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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.
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owners sued, claiming that the program went against the Constitution’s equal protection clause, some grants were rescinded and the awards were thrown into chaos.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.
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.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Name||Business Name||Address||Zip||Grant Amount|
|Becco||Pola Restaurant Inc||355 W 46th St||10036||$5,000,000|
|Masa NYC||Masa NY LLC||10 Columbus Cir Suite #401||10019||$5,000,000|
|Essen||AMICI 519 LLC||519 8th Ave||10018||$4,958,099|
|Hudson Market||Hudson Market 57 INC||601 W 57th St||10019||$4,247,859|
|Smith’s Bar||HAYJAY CORPORATION||701 8th Ave||10036||$3,993,887|
|Brereton & Lewis Catering||BRERETON LEWIS CATERING LLC||321 W 37th St||10018||$3,582,423|
|5 Napkin Burger||La Scala Restaurant LLC||630 9th Ave||10036||$3,530,748|
|Canard Inc (Catering)||Canard Inc.||503 W 43rd St||10036||$3,094,093|
|Marseille||Dana’s LLC||630 9th Ave||10036||$2,840,207|
|John Jay College Cafeteria||MBJ Cafeteria Corp||524 W 59th St||10019||$2,650,739|
|Joe Allen Group||WF Restaurants Inc||322 W 46th St||10036||$2,454,776|
|Cantina Rooftop||Cantina Rooftop Inc||605 W 48th St||10036||$2,416,278|
|Bea||ZONEA FOOD & BEVERAGE INC||403 W 43rd St||10036||$2,403,458|
|Joe Allen’s||326 Restaurant Corp||326 W 46th St||10036||$2,191,926|
|Brasserie 46||City Star restaurant LLC||729 8th Ave aka 300 W 46th St||10036||$2,141,061|
|Sushi Damo||Minoru Inc||330 W 58th St||10019||$2,001,751|
|Tacuba||S.SCOTTY ENTERPRISES. INC||802 9th Avenue||10019||$1,979,729|
|Kung Fu Kitchen||KUNG FU KITCHEN INC||610 8th Ave||10018||$1,931,381|
|Boxers HK||BOXERS ENTERPRISES LLC||742 9th Ave||10019||$1,866,924|
|Obao||647 NINTH AVE CORP||647 9th Ave||10036||$1,815,923|
|Times Square Diner||SAS RESTAURANTS LLC||807 8th Ave #4||10019||$1,696,663|
|Real Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen||BARUCH BROTHERS INC||811 8th Ave||10019||$1,570,473|
|Roxy Diner||694 Enterprises INC||694 8th Ave||10036||$1,535,344|
|Hell’s Kitchen||Two Guys & Tom Inc.||754 9th Ave||10019||$1,528,058|
|Guantanamera||Mamma Ristorante Corp.||939 8th Ave||10019||$1,493,480|
|Don Antonio’s Pizza||Don Antonio Restaurant LLC||309 W 50th St||10019||$1,483,220|
|Tir Na Nog||TNN Enterprises LLC||315 W 39th St||10018||$1,477,361|
|Bareburger||Bare City Three LLC||366 W 46th St||10036||$1,469,417|
|Nizza||Ponente LLC||630 9th Ave Frnt 2||10036||$1,465,771|
|Chick-Fil-A||KTY FRANCHISE HOLDINGS INC.||918 8th Ave||10019||$1,417,732|
|El Centro||Chow Down Inc||824 9th Ave||10019||$1,275,298|
|The Ritz Bar & Lounge||G Cubed Corporation||369 W 46th St||10036||$1,261,341|
|Red Poke||600 bakery cafe corp||600 9th Ave||10036||$1,223,206|
|Ageha Sushi||AGEHA JAPANESE FUSION INC||767 9th Ave||10019||$1,209,091|
|Mom’s Kitchen and Bar||701 RESTAURANT LLC||701 9th Ave||10019||$1,183,194|
|Le Rivage||340 West 46th Street Corp||340 W 46th St||10036||$1,117,423|
