One of the most influential restaurants in the history of New York City dining is open once again — in Florida horse country.
Jennifer Oz LeRoy — the daughter of legendary restaurateur Warner LeRoy — has opened Maxwell’s Plum in Wellington, the equestrian mecca outside Palm Beach.
The original — which was open from 1966 to 1988 on 64th Street and First Avenue — was the height of chic and hosted Gloria Vanderbilt, Bill Blass, Barbra Streisand and Donald Trump when he was an upstart Manhattan real estate developer, among other boldface names.
Aside from its wildly flamboyant owner, it was most famous as the hottest “singles bar” — a style of breezy, brightly lit spots catering to the new brand of “career women,” who, for the first time, could venture into bars and restaurants without a male date.
LeRoy tells us that she thinks the new incarnation is in a similarly historic moment in dating — a post-lockdown, app-fatigued world.
“Everybody meets on the Internet and we’re trying for the social hour,” she said. “Get off your phone, walk into the building and meet people at the bar and meet people at happy hour. Meet people at the brunches and events we do. We do a great party after polo every Sunday, which is a huge social occasion for everybody.”
LeRoy told us she’s had it in mind for years to open a Maxwell’s Plum in New York or Las Vegas, but when her fiancé suggested Wellington — where LeRoy has been riding horses for more than 20 years — might be the right spot, she was surprised to discover that it suddenly made perfect sense.
“The concept (of the original) was that everybody is welcome, there was a high energy, a sexiness to it,” she said. “And if you’ve ever been to Wellington, that’s exactly what Wellington is. It’s a scene — with people from all over the world, because it’s the hub of international equestrianism. It’s the Springsteens and the Jobses and the sexy polo players and all that. Everybody is fabulous.”