In Historic Move, Bari Restaurant Equipment is Relocating its Manufacturing off the Bowery
Another big change is happening on the Bowery. And it’s indicative of the overall trend taking hold.
Bari Restaurant Equipment, the eight-decade-old restaurant supplier on the Bowery, is shifting some of its resources away from the thoroughfare. The Bari family is reportedly moving the manufacturing arm of its business from the headquarters building, instead relocating across the Hudson to New Jersey. As it stands, this function encompasses both 234 Bowery and 5 Prince Street, the two buildings it purchased last summer for a combined $12.3 million. Its famed pizza equipment is assembled and maintained in these connected storefronts.
Evidence of this shift appeared late last week in the form of a subtle leasing sign.
“The real estate market does not warrant manufacturing in NYC,” owner Frank Bari told us in an email. “We were/are probably one of the last [commercial manufacturers] to do so. But Bari will be around [the Lower East Side] for a while.”
The goal is to get pretty much any kind of tenant except food. Retail or gallery is the likely choice. No restaurants.
Bari’s supply business was established in the 1940s by Nicola Bari, a radio repairman and purveyor of cheese graters. In the ensuing years, the focus became restaurant supplies of all sorts, albeit with a focus on pizza ovens and refrigeration units. Their block-spanning flagship is a veritable gold mine, and gave the community a scare some eight years ago when the building – about 67,000 square-feet of buildable real estate – was placed on the open market.