New York Yankee Steakhouse

Northeast - Retail

Plaza New York Yankee Steakhouse

New York Yankee Steakhouse

Hard Rock International and the New York Yankees assembled an all-star team to launch the flagship NYY Steak restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, located at 7 West 51st Street – just steps from Rockefeller Center. 
Plaza Construction transformed 17,500 square feet, four levels of a former bank located in a city high rise building to emanate the one-of-a-kind culture of this iconic baseball team. The elite steakhouse features multi-level dining areas, a grand staircase and an on-premises butcher shop. 
The first of many striking visuals guests see upon entering the restaurant is a custom-made backlit signature wall containing the autographs of 86 time-honored Yankee players. As the guests look to their left they see a grand staircase connecting the various levels. 
The “Champion Chandelier”, designed by SOSH Architects, hangs over the main bar on the first floor and can be seen from all three levels of the dining room. The fixture uses LED light bulbs to illuminate the glass shade, making it the largest custom energy efficient chandelier of its kind in the United States. Sized at 8’Hx30”Wx30’L, the feature lighting fixture contains more than 8,500 individual overlapping hand-blown glass links in mirror finishes of bronze, gold and chrome. 
On the level above the main floor sits another dining area and identical kitchen. The lower-level butcher shop, where steaks and other meat are aged and butchered, is shielded by glass windows. Also on the lower level, guests find a private dining room that seats 75 people and features a collapsable wall. In the former bank vault sits an intimate 16-seat private room.
A major challenge was to accommodate the proper temperature-controlled environment along with access for the wine room, which is directly over the main exhibition kitchen. Coordinating kitchen exhaust, as well as the MEP and structural elements, was crucial in making the space function flawlessly. An air-conditioned trash room was constructed for daytime storage on the lower level and uses a mechanical lift to bring the garbage up to street at night. 
Temperature control proved to also be a prime concern in the butcher shop, where a meat-aging cooler holds all prime cuts of beef and other provisions such as lamb and pork. The culinary staff order quadrants of steer, full lamb saddles and sides of pork, which remain in the cooler for 21 to 28 days or longer for dry aging. 
For the restaurant, the key to quality control was establishing a proper balance between keeping temperatures anywhere from 33 to 36 degrees farenheit. A humidifier kept the moisture levels between 60 and 65 percent. One of the fundamental concerns was keeping the air pure and allowing it to circulate, wherefore ceiling fans were installed to filter the air flow, killing contaminants so the area surrounding the meat stayed free from bacteria without altering the meat’s aging process. 
Butchering takes place daily on a block table that sits in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment. Restaurant staff encourage NYY Steak guests to walk down a few stairs from the entrance to see aging meat stored in the butcher shop and watch butchers as they perform their craft. 
Oil for the fryers is stored in tanks on the restaurant’s lower level. An arrangement of pipes connects the stored oil to the fryers and discharges used oil back into the tanks. The used oil is later sent to a company that converts it into biodiesel fuel. 
The low-velocity ultra violet exhaust hoods reduce makeup air and exhaust, which helps keep energy costs as low as possible. When the kitchen was built, the exhaust pipes had to be routed to the 17th floor. However, refrigeration compressors sit on the second level. In addition, NYY Steak recycles not only oil but cardboard, plastic and metal containers. 
Additional structural upgrades included new steel framing for the conversion to public assembly floors. 
A large slab opening was created to accommodate the 30-inch tall grand staircase, and steel was erected to house a street-level material elevator with a shallow pit over private dining rooms. 
Plaza worked in conjunction with building management and the tenants to coordinate and schedule the material deliveries, installation of fire alarm sprinklers and an extensive Ansul system, the expansion of electrical loads from the street, and bring gas lines into the building to accommodate the restaurants needs. Plaza coordinated directly with the DOB, FDNY, and ConEd. 
Aside from the infrastructure upgrades, two full galley kitchens on separate levels were established adjacent to the dining rooms with high-end finishes.  Multiple prep kitchens were built throughout the four floors to supplement the main kitchens.  Plaza coordinated the installation of three 100-inch exhaust risers at the back of the building along with an access catwalk on the roof level. Extreme care was used in planning the installment of one of the Steakhouse’s signatures: the dry age meat coolers and on-site butcher shop. 
In addition to the main dining room, over-sized first floor bar, and second level dining levels, Plaza refurbished a bank vault and turned it into a private dining area in the sub-basement along with adjacent banquet rooms. 
One of the major challenges of this project was the logistics of the kitchen equipment deliveries. Care and pre planning ensured that the materials were fabricated to facilitate a quick delivery through the inadequate elevators and occupied building. Mechanical equipment was broken down, cataloged and labeled off-site to be reconstructed in place due to limited access to mechanical rooms and roofs. 
During construction, Plaza managed the tight 24-week schedule to assure the TCO was obtained within the dates established and marketed by the restaurant for grand opening events. 
The breakdown is as follows: Lower level 3 with private dining rooms, including the Vault: total area, 2,950 sq. ft.; food service area, 985 sq. ft.; seating area, 1,750 sq. ft.; and office space, 215 sq. ft. 
Lower level 2 with butcher room, main prep kitchen and ware washing: total area, 3,400 sq. ft.; food service area, 1,360 sq. ft.; lobby area, 915 sq. ft.; and trash storage, 150 sq. ft. 
First-floor main dining level with open kitchen, dessert pantry, lounge bar: total area, 3,200 sq. ft.; bar area, 525 sq. ft.; food service area, 875 sq. ft.; and seating area, 1,790 sq. ft. 
Second floor with open kitchen and service bar: total area, 3,200 sq. ft.; food service area, 750 sq. ft.; and seating area, 1,900 sq. ft. 
Mezzanine level with wine storage and display: total area, 240 sq. ft.; display area, 110 sq. ft.; and storage area, 130 sq. ft. 
Seats: 235 in dining rooms, including 117+ on first level and 92 on second level, a private dining room with a collapsible wall that can seat 75 people, and an intimate 16-seat private room in the former vault. The bar contains 17 seats at the counter and tables.

Client Hard Rock International/New York Yankees
Design firm SOSH Architects
Location New York, NY
Type Retail
Size 17,500 SF

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