over some of these other companies is horrible.

  4. Some of the restaurants listed that received money have never re-opened. Abitino’s Pizza on 10th Avenue is empty and dark. Why on earth was Chik-Fil-A given money? They are a national brand and very successful. It seems the larger and more wealthy the business, the more they got and the independent restaurants were out of luck.

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