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There are a lot of sad facts in today's New York Times article about the Plaza's downward spiral, but all you really need to know from a shopping perspective is the following: "Alan Victor, president of the retail brokerage firm Lansco, said that while two of his brokers made deals there, he was advising clients not to set up shop there because of the location off Fifth Avenue and the recession."
Of course, Victor's just being prudent. The building's basement retail collection has never really taken off, although last time we checked in, we did spot signs of life around the Demel bakery and the Eloise shop. Celebrity chef Todd English is planning to open a food court down there, but the Times implies that the burgers and pizza he plans to serve might just splatter grease on the Plaza's high-toned reputation.
At least the part of the Plaza that still operates as a hotel is doing fairly well—the Times tells us that "several princes and princesses stayed there last week." Think the royalty did much shopping downstairs? We want to believe that a burger joint might hold some exotic appeal for a foreign princess, but maybe we've just seen Roman Holiday too many times.
· Dream for the Plaza Fades in a Not-So-Gilded Age [NYT]
· Checking Up On The Plaza Retail Collection [Racked]
· Todd English To Add Food Court, Life to Plaza Hotel's Sad Mall [Eater NY]