|The landlord at E. 57th St. has told Sofrito to leave by the end of the year.|
Hotspot Sofrito, a Favorite of Jennifer Lopez, Diddy, Jennifer Lopez and More, Is Told To Vacate
Ill will with landlord looks to end the run of Upper East Side hotspot partly owned by Carlos Beltran that's a magnet for celebs
So now where will Jennifer Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Diddy, Carmelo Anthony andVictor Cruz hang out?
Confidenti@l has learned that the Upper East Side institution Sofrito, the famed Puerto Rican celeb hangout partly owned by Yankee Carlos Beltran, is losing its lease at the end of the year.
We’re told that real estate firm Stonehenge, which owns the building at 57th St. and First Ave. that has been home to Sofrito since 2006, has sent restaurateur JR Morales a letter saying that “the lease for your premises will expire on Dec. 31, 2014 … and your lease will not be renewed. Please make all necessary arrangements to vacate.”
“We’re looking for locations now in the city,” Morales tells Confidenti@l, “but it’s very difficult to find a location of that magnitude and size where I’m going to be able to employ the same amount of people and not have to let anybody go.”
The plan calls for Sofrito to move, but even a brief closure would be a blow to the local Puerto Rican community and a shock to the restaurant’s long list of celebrity fans.Morales believes his landlord wants him gone because the noise bothers the building’s other occupants. “Obviously, I’m sure they want to be able to increase the rent to market value, whatever that may be,” he added.
Sofrito has had a steady following for years, but gained a higher profile in 2010 after Beltran bought a stake. Beltran, who had introduced his former Met teammates Jose Reyes, Ruben Tejada and Ike Davis to the restaurant, has said that he orders the restaurant’s sancocho, a traditional stew, when he misses his mother.
Giants star Cruz has said the eatery, which also has a location in White Plains and a sister restaurant, Sazon, in the city, is a must-visit spot for fans coming to town for games. He says he drops by almost every time he comes into Manhattan from his home in New Jersey. Other New York sports legends like Darryl Strawberry and Doc Gooden are also fans of the food.Foxx was once spotted dining there three nights in a row. Carmelo Anthony has been known to take his wife, La La, there for date nights, and Marc Anthony has hosted celebrations there.
A rep for the landlord said, “Stonehenge will not be renewing the lease with Sofrito and we wish them the best of luck at their new location.” A rep for Beltran declined to comment. — DailyNews