Highgarden added to Greca?

The comments section has been lit up lately on the topic of Highgarden, a “botanical experience” that has been using the space at Greca, Tom Galis’ Greek restaurant on Washington and Watts.

The comments started with complaints attached to this post about the closing of American Whiskey. Readers said that the restaurant — which Galis opened in 2018 and then expanded during covid, when he closed The Greek — had turned into a nightclub with “loud music into the night, people gathering and smoking weed on the sidewalk, and disgusting trash littered everywhere.”

Another reader walked by at 8p on Tuesday and said the space “was filled with people smoking bongs and other weed paraphernalia. Definitely doesn’t seem to be Greca anymore. Very strange.”

I’ve gone by the past two nights and didn’t catch much action at all — but it was later, around 11p, and things were quiet (the restaurant was nearly empty) except for one guy, oddly, brandishing a lighter on the sidewalk as he sat on a Citibike. (The scene was much louder and livelier at Greenwich Street Tavern.)

But there’s no doubt that Highgarden is now doing business in the space — the sign is on the door and their listing on Tock lists The Greek as a “partner” and most events are listed at 452 Washington. My guess is they move the venue on occasion, though it looks like for now Greca is their main location.

They describe themselves as offering “a botanical experience for people interested in a High-end lifestyle.” (Get it?) “Hidden in the city, this oasis offers only the finest things for the elevated connoisseur. Join us for live performances, gourmet organic menu, infused mixology, Stündenglass bar, exclusive merch and more!” [For the uninitiated (me) a Stündenglass is a gravity induced smoke delivery system with interchangeable mouthpieces.]

As we should all understand by now, possessing and smoking or vaping up to 3 ounces of cannabis per adult is allowed in New York. However, the smoke-free air laws still exist even for vaping, and you can’t smoke anything indoors or even at a sidewalk café or a park. Also, the licenses for selling cannabis have not been released yet — for now only medical marijuana can be purchased at state dispensaries.

Someone book the Botanical Brunch and report back. $40, food not included.


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  1. Thanks Pam for following-up on this. Spot on in terms of this violating the indoor smoking/vaping ban and, potentially, restrictions on sales. Any thoughts as to what CB1 will have to say/terms of the liquor license?

    No coincidence they took down the sign after the previous post. Hopefully this draws more attention to this place… to think some commenters were saying this was just CBD drops!!

  2. It’s a shame what they did to The Greek. It used to be such a great spot for delicious Greek food and a nice ambiance and it’s gone downhill since they got rid of meat on the menu. Now with this type of riff raff this place will surely fail in due time. Tribeca should not be encouraging this, leave that to the LES and BKLYN.

    • God bless them for taking meat off the menu.

    • This is the most racist comment I’ve ever heard. What exactly do you mean by Riff Raff?

      • That’s the most racist thing you have EVER heard? I wish I was as fortunate as you have been all my life.

        • I’m sorry, you are right. I’ve heard WAY worse since I’m a minority, especially from people who use words like Riff Raff. So again, are you saying all cannabis consumers are riff raff? Or does a little cannabis smoke bother you? Move out of NYC if you want clean air, fresh smelling flowers, and no more scary Riff Raff people.

  3. Easter is the time to remember that the Greek has gone from roasting lambs on the sidewalk to blazing doobies in the restaurant.

  4. To think that people in this state of the world would wish a local entrepreneur to fail. That is the true shame here. And to highlight ignorance, Greek Orthodox Easter is the follow weekend.

    Greca has afforded my friends and I years of love and positivity, pre and post a hospitality apocalypse in which owners + family have pivoted many times to survive. Long live Greca, Tom, and team.

    • Clear this guy has called out the sock puppets to defend his illegal activity. Again, this has nothing to do with goodwill or this individual. Point remains this isn’t allowed and they’re skipping the line/breaking the law.

      If you want to live somewhere where restaurants can sell drugs and smoke inside then you probably shouldn’t live in NYC..

  5. What Tribeca really needs is a pickle ball court

  6. The Greek WAS fantastic, Greca WAS really good and Tom IS terrific. Doesn’t mean what this has turned into should be acceptable. using goodwill as an excuse is akin to moms saying my child is an angel as they get led away in handcuffs

  7. Quick what’s the first word you associate with tribeca? Is it families, or is it….weed? While it’s a business pivot, it’s a lazy one and probably in the wrong place. Even as nyc as a whole has become more marijuana prevalent, this new venture just doesn’t seem to take the neighborhood landscape into consideration. Restaurants and bars undergo a community board hearing to determine suitability, should highgarden (speaking of lazy, lol at this name) be any different? Yes people in tribeca smoke weed, but most parents would prefer to not walk their kids past an outdoor phish concert/ weed brunch after 11am little league practice. Those that prefer such a place wouldn’t mind walking a mile north east to les.

    • Hear hear. Curious to get Pam’s take on what CB1 can do here

      • CB1 only has an advisory role in its relationship with the SLA and steps in when an applicant has agreed to certain stipulations (sound proofing, hours of operation, traffic control) and then violates them OR has proved to be a nuisance. Neighbors would have to take their case to the Licensing & Permits Committee and ask the committee to send a note to the SLA.

  8. Was one of Tom’s first Greca customers & he’s been one of the best business owners in the area. A warm smile & willing to help anyway he can. The decline on Washington Street has all to do with coffee shop and China blue empty all this time than Greca. Greca has been the only bright spot. I have no issue with Highgarden. Unless you can be specific about any disturbances I would say that any bar can be a nuisance for folks who’ve moved to the city for peace and quiet. Illegal? Don’t think so. Highgarden is a private club. It’s a respectful, chill crowd. Keep going Tom, you are an asset to this neghborhood