Grand Central Terminal is getting a new chophouse, which will take over the long-vacant space Michael Jordan’s Steak House NYC occupied for 20 years, The Post has learned.
The luxury Italian hospitality company Cipriani signed a 10-year lease to open an Argentinian restaurant on the balcony overlooking the main concourse, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the terminal’s landlord.
Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse moved out in December 2018 amidst a legal dispute with the MTA — and the 8,200 square foot space has been empty ever since.
“We are looking forward to introducing the wonderful flavors of world-renowned Argentinian steakhouse, Don Julio, to this iconic Beaux-Arts New York City landmark,” Cipriani Chief Executive Giuseppe Cipriani said in a statement. “We are happy to see Grand Central coming back not only as the center of New York transportation but as a safe, vibrant retail and dining destination for New Yorkers and visitors alike.”
The MTA and Cipriani did not immediately provide an opening date for the eatery. The terms of the lease weren’t disclosed.
Cipriani is no stranger to the train station, where it has been a tenant since 2002 operating Cipriani Dolci restaurant and bar on the same balcony as the new chophouse. The company also operates Cipriani on 42nd Street across the street from the main terminal.
Dolci just renewed its lease and plans to renovate the space next year — closing for a period of time and reopening before the end of 2022, the MTA said in a statement.
The pandemic hit Grand Central particularly hard as it relies on commuters from Westchester County and from Connecticut, the majority of which have been working from home over the past 18 months.
Still, hope is on the horizon, according to the MTA. Labor Day marked a turning point for Metro North ridership, MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan told The Post.
“We’ve had nine consecutive weekdays over 100,000 riders from Sept. 7 through Sept. 17, the first such run since the start of the pandemic,” Donovan said, adding that on Sept. 13, Metro-North reached its all-time post-pandemic high of 122,500 riders.
Even though the numbers are ticking higher, they’re still more than 50 percent below 2019 average weekday ridership figures.
The iconic Grand Central Oyster Bar on the lower level has been closed for nearly two years because its customers disappeared. Its reopening was delayed by a couple of weeks because of Hurricane Ida, but it reopened for lunch on Monday.
Meanwhile, there are still large swaths of retail space that are sitting vacant, including Vanderbilt Hall, where the Great Northern Food Hall operated to-go food stalls and several bars and restaurants.
Some 28 of 98 retail spaces, including Vanderbilt Hall, at the terminal are in various stages of reoffering or negotiation, the MTA said.