Heartland Brewery is on an expansion tear.
In November the pub will open its seventh restaurant in the city, in the Port Authority building. It’s taking over space recently vacated by Metro Marche, a three-year-old brasserie that was ultimately too upscale for the bus terminal.
Owner Jon Bloostein says he is close to inking a deal for another restaurant in lower Manhattan and is seeking a spot for one more eatery in the borough.
“It’s a little scary to be opening restaurants in this economy,” he said, “but there are some opportunities available today that were not there one or two years ago when landlords didn’t want to talk to restaurants.”
He says his company is able to fund the expansion using cash from its current operations, which include five Heartland Breweries and one HB Burger.
At the Port Authority location, Mr. Bloostein is opening a Heartland Brewery and being careful to avoid the mistakes of Metro Marche. He is spending about $2 million to renovate the space, including design changes aimed at differentiating the restaurant from the terminal.
“We submitted many plans to the Port Authority,” said the restaurateur, who negotiated the deal over the past 10 months.
The new Heartland Brewery will have flower boxes that will be lit from below and contain ivy along its Eighth Avenue entrance and alongside the façade of the restaurant’s West 41 Street side.
The restaurant’s pricing will also help the eatery. The average per-person check will be about $20 compared with the $36 per person check at Metro March, according to Zagat Survey.