How NYC's Financial District Became America's Most Alluring Restaurant Market
NEW YORK CITY’S FINANCIAL DISTRICT EMERGES AS THE MOST DYNAMIC FOOD TOWN IN THE COUNTRY.
The Poulakakos family has been tending to the needs of downtown and their ever-growing restaurant empire since Greek emigrant Harry Poulakakos opened Harry’s at Hanover Square in 1972. The Wall Street watering hole was closed in 2003 and reopened as Harry’s Café and Steak three years later. Harry’s son, Peter, started on Stone Street, the block that houses several pubs and a pizza place frequented by hungry throngs sitting outside at picnic tables in warm weather. His HPH restaurant and development company also owns the French patisserie Financier; the French market Le District, in Brookfield Place; the Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog, voted “world’s best bar” by Tales of the Cocktail in 2015 and by “World’s 50 Best Bars” in 2016; and Pier A Harbor House, a complex of event spaces, restaurants, and bars including BlackTail, a new Cuba-themed bar by The Dead Rabbit’s Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry. BlackTail was awarded Best New American Cocktail Bar at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail.
“There is no downtown story without Peter Poulakakos,” Union Square’s Coraine says. “He was really the Plymouth Rock of the whole thing. He had the most courage of anybody.”
For his part, Peter Poulakakos says it’s all about a shared vision: “It’s great to see other restaurateurs are starting to see what my father and I have seen in downtown for 45 years. There is plenty of food-and-beverage demand to service with the growing number of tourists, office tenants, and residences in lower Manhattan. As both business owners and residents of downtown, we welcome the diversity and new selections of restaurants in our neighborhood.”