February 5, 2023

Dueling proprietors have issued opposing statements regarding the re-opening of an iconic New York City restaurant. 

In the latest installment of the ongoing legal tussle over the 186-year-old Delmonico’s brand and building, owners have both given fans hope — and quickly revoked it. 

According to an emailed press release sent last week, the long-standing Financial District institution is set to reopen this autumn for the first time since closing its doors in early 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The new year ushers in the fall 2023 return of Delmonico’s, a historic New York City establishment known for many firsts — the first to use the term restaurant, the first to have a cookbook, the first to serve women sitting at their own table, without men, and the list goes on,” reads the release. “Beginning this month, the beloved NYC steakhouse will undergo an extensive redesign and renovation.”

Not so, though, according to Delmonico’s Instagram, which subsequently posted a contradictory announcement calling the emailed release “false.” 

The historic entrance to Delmonico’s restaurant in downtown Manhattan on a cloudy day in 2019.

delmonicos restaurant reopening ownership beef
Delmonico’s brand and building are the subject of an ongoing legal dispute.
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delmonicos restaurant reopening ownership beef
Stereoscopic image showing the chairs and tables in the otherwise empty dining room of the Cafe Martin at ‘Old’ Delmonico’s, on South William Street and Beaver Street, in New York City, New York, 1904.
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“It has come to our attention that former associates have been misrepresenting themselves to the media as owners of Delmonico’s,” the post says. “This is untrue, and legal action has been commenced against these individuals.”

The post concludes by claiming to have been uploaded by the “sole owners of the trademark and this iconic brand,” who are “actively working” on re-opening, but do not yet have plans to share on the matter. 

The Instagram post, Eater reported, is the work of Ferdo and Omer Grgurev, brothers who won a four-way legal battle in spring 2021, when a court ruled they had full ownership of the steakhouse. The email, meanwhile, came from longtime Delmonico’s employee Dennis Turcinovic, who became the new co-owner of the restaurant this January — when he “signed a new 15-year lease with” landlord Time Equities, a spokesperson told the outlet in a statement.

After Eater’s article published, however, the spokesperson followed up to note that their firm had paused work with Turcinovic — not a great sign for the Delmonico’s ownership contender.  

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