Co-working spaces inside restaurants

- During the day, Daniel Boulud's DBGB kitchen and bar in the East Village is closed for lunch. But look inside and you'll find people hunched over laptops or holding business meetings. It's all part of a new startup called Spacious that's turning empty restaurants into on-demand offices for the city's telecommuters.

Preston Pesek is co-founder and CEO of Spacious. He says freelancers and folks that don't have an office aren't really getting the best experience setting up shop at coffee joints. Problems like overcrowding and slow Wi-Fi cause headaches for people trying to get work done.

"We wanted to create a space that was comfortable that you could actually come and be here without necessarily having to consume something just to occupy the space," Pesek said.

DBGB was the first and only restaurant to sign on with Spacious. But at the end of the month, Spacious is adding L'Apicio around the corner. And the company announced it is adding public in SoHo with many more in the works.

"Ground-floor retail restaurants that are closed until 5 or 6 p.m. -- it's the highest value property that's been programmed the least efficiently," Pesek said. "And it's beautiful space. Like there's no reason why it shouldn't be activated and used and experienced by the people who live in the city."

For $95 a month, members get unlimited access to all their locations, business class Wi-Fi, power, unlimited coffee, and some truly unique workspaces. There is also a $29 day pass option.

Mike Favazzo is the general manager at DBGB.

"You now it's people that are coming in to the space at a different time of day in a different light with a different feel, but they do come into the space and feel it and feel comfortable in it," Favazzo said. "And ultimately that actually translates to some degree and it has already translated into people coming back for dinner."

And it's not just about getting more customers in the door. Pesek said Spacious's profit-sharing model can save some serious money for their restaurant partners.

"With the member base that we've seen so far, we anticipate that we can basically cut real estate costs in half for a restaurant operator," Pesek said.

Long term, Spacious hopes removing that financial pressure from restaurants will actually help improve the culinary scene around the city.

"In those cities where we are, the people who live in those cities are going to see better, more innovative menus because the chefs are going to be able to actually do more interesting things," Pesek said.

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