Hello-Hello and Happy Monday. We are ever-so-delighted to be back with you, now that we’re mostly recovered from the sudden death of our desktop and all the chaos that followed. Who knew it would take so long to buy a new computer (not long at all) and have the data transferred from the old desktop to the new one???!!! (A. Very. Very. Long. Time.) And then try to sort out the wacky way that data was organized (not-at-all.) on the new computer? Sigh. We have had better life experiences.
At any rate, we are finally back to posting. Today we look at something that was a bit of a surprise, news that Brooks Brothers is opening a …. steakhouse. The retailer is going to open a restaurant in midtown. From Bloomberg Business Week:
For some, it’s not enough to just wear Brooks Brothers’ preppy, upper-crust attire. They want the essence of Brooks Brothers to flow through their veins—or at least into their stomachs.
Brooks Brothers, the “Makers and Merchants” of fine American suits and ties since 1818, is turning its talents on another Yankee Doodle favorite — steak.
The legendary apparel emporium plans to launch a huge steakhouse, branded “Makers and Merchants,” at 11 E. 44th St., around the corner from its flagship store….
The beefery will take over the three levels that Brooks Brothers took over from J. Press in 2008 and used for several years for its women’s line. The 15,000 square-foot space is now vacant, although Brooks’ awnings still hang over tall sidewalk windows.
Now, many of us have enjoyed some lovely dining experiences at restaurants located in retail establishments. For example, yours truly has joined TQM (The Queen Mother) on many occasions at the Neiman Marcus café seen below. Having one of those divine popovers with strawberry butter was the highlight of a shopping expedition.
But the retail restaurants I am thinking of are all located in the stores or adjacent/attached to the store. One chain of restaurants with its roots in retail, Tommy Bahama. Below we show the Naples (FL) store and restaurant.
The only analogy that I could think of was Lilly Pulitzer….would I want to eat at a Lilly restaurant? It’s not out of the question I suppose, Lilly is owned by the same company that owns Tommy Bahama. But would I go out of my way to eat at a Lilly restaurant…? Would they have cute pink and green themed foods…? Dessert cakes shaped like mini shift dresses? That rings of a gimmicky, one-hit wonder. (Not that anyone is suggesting such a place be opened, it’s merely the idle ramblings of an overtaxed brain here at the Prepatorium, heh-heh-heh.) In reality, the food, service, and ambience at any retailer-related dining establishment would have to be outstanding; repeat business would be driven by those factors.
According to the story in the Post, the new endeavor may serve as a prototype for future restaurants from the retailer, an interesting prospect. The name is “Makers and Merchants,” the tagline Brooks has been using for years. The actual “Makers” line of clothing and accessories was very high-end, pieces made by Brooks Brothers at their own factories, of superb quality and craftsmanship. Today the only merchandise that comes up when searching “Makers and Merchants” on the website is a page of men’s shoes (they’re by Edward Green, a fabled British footwear company) and this tee-shirt.
Our only other tidbit is Halloween related. The extremely talented folks at the Oh Happy Day blog have created some incredible costumes for the young fashionista at your Palace. Behold, Anna Wintour.
How cool is that? Say hello to another fashion icon, Karl Lagerfeld.
The blog offers two posts, Icons part 1 and Part 2. While noting it is unlikely very many children will want to be Anna Wintour, each post has relatively simple directions on how one could recreate the costumes at home.
We’ll leave you with one final icon, Grace Coddington.
With that we say g’bye until next time. Many thanks to everyone who sent notes, tweets, and messages during the little techno-crisis!