Volume 76, Number 9 | July 19 - 25, 2006

In the Meat Market

A special Villager supplement.

Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel

A sidewalk construction shed is detracting from the dining experience at Markt

Markt may not be long for the Market

Florent Morellet’s eponymous Gansevoort St. restaurant, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, was one of the pioneering Meat Market eateries long before the area was hip, when it was better known for S&M clubs. Markt, the Belgian restaurant, which opened at 14th St. and Ninth Ave. seven years ago, was the first of a new wave of eateries that have proliferated as the district has turned into a more mainstream nightlife destination. With a tasteful European-style interior, Markt has been a popular location, featuring heaping seafood towers, steaming bowls of mussels and fruit-infused Belgian abbey-style beers. But after the building’s recent change in ownership, Western Beef supermarket will be moving to W. 16th St., while Markt will be forced to close. New owners, Taconic Investment Partners, have their own ideas for the space, for a different kind of retail on the ground floor and offices or possibly residential apartments, above. Markt thought it had a 15-year lease — interpreting it as saying they only had to leave if the entire building was redeveloped residentially. Markt sued to stay, but lost in court. Annie Washburn, Meatpacking District Initiative executive director, feels it’s a shame Markt is going. “It’s a good gateway to the Meat Market,” she said. “It engages people. It has tables on the street, open doors. I will be devastated, personally, if they leave.” She said the scaffolding recently erected around the building seems another way to force Markt out. The building’s upper floors are currently being renovated, with larger windows being installed.

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