MEATPACKING DISTRICT — Madewell is opening a new store in the Meatpacking District next year, a company spokeswoman said.
The clothing retailer signed a lease last month for a space at 69 Gansevoort St., city records showed. The lease was first reported by the New York Post.
The Madewell spokeswoman confirmed the new store and said the company plans to open sometime in 2016.
The company opened its flagship store on Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron District in 2011, a third Manhattan-based store on Madison Avenue on the Upper East Side last year and a Williamsburg location on North Sixth Street last summer.
69 Gansevoort St. still bears the sign of the R&L Restaurant, the diner that occupied the space from 1938 through 1984, though the current stainless-steel storefront dates back to a 1949 building alteration, according to city records. It was purchased in 1985 by a French restaurateur who opted to keep the historic signage, and is credited in city documents with being "one of the first 'new' businesses in the Gansevoort Market Historic District."
The sign is mentioned multiple times in the Landmarks Preservation Commission's 2003 report designating the area around it — the Gansevoort Market Historic District — a protected city landmark.
The French restaurateur went out of business in 2008, according to the New York Times. His rent, which was once a mere $1,350, was reportedly going to rise to $30,000.
The space was then briefly occupied by a restaurant called Gansevoort 69, whose owners apparently found their attempt to continue the place's existence as a diner untenable in the age of stiletto-heeled supermodels and celebrities frequenting trendy rooftop nightclubs.
“People who go to the Meatpacking District today want to wine and dine,” the owner told the New York Times in 2010. “I think the diner thing has to go.”
The Madewell spokeswoman did not immediately say whether the company plans to keep the R&L Restaurant sign.