The future of Delmonico’s, the nation’s oldest steakhouse that operated from 1837 until the pandemic, appears to hang in the balance.
The 186-year-old restaurant, located in the Financial District, also serves as exterior shots for The Continental Hotel in the John Wick film series and has been closed for nearly three years.
However, there is currently a dispute with two parties who now claim the right to reopen the restaurant located in the financial district.
The Continental is John Wick’s most iconic location: a hotel for assassins where they can drink scotch and make eyes at other assassins while they take care of “business” in the heart of the financial district.
One of Manhattan’s oldest restaurants, Delmonico’s, is moving back to the Financial District after being closed for nearly three years
When it was open, the restaurant was famous for its innovative American dishes, including eggs Benedict, Manhattan clam chowder and the famous Delmonico steak, pictured above.
When it was open, the restaurant was famous for its innovative American dishes, including eggs Benedict, Manhattan clam chowder, and the famous Delmonico rib eye steak.
The dispute is over who owns the rights to the Delmonico name and its use.
A press release sent out last week outlined how the restaurant would return in the fall of 2023, but an Instagram post on Delmonico’s Instagram account alleged that “recent reports that we will be reopening at 56 Beaver Street are false.”
“It has come to our attention that former associates have misrepresented themselves to the media as owners of Delmonico’s,” the post read.
One family claims they have the right to use the brand name while a second party claims that announcing any type of reopening is a violation of trademark rights.
An Instagram post on Delmonico’s Instagram account alleges that “recent reports that we will be reopening at 56 Beaver Street are false.”
The iconic New York restaurant at 56 Beaver Street served as the “redressed” exterior of the Hotel Continental in the John Wick film series. Keanu Reeves is pictured above
186-year-old New York restaurant Delmonico closed as COVID hit in 2020
Delmonico closed and “suspended all operations” as part of the March 18, 2020 lockdown. This image shows cooks preparing food at Delmonico in 1902
The Grgurevs, who operated the restaurant and currently manage Delmonico’s Instagram account, say the new tenants at 56 Beaver Street are using the Delmonico name in bad faith, without their involvement and not involved in reviving the restaurant.
The Grgurevs are also in the process of filing a lawsuit against the new operators.
The disagreement centers on a spring 2021 court ruling in which brothers Ferdo and Omer Grgurev were successful in obtaining full ownership of the location, but were prohibited from operating a Delmonico restaurant or any other restaurant unless one mile until March 2023.
Still, the Grgurevs said they also had the right to continue operating the restaurant under the Delmonico name.
Meanwhile, Dennis Turcinovic and Joseph Licul, who are involved with another restaurant, now claim to be the new owners of the property as of January 1, 2023 and are not involved in any ongoing lawsuits with the former owners.
Delmonico’s was among restaurants and bars across the country that were forced to close during the coronavirus lockdown. They never reopened
A representative for Turcinovic told Eater how he and Licul signed a new 15-year lease with Time Equities and denied any claims that might suggest they weren’t the rightful owners.
They have announced their intention to remove any website suggesting otherwise and plan to launch new websites if the issue is not resolved.
But the Grgurev brothers say they are the ones with the right to operate the restaurant as Delmonico with others banned from operating any Delmonico or other restaurant within a mile until March of this year.
In April 2022, the owner, Time Equities, attempted to evict the restaurant, run by the Grgurev family, for alleged non-payment of nearly $300,000 in rent and fees.
Some of Delmonico’s legendary steaks seen in the fridge when the place was open before 2020
Delmonico’s bustling kitchen seen in 1902 when the restaurant was 65 years old
Mark Twain’s 70th birthday dinner at Delmonico on December 5, 1905
The Grgurev family denied the eviction request and said it was related to the landlord’s delay in repairing water damage to the building from Hurricane Ida in 2021.
In December 2022, the lease expired and the owner did not renew it, so Time Equities signed the deal with Turcinovic and Licul, Grgurev’s former partners.
Michelle Grgurev, the daughter of Omer Grgurev, now says her family believe the landlord intentionally let the lease expire so it could be reissued to new tenants.
The iconic New York restaurant features the exterior of the Continental Hotel in the John Wick film series
Delmonico’s dinner menu on April 18, 1899