Seen & Heard: The Wonder and Lekka Burger updates

Stroller valet. Bloody Mary’s. Celebrity pediatricians. Sound like a dream date?

That’s the idea behind The Wonder, a playspace-slash-bar-slash-TED-Talk for parents and kids planned for 174 Hudson at Vestry. (For the record, the Friends of Washington Market Park thought of the stroller valet first for Halloween, thanks to ingenuity from JS and generosity from IPN neighbors.)

Community Board 1 approved the liquor license for owner Sarah Robinson, a parent of two young ones from Brooklyn. The space will have a café in the center with 11 tables, 26 seats and a counter/bar and will be open from 8a to 10p. They are aiming for a late-March, early-April opening; I’ll have more here when they are ready to dish.


Responding to the “eat more plants” part of your new year’s resolution, the restaurant at 81 Warren, likely to be called Lekka Burger, will have an entirely plant-based menu (does liquor count??), three meals a day. Run by celebrity veggie Iron Chef Amanda Cohen (from Dirt Candy — that’s her profile pic from the website, below) and hot chef Richard Kuo (foodies will love this video of him at the James Beard Foundation), the joint will have 25 seats at tables and 15 at the bar, serving till midnight during the week and till 1 on the weekends – and eventually, even breakfast (their operating hours start at 6a). They are aiming for a late-May opening.

Kuo said it all came together quickly and that they love the space, which is in one of two recently rebuilt walk-ups on the south side of Warren in the old Il Giglio space. They hope to have some live music and otherwise “DJ curated” background music. Cohen comes from a long line of hospitality folks from Canada; she cooked meat in their hotels til she started researching the meat production industry and its effect on the environment and, well, made a veggie burger instead.

Kuo has gone from one top-shelf restaurant to another, including Pearl & Ash, Corton and Frej. He said he is now focusing on restaurant operations in the casual part of the industry.



  1. Looking forward to more “veggie” options in the neighborhood!

  2. HURRAH, I’ve been waiting for more vegan options in the area!

  3. fabulous…I’m a happy vegetarian, and I live a block away!