NYC's power breakfast wars

September 24, 2015 – 07:57 am

THE PRINCE REGENT: Michael Stillman's Park Avenue is the official stand-in for the Regency, but a host of uptown restaurateurs are challenging his rule.Hotelier Jonathan Tisch is having trouble sleeping at night. Ever since it was announced in September that his Loews Regency hotel — the city’s reigning power breakfast spot since 1975 — would close in January for a yearlong renovation, he feels like a hunted man.

“At 4 a.m., when I think of the scale of the Loews Regency’s renovation, and I think of closing to do this for the first time in our history, I worry about [our clientele] becoming more comfortable in other venues, ’’ says Tisch, sitting at his office overlooking the hotel, on Park Avenue and 61st Street, owned since 1963 by his family.

Tisch has a right to worry. Two short avenue blocks away, Sirio, the new restaurant at the Pierre Hotel run by power host Sirio Maccioni, is planning to open tomorrow — and he’ll be serving breakfast. With blueberry pancakes, eggs Benedict and frittata mozzarella, he hopes to lure Tisch’s regulars, including Al Sharpton, Andrew Cuomo and media honchos like CBS head Les Moonves, to his place for good.

“The Tisch family are dear friends, but business is business, ’’ shrugs Sirio’s son Mario Maccioni.

Meanwhile, 10 blocks south, the Four Seasons is also plotting to offer a morning meal.

“A couple of years ago we wanted to open for breakfast, and now I’m convinced it’s the right thing to do, ” says Four Seasons co-owner Julian Niccolini. “We have a tremendous chance to capture that audience.”

Others are circling the carcass, waiting to pick off VIPs.

Michael McCarty’s expertise handling a high-powered a.m. crowd is nothing to scoff at. He’s long played host to a cast of media titans at Michael’s, his art-filled restaurant on West 55th Street, where breakfast regulars include Isaac Mizrahi and Harrison Ford.

“I have some customers that have two breakfasts — one meeting after another, ” says McCarty. “People say they do more business over breakfast than in a full day at the office. And chance meetings can turn into deals — if you could see the crowd and watch the dynamic of the room, it’s astounding.’’


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