Future of America’s oldest steakhouse, Delmonico’s, closed for the last three years in doubt

Delmonico’s is the oldest steakhouse in the country, having been in business since 1837, and until the pandemic hit, its future seemed to be in jeopardy.

The 186-year-old restaurant in the Financial District, which was also the exterior of the Continental Hotel in the John Wick film series, has been closed for nearly three years.

However, there is currently a dispute between two parties claiming the right to reopen restaurants located in the financial district.

The Continental Hotel is John Wick’s most iconic location: an assassin hotel where assassins could drink scotch and meet other assassins while conducting “business” in the heart of the financial district.

Delmonico's, one of Manhattan's oldest restaurants, is returning to the Financial District after closing for nearly three years

Delmonico’s, one of Manhattan’s oldest restaurants, is returning to the Financial District after closing for nearly three years

When it opened, the restaurant was known for its innovative American dishes, including eggs benedict, Manhattan clam chowder and the famous Delmonico rib eye steak, pictured above

When it opened, the restaurant was known for its innovative American dishes, including eggs benedict, Manhattan clam chowder and the famous Delmonico rib eye steak, pictured above

When it opened, the restaurant was known for its innovative American dishes, including eggs Benedict, Manhattan clam chowder and the famous Delmonico rib-eye steak.

The dispute revolves around who owns the Delmonico name and the right to use it.

A press release issued last week explained how the restaurant would reopen in the fall of 2023, but an Instagram post on Delmonico’s Instagram account claimed that “recent reports that we will be reopening at 56 Beaver Street are false “.

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“We have come to notice that former employees have been falsely claiming to the media that they are the owners of Delmonico’s,” the post said.

One family claims they have the right to use the trademarked name, while a second party claims that announcing any kind of reopening violates trademark rights.

An Instagram post on Delmonico's Instagram account claimed that

An Instagram post on Delmonico’s Instagram account claimed that “recent reports that we will be reopening at 56 Beaver Street are false.”

The iconic New York restaurant at 56 Beaver Street served as the

The iconic New York restaurant at 56 Beaver Street served as the “remake” facade of the Continental Hotel in the John Wick film series.Pictured above is Keanu Reeves

New York City's 186-year-old restaurant Delmonico's closes in 2020 as COVID hits

New York City’s 186-year-old restaurant Delmonico’s closes in 2020 as COVID hits

Delmonico's closed its doors and

Delmonico’s closed its doors and “suspended all operations” as part of the March 18, 2020 lockdown.This image shows chefs preparing food at Delmonico’s in 1902

The Grgurevs, who used to run the restaurant and currently run Delmonico’s Instagram account, claim that the new tenants at 56 Beaver Street are using Delmonico’s name in bad faith and that they were not involved and have no involvement in the reopening of the restaurant.

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Grgurevs is also filing a lawsuit against the new operator.

The disagreements centered on a legal ruling in the spring of 2021 in which brothers Ferdo and Omer Grgurev managed to secure full ownership of the location but were barred from operating Delmonico’s restaurant, or any other restaurant within a mile, until March 2023.

However, Grgurevs said they still have the right to operate the restaurant under the Delmonico name.

Meanwhile, Dennis Turcinovic and Joseph Licul, involved in another restaurant, now claim to be the new owners of the property as of January 1, 2023, and are not involved in any ongoing litigation with the previous owner.

Delmonico's is one of restaurants and bars across the country forced to close during the coronavirus lockdown.they never reopened

Delmonico’s is one of restaurants and bars across the country forced to close during the coronavirus lockdown.they never reopened

A representative for Turcinovic told Eater how he and Licul signed a new 15-year lease with Time Equities, denying any suggestion that they were not the legal owners.

They have announced plans to remove any sites with other suggestions and plan to launch new sites should the issues remain unresolved.

But the Grgurev brothers say they have the right to run the restaurant under the Delmonico name until March of this year, and no one else is allowed to run any Delmonico or other restaurants within a mile.

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In April 2022, landlord Time Equities attempted to evict the restaurant, run by the Grgurev family, for alleged nonpayment of nearly $300,000 in rent and fees.

Some of Delmonico's legendary steaks in the freezer when the venue opens in 2020

Some of Delmonico’s legendary steaks in the freezer when the venue opens in 2020

The busy kitchen of Delmonico's in 1902, when the restaurant was 65 years old

The busy kitchen of Delmonico’s in 1902, when the restaurant was 65 years old

Mark Twain's 70th Birthday Dinner at Delmonico, December 5, 1905

Mark Twain’s 70th Birthday Dinner at Delmonico, December 5, 1905

The Grgurev family denied the eviction request and said it was related to the landlord’s delay in repairing the building’s water damage from Hurricane Ida in 2021.

When the lease expired in December 2022 and the landlord did not renew it, Time Equities then signed an agreement with Grgurev’s former partners, Turcinovic and Licul.

Omer Grgurev’s daughter, Michelle Grgurev, now says her family believes the landlord deliberately let the lease expire so it could be reissued to a new tenant.

The iconic New York restaurant was the facade of the Continental Hotel in the John Wick film series

The iconic New York restaurant was the facade of the Continental Hotel in the John Wick film series

Dinner menu at Delmonico's, April 18, 1899

Dinner menu at Delmonico’s, April 18, 1899

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