American Whiskey has closed after a decade on Franklin

American Whiskey, which somewhere in late 2019 evolved from Distilled, has closed its charming spot on a prime Tribeca corner: 211 W. Broadway at Franklin. P. noticed first, and a couple folks told me they tried to go over the weekend. So I stopped by to see what was cooking. (I would have thought they would have to change over the name on the liquor license with CB1…)

Coming soon (they do not have a date) in its stead is Chela (Mexican slang for beer, since it means blonde), a Park Slope Mexican whose mission “is to make everyone feel like they are on a Mexican vacation.” There seems to be a Tribeca-Park Slope culinary connection: Miriam, Fonda and now this.

The addition of Chela will put three Mexican restaurants within one block of each other: the brand new Casa Carmen a few doors down on Franklin that opens this week, and of course Anejo just around the corner on Church and Walker. (And you might recall that Distilled was formerly Centrico.) Then there’s the soon-to-be Fonda and an upscale Mexican coming to IPN on Greenwich and N. Moore, which I believe will be a mezcal bar. And those are just the new ones.

Distilled opened in 2012 and had a lively crowd even through the pandemic. That bar also has one of the best views of Tribeca from the inside — especially at golden hour, since the park is across the street. American Whiskey still has its midtown location on West 30th Street.



  1. Can you please cover how Greca has essentially turned into a night club? Loud music into the night, people gathering and smoking weed on the sidewalk, and disgusting trash littered everywhere.

    • Would also love to know more about the plan for the Truffles Tribeca renovation. A bunch of windows have been removed recently, so some kind of work is underway.

      • Seconding the comment above about Greca. After going vegan (no thanks!) the food has fallen off a cliff and they have taken over the entire sidewalk with cheap wooden furniture and a tacky Tiki bar theme that is often strewn with trash. Loud late night and frequent homeless people sleeping under the sidewalk scaffold have contributed to a seedy vibe on what used to be a quiet block on Washington.

      • You can read more here, but in short, Related is converting it to a condo with bigger units.

    • I just walked by Greca, which now has a sign for something called “HighGarden” and was filled with people smoking bongs and other weed paraphernalia. Definitely doesn’t seem to be Greca anymore. Very strange.

    • Isn’t marijuana vegetarian?

  2. Quick perusal of the HighGarden website/Instagram reveals that this is someone operating a drug lounge in Tribeca. Drug paraphernalia, marijuana-infused menus, and alcohol service.

    No idea what happened to Greca but this does explain this block’s decline in recent weeks. How can this be allowed in a state that has yet to auction marijuana licenses/legalize sales? This is not just illegal, it is almost certainly a flagrant violation of the liquor license…

    How can we stop this? Allowing drug culture to permeate our neighborhood is the fast lane towards the decline of Tribeca….

    Pam, in the hopes that you shed light on this issue might I recommend you going by and doing a story next Weds, April 20th from this illegal operation? Clear from their instagram they are hyping this “stoner holiday” already…

    • Yes, I went by last night too. Let me see what’s going on…

      • Pretty sure it’s still run by Tom or at least his family, and they just pivoted to running a club / weed store because it’s more profitable?

        • Doesn’t matter how profitable it is or isn’t. In the State of NY this is illegal. No one will insure this, no landlord will permit this under current lease terms, no bank will process their payments.

          Fun fact: in order to even qualify for one of the first 100 licenses that will be granted later this year you or your family needs to have been convicted of a marijuana-related offense. There’s a HUGE line here and this guy is trying to skip it

          Related will not be happy once they learn what this guy is doing…

          • Related?? The company that has been kicking tenants out of the apartment complex next door so they can continue wreaking havoc with their non-stop construction?

  3. It is legal to consume marijuana. Let them live, Karen!

  4. Everyone relax, there’s no “drug culture” permeating the streets of northwest Tribeca. Sure – Greca has brought youthful energy to that block. If the music is thumping beyond whats legally allowed that’s one thing, but I don’t see an issue otherwise. It’s a business making money, and Tom deserves the right to provide to willing customers. Between the Greek and Greca he’s brought beyond his fair share of goodwill to that neighborhood over the years. Due to Covid he had to adapt and make some changes for the survival of his business. Chill out!

    • Consumption is legal. Sales are not (yet) without a license. The State of NY has not yet allocated licenses for recreational sale, so anyone selling is violating the law and definitely the terms of their liquor license. All those photos and videos from instagram showing sales are a TERRIBLE look and disrespectful. Lots of entrepreneurs are patiently waiting their turn to sell legally, there isn’t some special dispensation for this guy to skip the line, especially in an upscale residential neighborhood with high disposable income and real estate values. It’s anyone’s guess if our CB will even (or should) signoff on this kind of biz in the neighborhood, as well as what the City of NY’s rules will be in terms of proximity to schools, parks, etc..

      After pointing this out, the sign is off the front door! Go figure…

      • Infusing drinks with CBD is not the same thing as opening a cannabis dispensary, or operating a “drug den”.

        I would recommend yoga or meditation.

        • Check out their website. Few examples:
          – neon DABS sign at the bar, pictures of patrons hitting dabs (concentrated THC hit with a blowtorch)
          – grinding marijuana into joints
          – advertising free gifts for entry fees and “high gravity” bongs

  5. Greca is one of the STAPLES of the Tribeca community. Throughout the past two years of mandated closures due to covid & HEAVY construction (talk about loud noises at all hours of the night), the owner and staff have been nothing but kind & gracious to any neighborhood friend walking in. In what has been a tough environment for any restaurant/small business owner in NYC, I would think a more understanding approach is warranted!

    • “Staple” or not, one cannot just decide to open a drug lounge in a quiet, residential street. 100% illegal in the city and state of NY right now

      • Drug lounge?? Far from it. More like my favorite local lunch spot. Baffling the energy some will take to try and tear down a small business instead of supporting it.

        • Have you seen the place at night?

          Everybody in the neighborhood loves Greca, but there’s absolutely zero chance what they’re doing after 4:20PM, when Highgarden opens, is legal. Whatever goodwill they’ve built up over the years, as others note, is going to diminish rapidly. Even businesses we like have to abide by the rules.

          Related will likely kick them out whenever their lease is up (if they aren’t already fighting about it) and nobody will want them as a tenant.

      • Would recommend you check the instagram, selling dabs of hash oil at the bar? Bong hits? Come on now..

  6. @Concerned – Go to Washington square park and night of the week. You will see people with folding tables handing out marijuana in public (not those that have been selling in the shadows for decades, normal people in broad public) and the cops are also there observing. It is actually legal to gift and consume marijuana in public. That’s beside the point.

    Greca IS a staple for the younger generation that has enjoyed moving to Tribeca after the office-committed families left for larger, more spacious living out of the city. The youthful cohorts have kept “your” restaurants alive over the last 2 years and will continue to for the foreseeable future. It’s time to get on board. This isn’t the Gilded Age.

    • Sure, gifting arguably is permitted in public. But this is a flagrant violation of the lease terms, the law, and their liquor license. This isn’t an abstract concern, and there’s a reason you don’t see this all over the city. Go ahead, name anywhere else this is happening in a restaurant or bar legally. I’ll wait…