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Popular Israeli Chef to Replace Caffe dei Fiori with New Spot

  Last modified on April 5th, 2024
rafael replacing caffe de fiori

(Google Maps, May 2019)

Chef and restaurateur Rafael Hasid is planning to open an eponymous eatery at 973 Lexington Avenue, between 70th and 71st streets.

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The space was until recently home to Caffe dei Fiori, which first opened its doors in 2014.

Hasid, who attended a recent Community Board 8 meeting to discuss his plans, is also the owner of Miriam, an Israeli and Mediterranean restaurant with locations on the Upper West Side and in Brooklyn. In June 2020, he opened a to-go version of the restaurant in Tribeca called Homemade By Miriam, but it closed in 2022. He also currently operates 1803, a New Orleans-style eatery with live music, also in Tribeca.

Hasid told East Side Feed during a brief phone call that he initially wanted to open another Miriam location on the Upper East Side. Once he saw the space, though – a split-level layout completely different than his other restaurants – he decided to do something different and create a menu that aligns with the space.

If you’re a fan of Miriam, however, he did tell us that some of the restaurant’s more popular menu items – Green Shakshuka, Lamb Shawarma, Labneh and Hummus – will be on Rafael’s table (though perhaps in a slightly different form). 

The space comes with a backyard patio with sixteen seats. Here are some pics from Caffe dei Fiori in 2022. Hasid says the backyard will be covered and that they won’t be applying for an additional sidewalk cafe.

The board unanimously approved his application (community board votes are advisory only; this means it will proceed to the State Liquor Authority).

Hasid is aiming to open the restaurant in June. We’ll provide updates as we learn more.


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