Restaurateur and native New Yorker Drew Nieporent discovered Tribeca in the 1980s, then an overlooked stretch of cast-iron factories and cobblestone streets, when he was looking to open his own restaurant. “I saw a listing for a space I could afford on West Broadway and realized the area was pretty cool,” says Nieporent.
The rest is restaurant history. Nieporent went on to create some of the country’s most acclaimed, influential eateries, including Tribeca Grill, Nobu (and Nobu Downtown), and to attract a slew of famous business partners such as Robert DeNiro.
“I’ve dedicated my restaurant life to lower Manhattan, and I still love it,” says Nieporent. “It might be more tourist-friendly now, but it has maintained its character.”
Whether tourist or local, Nieporent’s top spots for leisure, shopping, dining and sightseeing should be on your must-visit list. He reveals his picks to writer Kathy Passero in Elliman Magazine‘s fall 2017 issue, and we have them for you here.
“The city did a fantastic job cultivating Hudson River Park, which runs north from Battery Park City along the West Side Highway. I walk there whenever I can.”
“People used to get out of the subway, look around, and realize that, other than restaurants, there was nothing here. Now we have everything from clothing stores to curiosity shops. My favorite is Urban Archaeology, which began by restoring salvaged architectural elements and now sells its own lighting, bath, and tile lines and is among the last manufacturers in lower Manhattan.”
“Craving a sandwich? Head to Pisillo Italian Panini for delicious Italian cold cuts served unheated and unpressed. For incomparable bargain-priced noodles, there’s Wo Hop in Chinatown. Or check out Pier A Harbor House, a 19th-century waterfront building now housing a raw bar and beer hall.”
“There’s so much history down here. Don’t miss the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and St. Paul’s Chapel, built in 1766. It served as a base for rescue workers after the World Trade Center attacks. That was a tragic time, but also a moment when everyone pulled together to help each other. Our restaurants are still here and so is lower Manhattan. That’s a testament to the neighborhood’s resilience.”