|Yong Kang Street||NEW YORK MG 168 LLC||1000s 8th Ave||10019||$1,102,190|
|Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse||Three and One Group LLC||320 W 46th St||10036||$1,097,686|
|Tori Shin||Idealize Inc.||362 W 53rd St||10019||$1,086,110|
|Wok to Walk||Restaurant 570 8th Ave LLC||570 8th Ave||10018||$1,085,472|
|West Side Steakhouse||WEST SIDE STEAKHOUSE LLC||597 10th Ave||10036||$1,043,720|
|Carve Deli||Carve Deli ESLT LLC||760 8th Ave||10036||$1,031,422|
|McAnn’s||Eighth Avenue Enterprises Ltd.||625 8th Ave Port Authority Bus Terminal Mezzanine Level||10018||$1,015,705|
|Danji||Privy LLC||346 W 52nd St First Floor Restaurant||10019||$1,009,095|
|Red Poke||PCPR CORP||885 8th Ave||10019||$1,005,673|
|Barbetta Restaurant||Barbetta Restaurant Inc||321 W 46th St||10036||$971,533|
|True Blue||La Buca Restaurant inc||349 W 46th St Frnt 1||10036||$934,352|
|China Xiang||THE SUN BISTRO LLC||360 W 42nd St||10036||$926,356|
|Cha Pa’s Noodles & Grill||Cha Pa’s Noodles and Grill Corp.||314 W 52nd St||10019||$920,098|
|Sombrero Restaurant||C A P Restaurant Corp||303 W 48th St||10036||$894,310|
|Sake Bar Hagi 46||Hama New York Inc.||358 W 46th St||10036||$890,020|
|Fuji Hibachi||FUJI HIBACHI INC||321 W 42nd St||10036||$873,687|
|Valhalla||TPMJV Bar & Rest Corp.||815 9th Ave||10019||$871,674|
|Le Prive||Prive Hospitality Group LLC||505 W 37th St||10018||$858,850|
|Cascade Cafe||THREE BROTHERS NY DELI INC||900 8th Ave||10019||$858,608|
|2 Bros Pizza||2 BROS 9TH AVE INC||542 9th Ave||10018||$850,191|
|Allstars Sports Bar & Grill||Alaia Wings Inc.||327 W 57th St||10019||$826,009|
|Etcetera Etcetera||Progetto Inc.||352 W 44th St||10036||$824,029|
|Dafni Greek Taverna||Three Twenty Five Restaurant Corp||325 W 42nd St||10036||$808,858|
|Aura Zoob Zib Thai||nutpopthai inc||460 9th Ave ground fl||10018||$790,608|
|Flaming Saddles||Flaming Saddle NYC # 1 LLC||793 9th Ave||10019||$771,088|
|As Is||71 Worth LLC||734 10th Ave||10019||$708,102|
|Grace Cafe||GRACE 38 CAFE INC||572 8th Ave||10018||$706,095|
|Pure Ktchn||H&L Pure Kitchen INC||352 W 46th St||10036||$684,884|
|Beer Culture||Darduro LLC||328 W 45th St Ground Floor||10036||$683,767|
|Rustic Table||Creative Food Crafts LLC||533 W 45th St Apt 4C||10036||$683,375|
|Ground Central Coffee Co||501 SEVENTH GROUP LLC||888 8th Ave||10019||$680,912|
|Casellula||Casellula LLC||401 W 52nd St Frnt 1||10019||$677,202|
|The Harrow||MIH 23 Inc||720 10th Ave||10019||$671,994|
|Z Catering||z catering corp||351 W 42nd St||10036||$657,429|
|Soho Park||17 Stone Street LLC||832 8th Ave||10019||$651,696|
|Anejo||Anejo LLC||668 10th Ave||10036||$618,539|
|House of Brews||363 West 46th Street Tavern Inc||363 W 46th St Frnt 1||10036||$614,939|
|Kochi||SC HOSPITALITY LLC||652 10th Ave||10036||$599,825|
|Gabriela’s Taqueria||Gabrielas Row 44 LLC||700 8th Ave 2nd Floor City Kitchen||10036||$564,474|
|Casa Events||Casa Events Bar LLC||625 W 51st St Fl 2||10019||$522,925|
|Gregory’s Coffee (not confirmed)||630 9th Coffee and Bakery LLC||630 9th Ave||10036||$515,785|
|Il Melograno||SIXSILY LLC||501 W 51st St||10019||$505,666|
