By Anna Sekula Posted December 16, 2009, 10:00 AM EST
More than just residential territory, the Upper West Side claims its fair share of museums and performance venues—and, these days, notable restaurants like Per Se, Masa, and Picholine. Moreover, Fashion Week will bring a different type of crowd when it moves its tents to Damrosch Park in Lincoln Center in September.
In fact, Fashion Week’s shift uptown underscores the ongoing redevelopment of Lincoln Center. Unveiled in February 2009, the spiffy new Alice Tully Hall showcases an expanded lobby for receptions, a 4,200-square-foot glass-enclosed lounge on the mezzanine, and the redesigned 1,087-seat Starr Theater.
Also reopened that month was the 2,894-seat Beacon Theatre. The $16 million overhaul of the landmark Art Deco space restored the ornamental fixtures and added new seating. Available for events, the 80-year-old concert venue can host meetings, performances, and fashion shows.
While its showpiece is a rooftop deck, the Empire Hotel also has three meeting rooms, which can be combined to host 300. In September, chef Ed Brown partnered with Jeffrey Chodorow to replace in-house restaurant Center Cut with a casual seafood place called Ed’s Chowder House.
One of the most eagerly anticipated openings was A Voce Columbus, a 226-seat Italian spot that took over the Time Warner Center space vacated by Café Gray. The 9,000-square-foot restaurant overlooks Central Park and has a 66-seat private dining room that can be split in two.
Also part of the Columbus Circle complex is a conference center, known as 10 on the Park at Time Warner Center. Managed by Restaurant Associates, the facility has five rooms suitable for presentations and meetings, as well as seated dinners and social functions. The largest and most versatile is the 3,950-square-foot Columbus Room, which holds 287 theater-style.
Other successful restaurateurs are hitting the Central Park-adjacent area too, opening spin-offs of popular joints and launching new concepts. Among these are Zak Pelaccio’s 74-seat Fatty Crab, Danny Meyer’s Columbus Avenue outpost of Shake Shack, with a room for events on the lower level, and the bigger, 200-seat version of Michael Psilakis’s Kefi.