Seen & Heard: Another New Chibeca Restaurant

••• 49 Chambers is coming out from under its veil. Looks gorgeous.

••• Chibeca has long been a restaurant desert (one that actually extends all the way to Church, with Tetsu and M1-5 the only establishments east of Church and north of Worth), although the opening of Au Cheval at Walker and Cortlandt Alley will certainly change things. And it’ll be joined by Babcock’s, opening at 87 Walker, as per the liquor-license hearing notice posted at the site. That’s all we know about it. The name made me think of C. C. Babcock from “The Nanny,” naturally. And when I Googled “Babcock’s restaurant NYC” I discovered that restaurateur Jimmy Bradley (of The Harrison, which remains dearly missed, and the Red Cat, which closes at year end) married one Rebecca Babcock in 2009. Perhaps that’s too much to hope for, although there are similarities between Chibeca and the Chelsea of 1997, when The Red Cat opened. P.S. I’ve requested a summary of the application from CB1…. UPDATE: See the subsequent post about it.

••• “Whitmans (that big restaurant on Hudson near Canal) looks almost ready to open,” says K. “It even has window treatments.” I checked in with the restaurant, and the official word is that it’ll debut “in the coming weeks.”

••• Philly Pretzel Factory finally opened on Chambers.

••• After I posted about how there are six shoots in the next seven days, I discovered a seventh: “Search Party” yesterday at Walker/Cortlandt Alley.



  1. Thank you for the “restaurant desert” coverage…There is surely a lack in that capacity.

    (But please for the love of all that is holy let’s not promote the name “Chibeca”, which sounds like a mutant hellspawn genetic experiment hybrid of TriBeCa, Chewbacca, Chipotle, a Chia Pet, chai, and chewing tobacco)

  2. Big question; Are there enough customer traffic to make these places successful.

    • An awful lot of people live in the Broadway corridor now, thanks to a spate of conversions and new construction (93 Worth, 88 Leonard, 101 Leonard, 5 Franklin Place, etc.) And there are more on the way: 91 Leonard, 108 Leonard, 49 Chambers, etc. Whether or not these restaurants will appeal to them is an open question, of course.