Renowned New York City restaurateur Keith McNally nearly banned a brazen real estate developer who barged into his iconic Balthazar on Sunday, revoking the gentleman’s VIP status on social media for all to see Sunday.
The statement came after Michael Shvo waltzed past wait staff earlier that day and sat himself at the SoHo eatery’s best table.
‘A disagreeable incident occurred at Balthazar today,’ McNally said in a preface to a scathing statement posted on Instagram Sunday night, after learning from one of his maître d’s that millionaire mogul Shvo arrived at the establishment for a one ‘o clock reservation but did not wait to be seated.
Instead, Shvo, 48 – one of the main players in the Manhattan real estate scene – waltzed past restaurant staffers and sat himself, the staff said.
‘How F. presumptuous!’ McNally, 70, said, adding that Shvo’s ‘obnoxious, entitled behavior is the Height of Arrogance.’
Brazen businessman Michael Shvo (pictured third from left, with wife Seren by his side) has been known to frequent a slew of the boroughs most distinguished eateries, including Wall Street’s posh Cipriani and McNally Balthazar’s. Here he accompanied by his wife, Margot Adams (far left), and renowned New York publisher Jason Binn
Renowned New York City restaurateur Keith McNally (pictured at left) had some choice words for millionaire mogul Shvo (pictured at right) Sunday, after the bigshot developer barged into McNally’s iconic restaurant Balthazar Sunday
The brazen CEO, seen here with wife Seren, is widely known as ‘the bad boy of real estate,’ known his celebrity-studded launch parties and 24-hour sales offices
The fuming foodie – who has been active in the New York City restaurant scene since the 1980s and has an estimated net worth of about $18 million – then implored Balthazar staff to ‘Please have Mr Shvo’s AA status torn to shreds.’
‘AA’ is an acronym for ‘always accommodate,’ an in-house grade used by restaurant staffers to classify a VIP’s importance.
Shvo, a brash but successful businessman who hails from Israel, currently heads a successful real estate company – eponymously named SHVO – that boasts a portfolio of more than $7 billion, including residential, hospitality, and commercial space.
McNally posted a scathing statement to social media Sunday night after learning from one of his maître d’s that millionaire mogul Michael Shvo arrived at the establishment for a one ‘o clock reservation but did not wait to be seated
The brazen CEO, who’s been often referred to as ‘the bad boy of real estate,’ is known his celebrity-studded launch parties and 24-hour sales offices.
In 2018, Shvo pleaded guilty to criminal tax fraud in the second and third degrees, after amassing a $3.5 million debt to the state of New York in back taxes – despite driving a Ferrari and a $400,000 Rolls Royce.
He currently lives in Midtown Manhattan at the landmark Time Warner Center building – which boasts the city’s most expensive rental property, a penthouse that costs $125,000 a month to rent – just outside Columbus Circle, with his wife, Seren, and their two children.
The brazen businessman has been known to frequent a slew of the boroughs most distinguished eateries, including Wall Street’s posh Cipriani and McNally Balthazar’s.
Balthazar maître d’ Sydney Tennant relayed the encounter with Shvo to his boss Sunday, explaining how the mogul arrived at the restaurant for a scheduled reservation but instead of waiting to be seated by workers, he went straight to the establishment’s best table.
‘Today Michael Shvo, AA, had a reservation at 1:00,’ Tennant said.
‘Rather than waiting to check in at the maître d stand, we walked right past us and sat himself at the best table – booth 60.
‘When I went over to see what was going on, he dismissed me saying he always got a booth and that he assumed it was going to be his table.’
Balthazar, a New York City fixture in SoHo since 1997, requires patrons to check in with wait staff before entering the establishment
Tennant let the brazen move go unchecked but was left unsettled by the incident, ‘given the vaccine mandate and certain booth/table requests,’ and the fact that all Balthazar guests, regardless whether they are VIPs or not, are required to check in with restaurant staff as they enter.
‘I don’t think this behavior should be overlooked,’ Tennant told Balthazar staff after the incident.
Former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter felt McNally’s wrath in May, after the famed journalist made a reservation for 12 at one of McNally’s eateries and failed to show up
The staffer then notified his bigshot boss – who recently banned famed journalist Graydon Carter from one of his many establishments for not following through with a reservation – who then responded with the irate Instagram post late Sunday night.
‘If he ever Tries to seat himself again, he’ll join Graydon Carter on Balthazar’s 86 list,’ McNally said, referencing slang phrase widely used by restaurant staffers to indicate an item that is no longer available to guests to threaten Shvo with a lifetime ban.
It’s likely not an empty threat, either.
McNally, whose net worth is approximately $18 million, banned Carter, a former Vanity Fair editor, from his eateries – which include Manhattan fixtures Augustine – Cafe Luxembourg, Cherche Midi, Lucky Strike, Minetta Tavern and Morandi – in May after the journalist made a reservation for 12 at Morandi and failed to show up.
The restaurateur slammed Carter as a ‘fancy F**ker’ after the slight, saying the journalist ‘will never be allowed to make a reservation at one of my restaurants again.’