Lennon’s Nutopian Embassy reborn at 1 White

It was 1973 and the US was threatening to deport John Lennon. So he and Yoko decided to create a new country, Nutopia, of which they would be the ambassadors and therefore have diplomatic immunity. They set it up on April 1 at 1 White Street, gave it a flag (all white), an anthem (four seconds of white noise) and a mission statement:

We announce the birth of a conceptual country, NUTOPIA. Citizenship of the country can be obtained by declaration of your awareness of NUTOPIA. NUTOPIA has no land, no boundaries, no passports, only people. NUTOPIA has no laws other than cosmic. All people of NUTOPIA are ambassadors of the country. As two ambassadors of NUTOPIA, we ask for diplomatic immunity and recognition in the United Nations of our country and its people.

(As we all know, the pair never left the Dakota and Lennon was not deported.)

Fast forward 46 years later almost to the day to Tribeca of 2019 and there’s a new Nutopian Embassy about to be born and it is … a restaurant. No shocker there, but it could be interesting and at least while there, you can reflect on a more interesting time. CB1’s licensing committee just approved the liquor license for what will be four floors of food and drink.

Its owners are Dustin Wilson, the former master sommelier from Eleven Madison Park (he’s the young bald guy in this trailer for SOMM, and I recommend watching the whole doc), and chef Austin Johnson whose resume takes him from Omaha to Paris but my highlights would be Eleven Madison Park and a stint in Skaneateles (who else can say that?).

The restaurant will have 530 square feet per floor, occasional live music, a wine bar with six or seven seats on the first floor and seating in small batches, as the footprint allows, on the upper floors. The whole thing is 2,800 square feet.

So not as interesting a use as it was in 1973, but it’s definitely something different.



  1. Dustin is also an owner of Verve Wine on Hubert St. We’re thrilled to welcome Nutopian Embassy to the neighborhood!

  2. Another lovely post, Pam. You’re on a roll!

    But … if “[John and Yoko] never left the Dakota,” how is it that one weekday evening in the mid-seventies they sat down two tables from me in Souen on the UWS? (And how did I have the cool to just eat and not gawk?)

  3. I live across the street. They want to be open until 2am on the weekends. I’m not too charmed.

  4. regarding 1 white street5. what if they want to stay open 24

    hours. what is wrong with that.

    these people have a lot to lose if they fail. the neighborhood

    needs life at night.

    • Agree – the managers will be sure to keep things neighborly. It is just too expensive to set up a business in Manhattan to have a couple of rowdy patrons ruin it for you. A friendly, solid night life is good for our neighborhood.

  5. No, they have no right to be open ‘til 2 A.M. I would be very vigilant about it. Once that door opens there is no turning back.
    We had been fighting the noise problem from the ‘ community gathering space’/event space/club/bar for more than ten years, Covid finally took care of it. Between the pounding music and the early morning sidewalk brawl plus Uber traffic, it was a real nightmare.
    Civility has left Tribeca since Covid as well. The proliferation of roof gardens and other outdoor space invited many rowdy late night gatherings, almost nightly, keep dialing that 311, file away those complaints, the police stopped responding months ago- maybe years ago. You are on your own.

  6. There are enough bars/restaurants for the neighborhood on W. Broadway. The outdoor space being constructed for 1 White restaurant on White St will be a nightmare for the residents living on this short block. It will ruin the charm of the neighborhood.

    • If you mean the decks on West Broadway and White, those actually belong to the catering company — Town Stages at 5 White.