The former home of Victoria’s Secret at 2333 Broadway (corner of 85th Street) has sat vacant since November 2021, but new businesses set to occupy the 7,500-square-foot space are finally taking shape.
Panera Bread signed a lease back in June 2022, promising a smooth transition from bras to broccoli cheddar soup for Upper West Side fans of the St. Louis-based mega-chain, which most recently went viral for the shockingly high caffeine content in their “Charged Lemonades.” It’s expected to open at some point this year.
Now, another fast casual joint has entered the equation to make mealtimes more interesting. Naya Middle Eastern Counter & Grill, which currently has a dozen locations in New York City and is also eyeing suburban growth in the tri-state area, inked a deal to secure 1,700 square feet next to Panera.
A representative for Naya confirmed the news to ILTUWS, stating the lease for the “prime corner location” was signed two weeks ago. They are hoping to open up shop in October. Founded in 2010, Naya has developed somewhat of a cult following from the corporate lunch crowd who undoubtedly appreciate a change from the standard sandwich and salad options that traditionally populate the midday dining scene.
According to a previous press release from the brand, their “concept has proven to be very popular, foremost for its taste, with recipes inherited from older generations and refined for modern diners; the consistent quality and freshness of its ingredients; and the simply generous value of Naya’s portions.”
The counter-service spot follows the tried-and-true build-your-own meal method; diners can select a base (including seasonal grains, a pita or a salad), a protein (think falafel, chicken shawarma or cauliflower) and a series of toppings (reviewers rave about the Toum garlic whip and spicy green sauce). There are also a few appetizers such as hummus, baba ganoush and grape leaves. Their official Instagram account offers a closer look at the Lebanese eats.
Landlords for 2333 Broadway were reportedly asking $250 per foot — which would result in an estimated yearly rent of $425,000. There’s still 800 square feet up for grabs.