Iconic Four Seasons restaurant to auction off entire contents

Four Seasons restaurant, the famed New York restaurant and home of the original “Power Lunch”
Source: Jennifer Calais Smith
Four Seasons restaurant, the famed New York restaurant and home of the original “Power Lunch”

The team behind the classic "power lunch" spot for New York's elite is cleaning house this summer, and everything must go.

The Four Seasons, located on Manhattan's East Side, is shutting its doors when its lease expires. That means that, from silverware and bar stools, down to the entire contents of its wine cellar, co-owners Julian Niccolini and Alex von Bidder will walk away from the more than 50-year-old establishment virtually empty-handed.

The famed Manhattan restaurant had been in business since 1959, feeding many of the biggest names in finance, politics, entertainment, sports and fashion. Objects from the historic interior of the New York restaurant, designed by Philip Johnson for Mies van der Rohe's landmark Seagram building on Park Avenue in New York City,

The items will hit the auction block in July 26.

"Everything, even items designed by these two legendary architects, are on the block," said von Bidder. "This restaurant is a true New York 'character' with all the swagger and understated bravado of the city's most vibrant personalities."

Since its establishment, The Four Seasons garnered acclaim as one of the most talked-about restaurants in the world. Diners were regaled by its modernist interior design, and a veritable 'who's who' list of dining patrons feasted on the best culinary innovations of the subsequent eras.

Regular power brokers commandeered the best tables in the Pool and Grill Rooms. Over the years, bold faced names included Martha Stewart, Steve Rattner, Michael Eisner, Jim Chanos, Mort Zuckerman, Hank Greenberg, Nancy Pelosi and Henry Kissinger.

The 500 lots up for sale include include the Grill Room's banquettes, an original suite of Barcelona seating from the travertine (a type of limestone) lobby, custom Tulip tables with polished bronze tops, and groups of custom Brno chairs. Other objects up for sale will feature custom wine coolers, bespoke tableware, and pots and pans created by L. Garth and Louise Huxtable.

Four Seasons restaurant, the famed New York restaurant and home of the original “Power Lunch”
Source: Jennifer Calais Smith
Four Seasons restaurant, the famed New York restaurant and home of the original “Power Lunch”

Architectural details and fittings, like the large bar, floor to ceiling metal curtains and wood paneling, remain in place and will not be sold. Nor will the works of art that once graced the walls — including a rare tapestry by Pablo Picasso and paintings by Joan Miro, Frank Stella, Jackson Pollack and Mark Rothko.

Brent Lewis, director of Wright Auction House, which will handle the sale, told CNBC "There's a reason [famed architect] Philip Johnson ate lunch there every day! It's hard to think of a restaurant which has had such a broad and definable influence. There is something so inescapably powerful about this space which is so intimate yet so grand."