De Niro’s Real Estate Genesis

The Real Deal checks in with Robert De Niro this month. Here’s how the greatest living actor got into New York real estate:

Robert De Niro’s real estate empire started in the 1980s, when the actor was living Downtown near Drew Nieporent’s restaurant Montrachet. To hear the celebrity restaurateur tell it, De Niro would come in and "sit at the last table with his back to the restaurant," to preserve his anonymity.

In an interview last year with a television reporter, Nieporent recalled that the actor took him aside one day, and suggested the two of them open a restaurant in an abandoned warehouse down the street. The pair walked over to Greenwich and Franklin.

"I tried to elicit from De Niro what his ideas were, and he couldn’t quite articulate exactly what his ideas were, and I got a sense that if I led it a little bit, ‘do you like this place, or this place?’ And it evolved from there," Nieporent said.

Bobby D’s empire has, of course, expanded in the last several years. Here’s my colleague Chris Shott back in January on Mr. De Niro’s new Greenwich Hotel.

De Niro’s Real Estate Genesis