I’ve known for a while that Duane Park is moving to the Bowery—in an interesting partnership with the Bowery Poetry Club, as explained in a post on EV Grieve—but I’ve stayed quiet as a favor to the folks at the restaurant. It’s one of the few places where the staff knew me by name, long before I started this website. Back when I was working in an office, Duane Park Café—as it was known then—was where Adam and I would go to decompress on Friday nights; the food was good (still is), the welcome was always warm (still is), and the place was often dead in a way that was a total relief. Consequently, however, it wasn’t a huge surprise when, a few years ago, then-manager Marisa Ferrarin bought the place and gave it a glam makeover. She didn’t want to leave, she told me today. The restaurant had been on Duane Street, in one form or another, for 25 years (and Marisa has been involved for 20). But the building’s owner raised the rent to an extent that she felt she had no choice.
The Tribeca Duane Park will be around till early fall, when it’ll take a couple weeks off to get things in order in the new location at 308 Bowery (below Bleecker). As EV Grieve notes, the Bowery Poetry Club will have the run of the place on Sundays and Mondays, when Duane Park has traditionally been closed.
The current version of Duane Park has also been a favorite of ours, although—somewhat inexplicably—we only recently made it to the weekend burlesque show. I’m normally wary of being in a room where someone (else) has a microphone, but I loved it. Loved it! Emcee Murray Hill was a riot, and I don’t tend to find comedians funny. And the music was a delight—the woman pictured at top (whose name I forget, alas), tore through “Summertime,” among other numbers. You’ll still be able to enjoy the fun above Canal—Marisa said that exciting plans for the opening are taking shape—but I’d suggest you go now. There was something about this ridiculousness happening in staid Tribeca that made it even more delectable, at least to me.