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Riese group buys restaurant site in NYC

NEW YORK The Riese Organization, one of the largest restaurant operators and real-estate management companies in New York City, said this week it had exercised an option to purchase a two-story building in midtown Manhattan for $4 million.

The property, located adjacent to Madison Square Garden at 416 W. 31st St., measures 2,500 square feet, and can be expanded under the city’s present zoning code to nearly 21,000 square feet, Riese officials said. Riese did not detail its plans for the space, which is currently occupied by a Brother Jimmy’s barbeque restaurant, which is not a Riese operation.

In 2000, Riese leased the property from Penn Bar & Grill Inc. for a term of 10 years with an option to buy after eight years at the fixed price of $4 million, a price that was considered high at the time but by today’s standards is significantly lower than current market values, Riese said.

Riese operates about 80 restaurants in New York City under the T.G.I. Friday’s, Houlihan’s, Pizza Hut and KFC brands. Its proprietary concepts include Charley O’s, Tads Steaks, Nedicks, and Lindy’s.

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