Simon Oren Aims to Take Over Former Eighty One Space

Eighty One Photo: Noah Sheldon

Simon Oren, a partner in Nice Matin, Marseille, Barbounia, and Five Napkin Burger, is close to a deal to take over the space that housed Ed Browns Eighty One at 45 West 81st Street, and open it as a mid-priced Italian restaurant. I am almost done with the lease now and I don't want to jinx it, Oren told us. I am hunting for a chef and choosing partners. As for the concept, It's all in the making now, said Oren. He plans to reopen the 180-seat restaurant before Christmas.