As the wealthy thrive, the ritzy Rainbow Room returns

The legendary Rockefeller Plaza restaurant shut down during the recession, but it'll soon be catering to the 1% again.

By Aimee Picchi Sep 19, 2013 10:57AM

Guests at New York's Rainbow Room dance on the revolving floor of the restaurant and nightclub on Dec. 17, 1998 (© Suzanne Plunkett/AP Photo)There are many quirky ways to gauge an economy's health, ranging from theater attendance to romance novel sales. But for a glimpse into the well-being of the rich, look no further than the Rainbow Room. 


The glittery landmark restaurant, perched atop Rockefeller Plaza in midtown Manhattan, hit hard times with the financial crisis and closed its doors in 2009.


But now, the restaurant is slated to reopen in 2014, coinciding with better economic times for the country's upper income tiers. The Rainbow Room isn't for the hoi polloi: Even back in 2009, dinner for two would set you back $600, the Atlantic notes.


The new Rainbow Room, which real state firm Tishman Speyer will reopen, will include an outdoor terrace and a bar-lounge open to the public, although the main room will be available only for private diners, the Atlantic said.


The reopening comes amid a bifurcation in America's economic rebound. While the middle and lower classes continue to tread water or even lose ground, the wealthy just keep getting richer. 


The income gap between the top 1% and the bottom 99% is the biggest it has been in almost a century, the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month, citing a study from economists at the University of California at Berkeley, the Paris School of Economics and Oxford University.


While the top 1% (those families with incomes above $394,000 in 2012) saw steeper hits than other income groups during the recession, this group has also rebounded faster, the study found. Incomes of the top 1% leapfrogged by more than 31%, while the earnings for the rest of the country basically stagnated, rising less than half a percentage point. 


Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi. 


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8Comments
Sep 19, 2013 11:31AM
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Dinner for 2 is $600?  How long before someone complains that they don't accept food stamps?

Sep 19, 2013 12:17PM
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Aimee,

So what....  99% wouldn't want to go there anyway.

Hater's gotta hate.

Sep 19, 2013 1:44PM
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The Great Gatsby?

Wev'e come full circle, folks.

Sep 20, 2013 8:33AM
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And aren't all the little low life's jealous.
Sep 20, 2013 11:39AM
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 lol i see aimee deleted my comment!  bwahaha  whats the matter aimee?  is the heat in the kitchen getting too hot for you?  if so then do the world a favor and quit.

 

i cant believe msn pays to copy and paste all day.  you are awful!

Sep 19, 2013 2:58PM
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Today's families make less then in 1989, the wealth of the top 400 continues to climb, and the NFL pays NO taxes. Blow this F****** social experiment up!!! No wonder more and more 'lone gunmen' are taking matters into their own hands. The 'poor' are tired of "eating cake." "LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR!" DO NOT CONFUSE 'HATERS' WITH HUNGER, OR SOCIAL JUSTICE.
Sep 19, 2013 2:46PM
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The people that think they are poor because others are wealthy should look in the mirror first.
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