Nosy Neighbor: When will Buddha Bar open?

A call to the director of operations for Buddha Bar says the restaurant AND its neighbor/partner restaurant, Assunta Roma, is aiming to open sometime in September.

The two spaces will have separate entrances: Assunta Roma will have 80 seats and Buddha Bar will have 120 downstairs in the restaurant and 40 in the upstairs lounge, along with 18 at the bar. Nothing has held them up, Nicolas Barthelemy said, they just are trying to “do things right.” (They were granted a liquor license in October 2016.) He also said due to restrictions from the SLA passed up from the community board, the focus will be on dining and an early bar crowd. (See the SLA’s decision here, along with the agreement with owner Stefan Stefanov.)

Assunta Roma, he said, is not chef driven but rather concept driven. Its sister restaurant in Rome is actually called Assunta Madre; there are also restaurants in Milan, Moscow and Barcelona. (Pics from the Italian outposts above and below.) In 2014, the Financial Times called the Rome Assunta Madre “the city’s best seafood restaurant […] a place of pilgrimage for the cognoscenti.” While that location was “shut down [in 2017] by police on suspicion of being used as a front for money laundering,” says the Telegraph, it has since reopened.