Prakas & Co would like to extend a sincere thank you to Alexandra Clough of The Palm Beach Post for covering our recent Madison’s New York Bar & Grill transaction. You can read more of Alexandra’s work here.
Gallaghers Steakhouse of New York is coming to Boca Raton, a move that will bring the iconic Manhattan establishment to South Florida’s sizzling dining scene.
Dean Poll, Gallaghers’ owner, on Monday confirmed the pending expansion, which would be the only company-owned Gallaghers location outside of its iconic midtown Manhattan location in New York’s Theater District. The steakhouse has a franchise location in Las Vegas.
On May 14, Gallaghers paid $16.25 million for a prime, two-acre parcel that formerly housed Madisons New York Bar and Grill at 2006 N.W. Executive Circle. The Boca Raton restaurant building faces Glades Road, just west of Interstate 95 and across the street from the Town Center mall.
Poll said he has owned a Boca Raton condo for many years and is familiar with the South Florida market.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began last year, Florida’s real estate industry has been deluged with home buyers wanting to flee high-tax or crowded urban states in favor of a better lifestyle and lower taxes. Private equity firms and hedge funds also have expanded to South Florida, many of them to West Palm Beach or Boca Raton.
The business and population boom has jolted the area’s restaurant industry. Business at restaurants has picked up dramatically in recent months with the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines, the influx of new residents and the return of tourists. In fact, pandemic-weary patrons have returned to the dining scene with a vengeance, creating crowds at some of the top restaurants in the county.
Dean Poll, owner of Gallaghers Steakhouse of New York.
The area’s robust growth convinced Poll there was demand for his restaurant in the Sunshine State.
“There’s a market in Florida. I’m not oblivious to the fact that Palm Beach County is exploding,” Poll said.
When the Madison restaurant property went up for sale a few weeks ago, Poll moved quickly to lock it down. “The opportunity came to buy this property,” Poll said. “It’s a great location.”
Tom Prakas, of Prakas & Co. restaurant brokers in Boca Raton, represented both sides of the transaction.
Poll said he plans to spend at least a year redoing the former Madison’s restaurant into a style that will bring Gallaghers’ New York ambiance to a Florida setting.
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Diners familiar with Gallaghers in Manhattan can expect the same USDA prime dry-aged beef, grilled over the restaurant’s signature hickory coals.
They also will find other elements of the iconic New York restaurant.
Gallaghers’ meat locker, which famously displays the restaurant’s aged meats, will be a presence in Boca Raton, too. In New York, the window-view meat locker on 52nd Street has become its own photographed destination, with bigwigs and tourists alike posing in front of the meat cuts and sharing social media postings tagged: #GallaghersMeatLocker.
Gallaghers’ Boca Raton interior also will showcase photos of some of the celebrities who have popped in for a visit to the New York location. It’s a feature that provides diners with recollections of days gone by in the Big Apple, as well as a peek into the celebrity world of today.
But as is the case with every restaurant nationwide, Gallaghers was shuttered last year during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. It reopened as soon as it was allowed to in September and slowly saw business grow even though office buildings mostly were empty and Broadway stayed dark.
With New York finally opening up now, shows are set to resume in September.
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Gallaghers’ timeline mirrors key drinking and dining events in the country’s history.
The restaurant began 93 years ago as a speakeasy during 1920s Prohibition. Then came the cessation of Prohibition in the 1930s, a move that led Gallaghers’ founders to turn the speakeasy into Broadway’s first steakhouse.
During World War II, government efforts to limit meat consumption on Tuesdays so upset Gallaghers’ then-owners they decided to shut down on Tuesdays in protest: “Tuesday is meatless and also is eatless,” the owners pronounced.
Poll stepped into the picture when he bought the restaurant in 2013. He spent one year and millions of dollars restoring Gallaghers to its old Old New York glory.
The Boca Raton restaurant will be designed by Boston’s Peter Niemitz Design Group, which handled the New York City Gallaghers’ restoration.
Poll, only the third owner of Gallaghers, has his own storied restaurant history, too.
Born and raised in Long Island, he is part of a restaurant family that has included numerous eateries, including Manero’s in Roslyn, Long Island, N.Y. In addition to owning Gallaghers, Poll operates the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. He’s also in the midst of rebranding William Poll, a catering business started by his grandfather and operated by family members for 100 years.
Like so many landmark properties in the big city, Gallaghers has its history of Broadway stars, film celebrities and sports icons.
The trend continues today: In celebration of Gallaghers’ recent 90th birthday, Academy Award-nominated actor Bryan Cranston, known for his role in the AMC series “Breaking Bad,” showed up to help toast the event, Poll said. The restaurant’s website even features NFL Hall of Famer and Tequesta resident Joe Namath standing in front of the meat locker window.
“There’s always a personality,” Poll said of his dining guests.
Poll plans to recreate the same yesteryear New York environment in Boca Raton, which like New York will serve lunch, as well as brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
But not all things will be the same. In a nod to Florida’s more temperate weather, Poll wants to create 100 outdoor seats at Gallaghers in Boca Raton. The interior dining room will hold another 210 seats.
Despite the new location, Poll said he’s hoping to attract the same diverse customer base as in New York.
“We get business people, we get locals,” Poll said. “We get people who live on the West side, theater people, and tourists. When someone comes to New York, they want to go to a real New York restaurant.”
And with an eye toward the property’s location amid millions of square feet of office space, Poll hopes to attract Boca Raton-area executives who will come to consider Gallaghers a regular meeting place and a warm, clubby atmosphere serving fine food and drink. Poll also plans to build two rooms for private dining.
“We’re not there for a short term, but for the long term,” Poll said. “I’d like to be there for many years.”
In addition to the Madisons restaurant, the purchase also includes a standalone Jared Jewelry store, which will remain, as well as land for a 16,000 square foot office building.
Poll said he is interested in developing the office building, which could accommodate one of the many financial firms moving or expanding to Boca Raton.
Source: Alexandra Clough // The Palm Beach Post