Beautique has been the backdrop for some of the most pivotal scenes on Real Housewives of New York City this season. It was at Beautique that Bethenny Frankel came face-to-face with her former nemesis Kelly Killoren Bensimon for the first time in years and uttered the line, "That is so 2000 and who cares?" Also at the restaurant, Sonja Morgan infamously asked "What are you doing here without Dorinda?" to Dorinda Medley's boyfriend, John Mahdessian. Basically, Beautique is the place to be for the RHONY ladies and the people behind the hotspot are totally on board. "It's always great for business. I think it's a very iconic show in New York, so being able to have a piece of it is always good for our business, and we are happy to be a part of it," Beautique culinary director Alain Allegretti says during a phone interview.
Owner John Bakshi doesn't have an issue with his restaurant, which opened in Midtown Manhattan in April 2014, being a part of Real Housewives culture, either. In fact, it is a very organic pairing in his eyes. "I knew some of the ladies before from going out in the city. They started to make more frequent visits to the restaurants and we became friends. The good news is that I am actually friends with them all and I really really like them," he says.
So does this mean he wants other shows to set up cameras at Beautique? Not exactly. Bakshi says, "We get offers to shoot shows in here all the time and I usually say no because I don't like to disrupt business. But it's different with the Housewives. I feel like they're just a part of the venue and it's just their scene. It is genuine."
Now that fans are aware of the RHONY presence at Beautique, Bakshi says that a lot of people attempt to casually slip the Housewives into conversations with him: "I notice people who I'm friends with asking if any of the Housewives are showing up tonight. They play that 'Is there anything going on?' card. People know that the ladies frequently dine here, but I'm not exactly sure how that translates to business."
As the old adage goes, "all publicity is good publicity," right? Allegretti seems to agree with that idea and has a glass half-full attitude about it all. He says,
You always have people who are for or against the association. As a professional, you always look for the positive no matter what. We are happy to always enjoy the positive energy and positive talk about this restaurant. We have plenty of people walking in the restaurant because of Real Housewives and there's nothing wrong with that. But they walk back in again and again for the restaurant itself.
I know if I had a restaurant, I would be all about some Real Housewives walking in and possibly causing a scene, which made me wonder if Bakshi and Allegretti were fans of the show itself. It turns out these two are not on my level of devotion. Bakshi says, "I don't watch a lot of television, but I have seen the NYC one a couple of times. I like how it plays out and like to see what's going on since I know the people and they are all extremely entertaining." Allegretti isn't a superfan either, but he does appreciate the show. "It's such an iconic show. It's fun to hear about it," he says.
With a great reputation and a prime location, it makes sense for Beautique to have high-profile clientele. Even if you are not a Bravo fanatic, you would be very impressed by the restaurant's famous customers. Bakhshi says, "It's funny to me how people ask about the Housewives. We just had Bon Jovi here. We hosted J. Lo's birthday at our new Hamptons location." For Allegretti and Bahkshi, all of the customers are important. They make an effort to treat everyone from singers, to reality stars, to normal, non-Bravolebrities, with the same high level of importance.
Bahkshi describes the experience that he wants everyone to have at Beautique, saying, "I try to treat everyone the best that I can. I want to do the best that I can all the time for everyone whether they would be considered a celebrity or not." Allegretti echoes this sentiments: "It's always great to have some big names walking in the door to your restaurant. You have to make sure you are treating them like every other guest to not create any discrepancy of some sort."
Beautique may be a celebrity hot spot, but it's one where you can party like a celebrity or Housewife yourself — and you might even get to see a GIF-worthy RHONY moment go down firsthand!
Images: Beautique (4)