Seen & Heard: Gee Whiz’s Downsizing Is Bigger Than We Thought

••• Gee Whiz has closed fort two weeks for its downsizing. Last month, I must’ve misunderstood the proprietor when I heard that the restaurant was keeping the Greenwich side. “The downsizing is even bigger than we thought,” reports a reader. “Basically, most everything along Greenwich Street will be gone. If you stop by today you will see them ripping out the seats. So all that will remain will basically be the corner of Greenwich and Warren. Not clear whether that other area they closed off on Warren will be part of the place or not. Oddly enough, this means they are shrinking to their pre-2001 size. The area they are abandoning on Greenwich used to be two other retail spaces. (This is going way back…. A luggage store and a deli.)”

••• After Tad commented that last week’s post about Bar Works taking all of 70 White was the first any of the building’s residents had heard about it, I got back in touch with the Bar Works rep. He said that he was incorrect in our previous conversation, and that they’re not taking the whole building, just the ground floor. He also said the liquor license is in place, which means I must have missed that when it was discussed at CB1. (I didn’t see any record of it on the State Liquor Authority’s website, but that website is near impossible to search.)

••• The Kung Fu Tea shop coming to Greenwich and Reade will apparently also be known as The Eggettes House. The owner had said the place would also offer waffles, so maybe that’s what the hexagon refers to…. UPDATE: “From the drawing, it looks like the waffles will be Hong Kong egg waffles, the little waffle balls you can buy from carts in Chinatown,” says NV.

The Eggettes House aka Kung Fu Tea••• I like so much about the conversion of 443 Greenwich, but the penthouse seems a bit blah. If you’re not going to match the base, then why not do something more interesting? Or at least add some ornamentation? Also, let’s hope they make an effort to hide those mechanicals and that big, ugly duct (at a minimum, how about painting it…?).

443 Greenwich penthosue level••• The Cosmopolitan Hotel recently took down its signage. I’ll curious to see if they try something new—or at least massage the kerning.

Cosmopolitan Hotel no sign••• “Looks like an entrance to the Oculus from the Cortland St. station is getting ready to open,” reports K. “Now the retail kiosks (in the corridor from Fulton Center) make more sense.”

WTC Oculus by K WTC Dey corridor by K WTC Dey corridor2 by K



  1. From the drawing, it looks like the waffles will be Hong Kong egg waffles, the little waffle balls you can buy from carts in Chinatown.

  2. The roof at 443 Greenwich street is a mess. The two huge generators were supposed to be clad with a dark metal surround. And, the unsightly air duct in the middle was not shown in their plans.

    When developers get approval from the city/LPC and then deviate like this, is there anyone to report this to in an effort to hold them accountable? Otherwise, why does the approval process even matter? I would appreciate any advice about where a neighborhood resident might report or inquire about this.

    • a. you cannot see any of this from the street
      b. how about we allow them to complete the construction before having a hissy fit?

  3. it should be noted that tribeca kitchen on church street is basically gee whiz east. with rents being what they are on greenwich street, it’s pretty much impossible to operate a diner, pizza joint, etc.

  4. Maybe I missed it previously, but any idea what will be going in to the space Gee Whiz is giving up?

  5. Eric – do you or anyone know what restaurant they will open in the storefront of the Cosmopolitan on Chambers ? I know a Serafina will open on W Broadway but I was told another restaurant will open on Chambers… Thanks!

  6. I was in Gee Whiz on Sunday, and the lady at the front said that they’re keeping the room to the right and then the room to the left up to the end of the counter.

  7. Gee Whiz has been on that corner maybe 20 years! I will be upset if it closes. nothing is permanent in Tribeca. The landlords are greedy. It has become so commercial. It had character years ago, no more.

    • Welcome to the mall-ing of Tribeca. Not that all chains can even make it here – look at Pookie and Sebastian…

    • Tribeca is cannibalizing itself, all the good stuff that made this a great eclectic neighborhood is closing. And when you make this point all the hedge fund mommies get all upset….

    • Absolutely correct. The landlords discard residents and customers without a thought or a feeling.

  8. “The Atlantic Ocean was something then. You should have seen the Atlantic Ocean in those days.”

    – (Burt Lancaster in Atlantic City (1980).