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Advertise on NYTimes.com Wanted: A New Tenant for the Rainbow Room

THE co-owners of Rockefeller Center have hired a restaurant consultant to find a new tenant for the Rainbow Room after the Cipriani organization’s management of the storied space ends on July 31.

A spokeswoman for Tishman Speyer said the firm had hired Barry Wine to “search for another great restaurateur who will operate the Rainbow Room in a manner befitting one of New York’s most beloved and iconic institutions.” The spokeswoman, Suzanne Halpin, said the firm wanted the space to “house a world-class restaurant.” She added that it had no intention of converting it to office space, as had been rumored.

Mr. Wine would not discuss any of the potential candidates. “I’m looking for the best operators in the world,” he said. “It should be that iconic John D. Rockefeller supper club with all the glamour, so New Yorkers can get dressed up and have a good time. But there is a lot more space than just the restaurant.”

Few restaurants in New York are as celebratory as the Rainbow Room, perched on the 65th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, with its Art Deco chic, skyline views and revolving dance floor.

Michael Whiteman, whose company ran the Rainbow Room from 1987 until 1999, said he thought it would be hard in today’s economy to find an operator for the complex, which includes other restaurants and party rooms on the 64th and 65th floors. Mr. Whiteman cited the high rent, reported to have been $6 million, and the added expense of running restaurants and catering with unionized employees. “Private parties are more lucrative than a restaurant, and right now, luxury spending on lavish events has become vulgar,” he said. 
Category: industry news