Last night’s meeting of Community Board 1′s Tribeca Committee finally brought confirmation of something we’d heard a long time ago—Gunther Bilali of Anchor Bar up at 310 Spring is opening a restaurant at 27 Desbrosses (the southeast corner of Washington).
The attorney said they had come in front of the board in 2012, which I have no record of, and gotten approval for 4 a.m. closing on weekends, but that the State Liquor Authority had sent them back after construction and then post-Sandy reconstruction took so long. The committee wasn’t really buying it, which didn’t appear to surprise the applicants, who said they’d be happy with 1 a.m. Sunday-Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
The other potential sticking point was the mention of a DJ on the application, usually a sign that a restaurant wants to maybe morph into a club. Bilali said it was meant to be like STK in the Meatpacking District, where the DJ plays “low dining music,” which made people who had been to STK laugh. The application indicated it would be “background music,” defined as music that can’t be heard outside the premises, even on the street, and Bilali said that that would be the case, so everyone moved on. (Although look at the floor plans: The downstairs DJ booth is nowhere near the upstairs dining area….) He promised there would be no lining up outside, and after a committee member noted the number of homeless people in the area now, and Bilali said, “We would clean that up.”
None of the nine residents in the building showed up, nor did anyone living nearby, so the committee basically shrugged. The restaurant, to be called 27 Desbrosses Street, is 2,000 square feet, with 48 seats in the dining area and 27 in the bar area. According to the menu, the place is an “American reimagination of the classic restaurants of New York City in the 1920′s. Prohibition-era dishes from the iconic Plaza Hotel, Waldorf-Astroia, and other famous establishments arise re-imagined and re-born.” It looks like straight-up New American to me.
When someone asked if the building was landmarked—it’s not—and everyone realized this was all Ponte territory, Jacques Capsouto said that the block to the north was turning into a hotel (which would be news) and that Related is partnering with Ponte on the block to the west (or at least everything that’s not Arman property), which, if true, would be in addition to its building underway at 460 Washington.
Update: Thanks to McGee for pointing out that I never explained the vote. They voted unanimously to allow for closing hours of 1 a.m. Sun-Thurs and 2 a.m. on Fri-Sat, and I believe the DJ is only on Fri/Sat, although my notes get vague as to whether that made the resolution. Also of note: The chef is “prodigy chef Greg Grossman,” says Grub Street, “the East End kid who got to spend some time at Alinea when he was just 13. He’s now working on a number of projects in the city, where he’s since moved to advance his consulting group.” And someone from that group sent me the updated menu, on black below. Lots of quotation marks….