In a daring Upper East Side dining relocation, Campagnola — an “Italian Country Restaurant” at 1382 First Ave. for nearly 40 years — is moving from its tenement-building home to the modern Impala condo tower two blocks north at 1456 First Ave., where its new landlord will be Aby Rosen’s RFR Realty.
It’s a stunning change of venue for Campagnola, which has long drawn celebrities, politicians and law-enforcement bigs who enter through a rustic, arched-ceiling front room. The menu’s hearty southern and northern Italian dishes are attuned to the “country” theme and “meant to be shared,” its website says.
But Meridian Retail Leasing president James Famularo, who brokered the lease for Campagnola owner Curt Huegel, said that Huegel “has leaned on a talented designer, Delphine Mauroit, the owner of DMDesign & Architecture, to capture the soul and ambience of the original” — possibly including the original bar, furniture and artwork.
The new space in a former yoga studio at the base of the tower will have 3,400 square feet “in a perfect L shape” on the ground, Famularo said, plus, 2,000 square feet in the basement. The setup allows the dining area to take up the whole main floor.
He couldn’t discuss terms due to a non-disclosure agreement. The move is expected to take place in about nine months.
The landlord was repped by Brandon Singer of MONA leasing, a brokerage that’s backed by RFR.
Huegel’s company, Host Restaurants, owns several major venues in and out of the city. Among them is the Sefton bar/lounge across the street from the original Campagnola — a lease that Famularo also handled.
Huegel was always known for restaurants, not for bars — but Famularo said he got the idea for Sefton when he noticed lots of Campagnola customers searching for drinks nearby while they waited for their tables.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.