|New Green Emporium||GRACE 48 INC||791 8th Ave||10019||$494,756|
|K-Chicken||528 Corp.||528 9th Ave||10018||$492,317|
|Turkish Cuisine||AA CATERING INC.||631 9th Ave||10036||$485,959|
|Barrage||683 Ninth Avenue Inc||683 9th Ave AKA 401 West 47th St||10036||$483,392|
|Tasty Hand-Pulled Noodles II||YUMMY HAND-PULLED NOODLES INC.||648 9th Ave FL 1||10036||$474,522|
|Black Sushi||BS Globe Corporation||719 8th Ave||10036||$471,740|
|Hide Chan Ramen||PLG Hospitality LLC||314 W 53rd St||10019||$471,455|
|Medi Wine Bar||Medi Winebar LLC||811 9th Ave||10019||$456,094|
|Route 66 Cafe||scenic route 66 cafe Inc.||858 9th Ave Frnt 1||10019||$440,031|
|Poke Inn||Poke Inn Inc||357 W 49th St||10019||$427,492|
|Aroma Trattoria||8th ave trattoria inc.||932 8th Ave||10019||$422,371|
|Poke Fun||Poke Fun Inc||334 W 37th St||10018||$421,180|
|Turkuaz||HUNTER 53 INC||310 W 53rd St||10019||$420,021|
|Pisces Bar & Tavern||Pisces Bar Tavern Inc||543 8th Ave||10018||$404,772|
|Blockheads (not confirmed)||kiosk 50 corp||322 W 50th St||10019||$402,444|
|Vivi Bubble Tea||S S Tea Cafe Inc||607 9th Ave||10036||$378,822|
|Subway||Akota Corp||735 11th Ave||10019||$357,395|
|Horus Too||ELSAYED 4 LLC||416 W 46th St||10036||$357,184|
|Blue Ruin||Blue Ruin Inc||538 9th Ave||10018||$356,318|
|Jax-BBQ (now Tavalino)||Porkys Salvation Inc||496 9th Ave||10018||$354,759|
|Daa! Dumplings||ARTISAN RUSSIAN DUMPLINGS LLC||886 9th Ave||10019||$331,606|
|Rex||RKC Consulting||864 10th Ave||10019||$323,435|
|Taqueria Diana||542 TACO LLC||524 9th Ave||10018||$322,685|
|Noodies Thai Kitchen||Noodies Thai Kitchen||830 9th Ave||10019||$316,005|
|Hudson Bagel (not confirmed)||NARAE FOODS INC.||691 9th Ave||10036||$293,795|
|Wine Escape||WINE ESCAPE INC||405 W 44th St Ground Floor||10036||$292,953|
|Ñaño Ecuadorian Restaurant||Nano Endeavour LLC||691 10th Ave||10036||$289,951|
|Trattoria Casa Di Isacco||tratoria pesce pasta restaurant corp||536 9th Ave||10018||$284,240|
|Chez Napoleon||Elymar Restaurant Corp.||365 W 50th St||10019||$279,882|
|Kung Fu Kitchen||805 NOODLE INC||805 8th Ave||10019||$276,831|
|Atlas Social||Oxido Corp||753 9th Ave||10019||$273,566|
|The Marshal||WMW Restaurant Group LLC||628 10th Ave||10036||$272,392|
|Doughnuttery||Doughnuttery Turnstyle Inc||1000S 8th Ave||10019||$265,785|
|2 Bros Pizza||2BP5 LLC||519 8th Ave Rm 800||10018||$259,777|
|Hummus Kitchen||Sharon Hoota||768 9th Ave||10019||$259,249|
|China Gourmet||CHINA GOURMET 877 INC||877 8th Ave||10019||$257,658|
|Kare Thai||Edwardstarscorp||752 10th Ave||10019||$255,602|
|16 Handles||16 Handles Turnstyle||1000s 8th Ave||10019||$254,484|
|El Centro Cantina||Scoobs 359 Inc||359 W 54th St||10019||$248,985|
|Il Baretto to Go||GASTRONOMICA CORP.||790 11th Ave||10019||$247,303|
|Subway||Akota Four Corp||555 W 42nd St||10036||$246,967|
|Pinkberry||PB786 COLUMBUS CIRCLE CORP||330 W 58th St||10019||$240,277|
|Down The Road Pub||Down The Road Pub LLC||683 9th Ave||10036||$226,617|
|Not Known||Junior Productions LLC||790 9th Ave store north||10019||$221,190|
|JDA Gotham West Market||JDA Gotham LLC||600 11th Ave||10036||$218,764|
