Preferred had originally partnered with former Michelin-starred chef Alex Stratta to create Tapas by Alex Stratta inside this space, before their unexpected, amicable break-up in January. Citing differences of vision, Stratta has since moved his tapas concept a few hundred yards away into Angelo Sosa's former Poppy Den space and construction is well underway.
Social Bistro's progress is much further along, promising a "very soon debut" and close to offering "California Inspired, family style, American cuisine....Socializing encouraged."
The quick changeover was helped by the Stratta-era work on the 2,700-square-foot footprint and Pizza Lounge previously investing "more than $750,000 on tenant improvements and equipment."
Preferred Brands operates a dozen franchised Capriotti's Sandwich Shops and a portfolio of Papa John's pizza stores. Before the split with Stratta, they were also working on Alex Stratta Italian Steakhouse at the Gramercy, which the chef still promises will debut this year at the residential and retail complex.