The Gotham West Market, Manhattan’s newest, large-scale collection of high-end food and drink purveyors—as well as one of the city’s most respected bike shops—opened for business this past December. The Market, part of the luxurious (and also brand new) Gotham West apartment building, contains dining areas, store fronts and learning spaces from Blue Bottle Coffee, The Brooklyn Kitchen, Cannibal, El Colmado, Genuine Roadside, Court Street Grocers, Little Chef, Ivan Ramen, and NYC Velo.
We’ve already covered NYC Velo’s take on the Gotham Market experience; and there are plenty of articles praising the dishes and services offered by the food and drink vendors. So, we at The Manual wanted to take a look at some of the bigger picture thinking behind the Market as a whole.
We chatted with Chris Jaskiewicz, the COO of the Gotham Organization (the developers of the Gotham West apartments and Market), to find the story behind this new addition to Manhattan’s far west side.
When and why did the Gotham West Market first originate?
Well, the original plan for the apartment building started back in 2011, and we broke ground on the development in 2012. It was around that time that we started reaching out to possible chefs and vendors to be incorporated into the Market.
Was the vision for the project always the same? Did the type of vendors you wanted change along the way?
We did extensive research into the type of people and the type of food we wanted represented in the Market. The Gotham Organization has a long history of high-end developments and we wanted to make sure that was the case here as well. So, we made sure that the chefs and owners we spoke to fit in with that mindset of ours. We wanted people that would be willing to work as a part of “team” concept to benefit the Market overall; benefit the diversity of the services we could offer our residents as well as anyone traveling to the Market as a destination.
What kind of relationship does the Gotham Organization have with the chefs at each of the restaurants in the Market?
During the entire process, we had very open and honest relationships with each of our purveyors. We were meeting with these people once a month for about twelve months to ensure that we were all on the same page with how each vendor would be represented and how the entire Market would be represented and work together. We all worked very closely.
We’ve already interviewed Andrew Crooks of Velo NYC. Why was it so important to have a bike shop incorporated into the Market?
To put it simply: the Hudson bike path. I mean, you have the longest greenway in Manhattan right outside of our building and we wanted to encourage our residents to be a part of that. NYC Velo is one of the most respected bike shops in New York and we thought that our residents and anyone visiting the Market would value their level of service and expertise.
So far, is there any aspect of the market that is your favorite?
I like walking around the Market from about 10 AM to noon. I recommend that anyone visiting the space go at those hours. I say that because you get to see all of the preparations that the chefs, these highly trained and highly skilled professionals, make before the business of the day. We wanted our residents and guests to have a full view of our chefs at work and I just find the preparation process especially interesting.
Do you have any future plans for the Gotham West Market as it moves beyond its first year of existence?
Just constant improvement. We are always looking to make things better. We’ve already been improving the signage around the Market so that residents and guests can orient themselves better. We’re also preparing and adding seating for the upcoming warm weather when we can open the glass and take advantage of that space.