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New York Burger Company Hopes to Succeed at 'Cursed Corner'

  • Peter Fedynsky

The corner of 10th Avenue and 23rd Street in Manhattan is considered a great location for a restaurant, but four restaurants failed there over the last 10 years

New York City has every kind of restaurant imaginable, from Albanian to Zambian. A French family of restaurateurs of Romanian and Vietnamese ancestry will soon enter this international mix. They will serve the American hamburger. But although the burger is a perennial favorite, their restaurant will be on a busy street corner with a history of failed restaurants. Some say the location is jinxed, but the family has taken precautions to avoid the worst.

The corner of 10th Avenue and 23rd Street in Manhattan is considered a great location for a restaurant. Except that four restaurants failed there over the last 10 years, including the last one, which lasted only nine months. Some restaurant magazines have said the location is cursed.

But these French siblings are undaunted. They will be partners in the first franchise of the expanding New York Burger Company. Brice Moldovan says their burgers will appeal to the city's multi-ethnic mix.

"There are certain ingredients that put all together are more towards Italian, Mexican, English, whatever they actually like in their own culture and food," explaine Moldovan.

The space is being remodeled to remove all traces of the failed restaurants. But just in case the new décor and menu aren't enough, a local Buddhist priest was asked to bless the premises. And so too were a Roman Catholic priest, who sprinkled the restaurant with holy water, and a Rabbi, who, at the entrance placed a Mezuzah containing words from the Torah, the Jewish holybook. The rabbi said the mezuzah indicates a building has been blessed.

None of the clergymen said they believe in jinxes. They said they bless not just babies and homes, but businesses if asked. Reverend Chodo says a successful business must be conscientious.

"We can call it spirituality, we can call it awareness, but I think both are important to not just be mindlessly bringing products into our city, our country, to our restaurants, but to really understand what it is, where it comes from, how we prepare it, and how it's consumed," said Chodo.

Brice Moldovan promises fresh food, seasonal menus, and prompt service. With such ingredients and a great location, he is confident his new restaurant, which opens December 14, will not be jinxed.