FiDi Acquires Taste Of Roti With NYC Rollout Slated
Scoop reflects on the ongoing upgrade of FiDi’s casual-eating scene, as Roti Mediterranean Grill will launch its first New York outpost at 100 Maiden Lane in January. The “healthy and affordable” chain with 16 locations in Chicago and Washington, DC, has signed a lease for 2,000 square feet in a former bank space – how’s that for a switch? – on the ground floor of the rental apartment building. Roti Chairman Mats Lederhausen described the chain’s philosophy as “basically fast food with no guilt.” The menu boasts “robust flavors” of the Mediterranean such as olive oil and legumes, and includes freshly cut roasted meats, salads, sandwiches and traditional sides like hummus and couscous. The Roti deal typifies the measured advance of the FiDi restaurant world. Despite promises of future culinary nirvana at the World Financial Center and the World Trade Center, there’s still precious little “fine dining” except for steakhouses, which keep multiplying even though residents are starved for better seafood, Italian and Asian choices. Major league uptown restaurateurs continue to avoid the area for several reasons including the false perception that there aren’t enough customers and the accurate one that available spaces tend to be too big (as former bank vaults) or too small and narrow. Even so, there’s tremendous momentum where lower-priced eateries are concerned – a quantum leap over Wall Street’s old greasy spoons and ethnic spots. Better quality chain operators such as Pret A Manger, Financier and Chipotle are replacing the dives from river to river. Uptown restaurateurs including the Fresco-owning Scotto family have launched thriving low-priced outfits mainly for lunch and takeout.
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