Luke’s Lobster Is Expanding to the Upper East Side


Kids, they grow up so fast these days! Scarcely six months after opening Luke’s Lobster on East 7th Street, Luke Holden and his business partner, Ben Conniff, are planning to expand to the Upper East Side.

Diner’s Journal reports that Holden, who’s 26 and until last Wednesday was still working as a banker while slinging lobster rolls, will be taking over the former Etats-Unis space on East 81st Street to open a second, larger outpost of his diminutive lobster shack. The Upper East Side Luke’s will have 20 to 30 seats and more menu items, such as French fries, fried clams and shrimp, and possibly lobster and crab cakes.

Although the neighborhood may seem an unlikely destination for the restaurant, given the original’s decidedly low-key product and aesthetic, Holden’s apparently moving to avoid poaching his own customers, and also likes the area’s “nice bars and restaurants” — which sounds, come to think of it, a lot like the East Village.