After ordering soup and a salad, I took some photos. The space is very attractive, especially the rooms facing W. Broadway, because they get lovely light. (The back room on the ground floor is a bit of a cave.) The theme is rustic Americana, with antique tables, lab-style metal chairs, and mismatched plates, and the walls, ceilings, and floors are a patchwork of weathered brick, tin, tile, wood, and pink embossed wallpaper. (Between Tiny’s, Crewcuts, the Theater Bar, Tribeca appears to be having a wallpaper moment.) Servers wear aprons; Johnny Cash plays on the stereo. Everything is just so, and if the styling seemed a touch overbearing, that could be because I didn’t have many other patrons to distract me.
The second floor is a bar—the restaurant’s full name is Tiny’s & the Bar Upstairs—with a few more tables. according to the server sent with me as a chaperone, the third floor is a VIP room that’s currently being used as an office. The rooms are indeed small, and I could only imagine how raucous things would get once the restaurant opened for dinner on May 2. “I can’t wait!” said my chaperone. As I was photographing the American flag over the stairwell, she mentioned that it’s from the Beatrice Inn, as if I might have recognized it from there. I felt old.
I overheard the food described as “American cuisine with an Italian touch”; perhaps the Italian touch will be more apparent at dinner. I enjoyed my lunch very much, but I don’t think it’s fair to talk too much about whether it was good on the first day (even if it was!). But I can give a sense of its complexity: The soup was a sweet potato puree with cubes of apple, brioche croutons, maple cream, and a few celery leaves; the salad comprised greens, baby beets, fried spheres of breaded goat cheese, and parsley. And I loved the homemade animal cracker that came with the check—I only learned when I got home that there’s a partial dessert menu at lunch, so clearly I’ll have to go back soon. (Brunch, by the way, won’t start up until June.)
P.S. Yes, the façade is basically done.
Tiny’s & the Bar Upstairs is at 135 W. Broadway (bet. Thomas and Duane), 212-374-1135; tinysandthebarupstairs.com (the URL doesn’t work yet).