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A division of the Riese Organization has emerged from Chapter 11. The US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District has confirmed the plan of reorganization for National Restaurants Management Inc., a division of the Riese Organization. Dennis Riese, chairman and chief executive officer of the parent company, says this puts the company on its soundest financial footing in its 60-year history. The other restaurant divisions of Riese, including Tad’s Steaks and Friday Ventures were not involved in the bankruptcy.

One of the largest private employers in the city and the operator of 113 restaurants, the company now plans to expand its holdings. It has signed a long-term lease, with an option to buy, for a building at 416 Eighth Ave. near Penn Station, Madison Square Garden and the US Post Office. Plans are to develop a restaurant there once a concept for it has been created. “It will have to service a diverse clientele, people coming out of the Station who might want a sandwich and a cup of coffee, and people going to the Garden who are looking for a steak and a beer,” Reise says.

Then, in the fall, Joe Franklin’s Memory Lane restaurant is slated to open at 713 Eighth Ave. in the Theatre District. Franklin, the self-described “King of Nostalgia” who appeared on local TV for nearly 50 years, will be on hand some of the time greeting guests. The company has also developed other concept restaurants including Martini’s and The Java Shop.

Riese owns a building on the NE corner of 34th and Third Ave. that might be developed as a residential property. Most of the company’s other real estate holding are three-, four- and five-story retail buildings. Why not open restaurants in them? “There are times when third parties will pay us more in rent than we can make running our own restaurant. Right now, the big job in front of me is to infuse the company with cash,” he says. This may involve selling off a few properties.

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