Spanish sandwich chain eats up NY locations

May 9, 2014

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A sandwich chain from Spain, 100 Montaditos, plans to open five eateries in New York City this year with the help of its deep pocketed partners. The brand expects to have a total of 30 locations in the market by 2017.

Two real estate firms, Crown Acquisitions, which owns commercial buildings, and Naftali Group, a residential developer, formed a joint venture a year ago called Mini Hospitality which has the exclusive 100 Montaditos franchise rights in New York.

The Spanish restaurant company arrived in the U.S. a couple of years ago, inking franchise deals for more than a dozen eateries in Florida, Virginia, Iowa and Maryland. There are more than 300 in Spain and other countries.

100 Montaditos’ first New York location debuted at 176 Bleecker St. last year and a second will open this summer at 177 Ludlow St., while a few more are in the pipeline, said Victor Sigoura, chief investment officer of two-year-old Naftali Group.

The firm is led by Miki Naftali, the former chief executive of Israeli-based Elad Properties, which owned The Plaza hotel from 2004 to 2012 and presided over its $1.1 billion redevelopment into residential condos and a much smaller hotel. Mr. Sigoura was also an executive with Elad. Crown Acquisitions is controlled by the Chera family, who owned a chain of children’s specialty stores and amassed a large portfolio of commercial buildings.

The Bleecker Street location, which attracts New York University students, has exceeded the partners’ expectations in the six months it’s been open. The price is certainly right for cash-strapped youths. The small sandwiches (there are 100 varieties) cost between $1 and $3 and salads are $5.50. The self-serve eatery also offers wine and beer for $4 to $6.

“The overall response to the brand has been tremendous,” said Mr. Sigoura.

He expects each restaurant to generate up to $3 million in revenues. While managing the Plaza, Mr. Sigoura and Mr. Naftali developed the Plaza Food Hall by Todd English. “We do have experience with food,” Mr. Sigoura said.