After getting around a few obstacles, Jacques Torres is finally set to bring his famously rich hot chocolate to the Upper West Side.
The reigning chocolate king of New York will open up his third chocolateria (that’s a “chocolate cafeteria” to the layman) in the city at 285 Amsterdam Avenue by the end of the summer, according to Stu Morden, a broker with Newmark Knight Frank.
In March, Crain’s New York reported that Mr. Torres would open up the new store in April. However, he ran into a few glitches with the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
“They’re putting in a new storefront, and I think what happened was the construction drawings were updated—made a little more advanced—and the commission didn’t approve them,” Mr. Morden told The Observer. “The thing was, they were pretty much the same drawings that had already been approved.”
Mr. Torres, who has outposts in Soho and Dumbo, was perturbed by the delay, according to Mr. Morden—largely because he was losing money by the day.
Nothing like a little help from a few city bigwigs to get things squared away, though.
“We got Scott Stringer and Gale Brewer involved, and everything is now ready to go,” Mr. Morden said, referring to the Manhattan Borough President and the Upper West Side City Council member, respectively.
Mr. Torres has signed a 15-year lease on the 1,600-square-foot space between 73rd and 74th streets. While he wouldn’t disclose what Mr. Torres will be paying, Mr. Morden—who worked on the deal with Ross Kaplan—did say that the asking rent was about $250 per square foot per year.
The response from some in the neighborhood upon hearing that Mr. Torres will finally be filling the block with the smell of chocolate was, well, emotional.
“When I tell people Jacques Torres is finally coming in,” Mr. Morden said, “some start weeping.”