If you’ve walked past 34th Street and Eighth Avenue on your way to do some holiday shopping, you may have noticed Lucy’s Cantina Royale. The restaurant, often packed during happy hour, is owned by John Meadow (who also owns neighborhood spots Lugo Caffe and Local). We spoke to him about his newest place.
Describe the food. It’s bar food with a Mexican twist. We want to compete with Chipotle for lunch.
Why is this a good area for business? It’s such a cross-section of demographics — there’s a commuting population, people from Madison Square Garden, office workers. It’s challenging and exciting.
What kind of atmosphere were you going for? We don’t want to be a theme restaurant, but we wanted to have a focus, with buoy lights and surfboard tables, and a food line that looks like a taco truck. We wanted a Baja vibe. Starting in the spring, we’ll open the second floor, which will have an urban sand pit a hammock and tiki huts.
1 Penn Plaza, 212-643-1270, Daily, 11:30am until close (as late as 4 a.m.). The kitchen is open until midnight.