New Kid on the Block: Church Publick

Church Publick facade“I want people to know we’re a real neighborhood place,” says Tal Lavi, a partner in Church Publick, now open in the old Mocca space at Church and Reade. “With good food!”

The chef is Joshua Elliott, who has been working at one of Church Publick’s sister pubs, Third Avenue Ale House (the other is Amsterdam Ale House), while the long renovation went on and on. The menu has many options, from snacks to sandwiches to large salads to pastas to entrées. The restaurant is only serving dinner right now, but weekend lunch should start next Saturday, with weekday lunch to follow soon after. (Delivery should be available eventually.)

Beer is likely to be as much of a draw. There are 22 on draft. The list is still in flux, but four will be standard offerings and 18 slots will rotate. “Mostly microbrews,” says Lavi. “And they’ll be ones that aren’t widely found.”

The room, which has a high enough ceiling that there’s room for a balcony with seating (and, in time, a reserve wine and beer room, glassed-off and climate controlled), has been given a touch of patina, with exposed brick and reclaimed wood. Church Publick seats around 88, although it feels like fewer, because the seats are spread out at the bar, bar tables, dining tables, booths, and on the balcony. Most notably, perhaps: no TVs.

The name was going to be Balcony Café, but it was changed when they couldn’t decide whether what they had was actually a mezzanine; besides, the Church Publick incorporates the street name, the way the group’s other pubs’ names do. The “k” at the end of Publick is for old-school zest.

Church Publick is at 82 Reade, 212-267-3000.

Church Public barChurch Publick tableChurch Publick menu folderChurch Publick boothChurch Publick taps Church Publick taps2Church Publick chouffeChurch Publick beer menu1Church Publick beer menu2Recent New Kid on the Block/First Impressions articles:
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  1. went last night and enjoyed really good wines.. nice selection of bourbon as well. had a few share-able snacks which were quite good… looking forward to making this my neighborhood spot- the bartenders were excellent as well.

  2. Did they explain to you who “Kirk” is (the guy who selects the “seasonal” sausages)?

    I stopped by on Friday night a little before 8:00 pm, and asked if they were going to be more a bar or a restaurant, since the crowd looked more drinker than eater. Fifty-fifty, they said. So be warned.

  3. My husband and I are new to the Northeast and have enjoyed exploring different areas of NYC. We saw an outdoor menu, and decided to stop for a beer and appetizers. Really glad we did! The calamari was the best I have ever eaten, and the duck confit quesadillas were surprisingly good. Although I am not much of a beer drinker, I thoroughly enjoyed their pumpkin ale. Highly recommend this place!