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Hotel Chelsea Buys Beloved El Quijote Restaurant

By Mathew Katz | June 18, 2014 11:49am | Updated on June 20, 2014 4:22pm
 Chelsea Hotels CEO Ed Scheetz, left, bought El Quijote from longtime owner Manny Ramirez, right.
Chelsea Hotels CEO Ed Scheetz, left, bought El Quijote from longtime owner Manny Ramirez, right.
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Chelsea Hotels

CHELSEA — The Hotel Chelsea's new owner is taking over El Quijote, the 84-year-old Spanish restaurant on the hotel's ground floor that is beloved by tenants and locals.

The landmark hotel's new owner, Chelsea Hotels CEO Ed Scheetz, bought the restaurant as part of the ongoing renovation at the Chelsea, a spokesman said. The sale was first reported by Eater

"The overall goal is to retain the signature [classic Spanish] look and feel of El Quijote while maintaining its authenticity and history, which are already woven into that of Hotel Chelsea," said a spokesman, announcing the sale.

Longtime El Quijote owner Manny Ramirez supported the sale and will remain "very much involved" in the restaurant's operations, the spokesman said. The restaurant's classic menu, with specialties including paella and lobster in green sauce, will remain the same.

Ramirez could not immediately be reached for comment.

Chelsea Hotels declined to disclose the amount of the sale.

First opened in 1930, El Quijote has been a longtime meeting space for tenants, who frequently had meals there when organizing against former landlord Joseph Chetrit, who they said caused a multitude of problems while renovating the hotel. Since Chetrit bought the historic spot at 222 W. 23rd St. in 2011, rumors have swirled about an eventual closure of El Quijote. 

Scheetz's Chelsea Hotels, formerly known as King & Grove, bought the hotel from Chetrit in August 2013 and will now take over the restaurant as well. The look of the space will largely remain the same, the spokesman said, but it may get some mechanical upgrades.