|Der Krung||Boonnak Tone Inc.||860 9th Ave||10019||$216,424|
|Little Pie Company||Little Pie Company Ltd||424 W 43rd St||10036||$210,805|
|Booth 4 Gotham West Market||Bargotham LLC||600 11th Ave Booth 4||10036||$207,389|
|Not Known||U World Corp||792 9th Ave||10019||$202,139|
|Abitino’s Pizza||Mamma Anna 730 LLC||730 10th Ave||10019||$201,450|
|Pocket Bar||Pocket Bar NYC||455 W 48th St||10036||$199,738|
|Aquihito||Otani Inc||359 W 39th St||10018||$198,761|
|Chong Qing Noodle||CHONG QING XIAO MIAN NY INC||796 9th Ave||10019||$196,726|
|Longo Bros||CAMAPA LTD||474 9th Ave||10018||$192,524|
|Kam-Wei Kitchen||NEW KAM WEI FOOD CORP||630 10th Ave||10036||$182,612|
|Aleef Cafe||Aleef cafe inc||333 W 39th St||10018||$180,713|
|Coco Fresh Tea & Juice||COCO 46 INC||646 9th Ave||10036||$173,202|
|Aiyar Thai||aiyara thai inc.||480 9th Ave||10018||$172,132|
|Sheba Ethiopian||Sheba Ethiopian restaurant Inc.||650 10th Ave||10036||$165,683|
|Non Solo Piada||I LOVE PIADA LLC||302 W 37th St GR. FLOOR||10018||$164,252|
|Walter’s Cottage||Rosierae’s inc||500 W 43rd St||10036||$162,371|
|Al Horno||al horno lean mexican kitchen inc||417 W 47th St Frnt 1||10036||$160,510|
|Kahve||ZEREN LLC||403 W 51st St Frnt 1||10019||$158,757|
|Justino’s Pizza||Upper West Side Pizza Inc||881 10th Ave||10019||$155,452|
|Meske||Meske inc.||468 W 47th St||10036||$153,554|
|Subway||45 street catering inc||442 W 45th St||10036||$152,265|
|Ponche Taqueria||Ponche Taqueria Corp||420 W 49th St||10019||$149,299|
|Vintner Wine Market||vintner cafe||677 9th Ave||10036||$138,246|
|CKY Occasions||CKY Occasions LLC||359 W 45th St||10036||$128,507|
|2 Bros Pizza||2BP3 LLC||519 8th Ave Rm 800||10018||$127,632|
|City Limits Vending||CITY LIMITS VENDING INC||612 W 52nd St||10019||$123,450|
|Ardesia||The Vendange Group LLC||510 W 52nd St Frnt A||10019||$119,536|
|Food King||Lins Chinese Kitchen Inc||694 10th Ave||10019||$93,463|
|Broadway Bagels||Broadway Bagels Inc.||515 W 42nd St||10036||$93,005|
|Abace Sushi||Abace Sushi INC||695 9th Ave||10036||$90,684|
|Hold Fast||Join Us HK LLC||364 W 46th St||10036||$77,258|
|Beijing||Bei Jing Chinese Restaurant Inc||860 10th Ave Frnt 2||10019||$72,069|
|Not Known||KGM Partners LLC||301 W 57th St. 46E||10019||$67,902|
|Happy Joy||760 HAPPY JOY INC.||760 10th Ave||10019||$67,413|
|Ikebana-zen||Omakase LLC||401 W 53rd St||10019||$64,888|
|Not known||DeSousa LLC||744 9th Ave||10019||$61,179|
|The Restaurant||Gloria Restaurant LLC||506 9th Ave||10018||$55,086|
|Back Pocket Bar||PBNYC2 CORP||462 W 49th St||10019||$54,070|
|Lollino | Gelateria & Espresso Bar||Made By Franchetti LLC||1 River Pl #3811||10036||$50,567|
|Modern Tea Shop||MODERN TEA 300 INC||300 W 49th St||10019||$40,093|
|XOXO NYC Bar||XOXO NYC Corp||336 W 46th St||10036||$20,580|
|The Jolly Goat||Muse Coffee Roasters Inc.||515 W 47th St Frnt 2||10036||$20,567|
|Corner Slice||CORNER SLICE LLC||600 11th Ave||10036||$14,630|
|Hussam Abdulghaffar||hussam abdulghaffar||612 W 52nd St||10019||$7,210|
|Kohinur Rahman||Kohinur Rahman||606 W 57th St Apt 437||10019||$3,919|