Retailer Brooks Brothers to open steakhouse

Retailer Brooks Brothers to open steakhouse

By Steve Cuozzo

October 7, 2013 | 5:18pm

Brooks Brothers, the “Makers and Merchants” of fine American suits and ties since 1818, is turning its talents on another Yankee Doodle favorite — steak. The legendary apparel emporium plans to launch a huge steakhouse, branded “Makers and Merchants,” at 11 E. 44th St., around the corner from its flagship store at 346 Madison Ave., sources told The Post. The beefery will take over the three levels that Brooks Brothers took over from J. Press in 2008 and used for several years for its women’s line. The 15,000 square-foot space is now vacant, although Brooks’ awnings still hang over tall sidewalk windows.A Brooks Brothers spokesman confirmed the plan, saying the company was “looking at summer 2014” for the opening, but emphasized, “It’s still way out.”

No plans are on record yet with the Buildings Dept., nor has a liquor application been filed with the State Liquor Authority. Nor has Brooks Brothers chosen an operator or management company.

But the chain has ambitious plans for its plunge into the perilous culinary waters. Although Brooks Brothers currently has no restaurants, the East 44th Street beef palace would serve as the prototype for a branded steakhouse line across the US.

The retailer today boasts nearly 300 stores in the US and other countries. It is owned by Retail Brand Alliance, a holding company headed by Italian billionaire Claudio del Vecchio, which bought the chain from Britain’s Marks and Spencer in 2001 for $225 million.

Reps for landlord Aion and leasing agent Newmark Grubb Knight Frank didn’t get back to The Post or declined to comment.

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Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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