Restaurant to rise as tower gets built

NEW YORK — Fresh bread will soon be baking high above ground zero.

The new World Trade Center got its first restaurant Wednesday — a sandwich shop at the top of the Freedom Tower under construction.

As the sun rose over the site of the Sept. 11 attack, a lift on a hydraulic jack hoisted the Subway restaurant up the signature skyscraper that marks the rebirth of the trade center's 16 acres. The shipping containers-turned-eatery will open in January and keep moving up as the tower is built to 105 floors.

That was about the height of Windows on the World, a dining institution atop one of the original twin towers with a panoramic view of New York and its harbor.

The Freedom Tower, which has five floors so far, is scheduled to be finished by 2013.

Meals will be offered high in the sky for efficiency; to get food from street level, hundreds of ironworkers now use an elevator and must also climb.

"This amenity will save time by allowing construction workers to stay in the tower throughout their shift rather than having to go all the way up and down," said Candace McAdams, spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that owns the World Trade Center site.

Richard Schragger, who owns the Freedom Tower franchise, said he'll offer extras no other Subway has: hot dogs, hamburgers and New York's famed pretzels.

Like other franchises of the Milford, Conn.-based company, this one will bake its own bread daily — higher and higher above ground zero. As the tower grows, the lift will "jump" to the next new floor along with the restaurant, at a rate of one story about every week or two, engineers estimate.

On Wednesday, nine bright yellow containers, each bearing an American flag, were lifted to the tower's fifth floor. There, they'll be stacked on a hydraulically powered platform near two cranes at the building's core. The resulting three-level structure will house a kitchen with refrigeration, an eating area and storage and trash, with a compost unit to recycle waste.