The obituary of the old Meatpacking District has been written before. Now it's really time! The last vestige of the neighborhood, no-nonsense French bistro Florent, may be going the way of defunct club Mother and the transsexual prostitutes that used to ply their trade on its cobblestone sidestreets. A neighborhood fixture long before it was, you know, the Meatpacking District—Eater reports that Florent's days are numbered. The restaurant's vibe is best remembered in the words of Past, Over: "writers and actors and artists and drag-queens and whomever the hell else [they] see fit enough to serve up the right food with the right 'tude." Owner Florent Morellet says he's optimistic, however, because "I believe the world economy will collapse and so might the real estate prices in the neighborhood." Uh-oh. What's going on?
Certain retail real estate brokers working on behalf of Florent's landlord, the Gottleib Family (who own a great deal of the West Village and the Meatpacking District), are quietly shopping the Florent space at 69 Gansevoort Street. More than one restaurant owner has been contacted with the offer: ground floor, second floor, backyard and roof garden, for between $150 and $300 a square foot. (Sidebar: there's a roof garden and second floor?)
Update: A commenter points out that perhaps the building is not controlled by the Gottleib's. Rather it's owned by the descendants of R&L, a coffee shop that first occupied the space. Possible, this, but let's be clear: there is a broker shopping the property for whomever the current owner is.