How do you catch a Silicon Alley tech executive with money to burn on food and drinks? You bait him with 24 types of craft beer.
A recent real estate deal watch in Crain’s New York profiles Tom O’Byrne, the owner of New York’s LES Cooper’s Craft and Kitchen. O’Byrne recently made a splash by inking a deal for a 2,000 square foot space on 8th avenue in New York’s hip Chelsea neighborhood. By moving to open a second location with a 10-year lease in one of NYC’s most expensive neighborhoods, it’s clear the O’Byrne doesn’t believe the craft beer trend is going anywhere any time soon.
According to reports, rent for the space comes in at around $150 per square foot. So why is O’Byrne confident enough to pay such a steep price? One of the reasons is the flourishing tech community in the Chelsea area. As expensive as the neighborhood has been over the last several years, rent continues to rise on a regular basis. For example, similar ground-floor retail spaces on 8th Ave. skyrocketed nearly 70% in the last year alone. The spike is most likely due to the proximity to major tech players like Google and Twitter who have offices in the area.
The original Cooper’s has been operating in the Lower East Side for about three years and O’Byrne clearly feels it’s time to strike while the iron is hot. He’s clearly banking on craft beer becoming a staple rather than a fad. While unique microbrews don’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon, those in the business should take note of another niche gastronomical trend’s death knell. Just as Cooper’s announced a new craft beer centered bar, the NYC based cupcake bakery, Crumbs shuttered its doors. It seems no food or drink fad is safe from falling out of favor with fickle New Yorkers.