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Smith & Wollensky on its way out

I'm told that the asking price for rent at the Rittenhouse Hotel is $600,000 a year.

Updated 5/23/15:

Smith & Wollensky, the swank chain steakhouse in the Rittenhouse Hotel (210 W. Rittenhouse Square), will end its 15-year run this summer, and its prime space is up for grabs.

The restaurant's last night of service will be May 23.

S&W, which succeeded Nicholas Nickolas in 2000, is still very much open.

The real estate flyer from the McDevitt Company says the 10,250 square feet over 2½ floors will be available in "summer 2015."

A source tells me that the asking rent is $600,000 a year. Giving that many restaurant bean-counters aim their rents at 6 percent of gross sales, an occupant would need to budget for $10 million in annual business. If that figure seems astronomical, Stephen Starr says his Parc, his bistro just across the square, grosses in excess of $12 million a year.

Hersha Hospitality Trust bought the hotel in 2012 and has been renovating it, as Center City's upper-end hostelries gear up for the Four Seasons' closing in June. A Hersha rep acknowledged that the space is being marketed. Lacroix at the Rittenhouse, on the hotel's second floor and run by the hotel, would be unaffected.

Among Smith & Wollensky's claims to fame is that it was a hangout for actor Mel Gibson in late 2001 while he was in Philadelphia filming the movie Signs. A fan who later wrote about it says her meeting with him changed her life, and not because of the back rub that he gave her.