Landlord Kamran Hakim wanted $1 million a year in rent for the former Shelly’s Big City space at 41 W. 57th St. that will soon become Café Pushkin — the first US venture of an opulent Moscow eatery owned by Russian restaurant czar Andrei Dellos.
Although terms were not released, one retail-brokerage source not involved in the deal estimated the price as “just north of $750,000.”
Hakim was willing to bargain as other landlords on West 57th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues have not been — resulting in a blight of store vacancies at prominent locations.
As first reported yesterday on nypost.com, Café Pushkin is taking 7,200 square feet on three levels. It will replicate an ornate Moscow eatery popular with oligarchs, politicians and high-end tourists.
The Russian entry joins several thriving eateries on the block, including Nobu 57, Brasserie 8½ and Rue 57. But visible empty storefronts include No. 3, which has housed several temporary and pop-up stores, No. 7, once home to Ascot Chang, and No. 20, most recently Brookstone.
Meanwhile, at 49 W. 57th St., the 13,000 square-foot Strawberry clothier space is on the market via Newmark Knight Frank.
“Too many owners have unrealistic expectations of retail rents,” said one broker who didn’t want to alienate his clients.
Lansco President Alan Victor disagreed, citing reluctance by high-end shoppers to stroll west past Bergdorf Goodman: “There seems to be a barrier going west,” he said.
Brokers expressed hope the café will pump new life and pedestrian traffic into the block.
The Pushkin lease was negotiated by JDF Realty’s Leslie Siben and Benjamin Kahr for the tenant and SINVIN’s CHRISTOPHER OWLES and STEVEN RAPPAPORT for the landlord.