It’s time for another recap of what’s coming to the neighborhood: Part 1 is north of Franklin and east of West Broadway.
Scott Kester and David Lefkowitz are opening a restaurant at 58 Lispenard, in the old Pearl Paint frame shop. While anyone will be able to eat there, The Elevens is funding the endeavor by selling memberships for $500. The full details are here. As for when it might open, The Elevens’s Scott Kester emails, “Summer or fall. We will apply for building permit in January. Liquor license in February. As soon as we raise more money we can start construction. Not likely before March 1.”
ARTISTS SPACE BOOKS & TALKS
Artists Space, the 40-year-old non-profit exhibition space in Soho, is opening an annex at 55 Walker. As you might gather from the name, it’ll be an artists’ bookstore where talks, symposia, and screenings are held. The current plan is for it to open March 1.
No news since the last update: “In September 2009, Masaharu Morimoto presented the CB1 Tribeca committee with a sample menu that included ‘fish and chips, homemade bagels, and fried bananas’ for a restaurant, to close at 4 a.m., at 313 Church (between Lispenard and Walker). In March 2011, a rep said it’d open this summer, but when I checked back in, I was told, ‘We have no news at this stage.’” And that was the same answer on December 19.
Per the last update: “Jesse Eidsness is planning a two-level restaurant in the old Columbine space at 1 White (at W. Broadway). The tasty-looking menu and floor plans are here.” I emailed Eidsness for an update, and she wrote this back: “In complete design/development stages and expected to finish work within the next 6-8 months.”
From the last update: “In May, a Spanish company went before CB1 Tribeca about its plans for a ‘relaxation spa’ called Ancient Bath at 86-88 Franklin. There’s more on what to expect here and here. Given the amount of work that must be required, we can reasonably assume it’s not opening soon.” From what I can tell by peeking in, it’s moving forward but not quickly enough to start looking for your swimsuit.
NEAR AND FAR FOOD COMPANY
There was a liquor-license application to turn 54 Franklin into a restaurant and bar called Near and Far Food Company, but it went before CB1 back in September, and Lafayette Grill and Bar is still open. I didn’t have the stomach to walk in and ask if they were closing anytime soon; we’ll have to just keep an eye on it. The background on Near and Far, from my recap of the September meeting of CB1′s Tribeca Committee, “Robert M. Epstein, Christopher R. Miller, and Caspar S. Ouvaroff (only the latter two were there) are planning a restaurant at 54–56 Franklin, where it hits Cortlandt Alley. Miller is a principal in Warren 77 [....] Miller and Ouvaroff [...] swore it wouldn’t be a sports bar, and that the ratio of food to alcohol would be 70/30; Ouvaroff even said it’d be a ‘family restaurant.’ (Er, like Denny’s?) The lawyer’s position was that they should get a 4 a.m. closing every night of the week because the current tenant, Lafayette Grill & Bar, has had 4 a.m. for 15 years and there have been no complaints. [...] Best moment was when much was made of Ouvaroff’s having graduated from the French Culinary Institute, only to have a member say, ‘I don’t see anything French on the menu.’ (On one hand, that’s not the point of the French Culinary Institute; on the other, did he go there so he could make burgers, fried chicken, nachos, and hot dogs? The menu reads like a list of Foods You Eat to Sop Up Liquor.) They got 1 a.m. on weeknights and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, with the assurance that if they prove to be good neighbors they’ll get more in six months.”