L’Abeille will add a sushi restaurant from chef Eiji Ichimura

The owners of L’Abeille, the French restaurant with the Japanese chef on the corner of Laight that recently won a Michelin star, will expand down Greenwich to the space to the south — the former Wisefish Poke. The restaurant will be reservation-only omakase called Sushi Ichimura with the noted and Michelin-starred sushi chef Eiji Ichimura at the helm. He was last in the neighborhood at Brushstroke — David Bouley’s now shuttered restaurant at Hudson and Duane.

It wasn’t easy to get a grip on the details by listening to the CB1 Licensing Committee meeting — there was an unpleasant spat between owner and Tribecan Rahul Saito, who told the committee members that it was unacceptable and disrespectful that they had not reviewed the details in advance. (The committee chair told Saito’s lawyer to get a grip on his client or she would make them come back next month.) But I think the scene is this: two seatings a night for around 18 people in a space that, according to the application, is 3500 square feet. There’s a counter that will accommodate 10.

(The reason I am confused is the paperwork clearly said it had 61 seats with 22 tables, but that might be the full capacity.)

Ultimately the committee approved the application for midnight Monday to Saturday, with a sidewalk cafe that will run in good weather only — no heaters, no umbrellas.

L’Abeille opened on March 29 and by October had its star. The new space will add a private dining room for the French restaurant with the rest dedicated to Sushi Ichimura. There will be no bar in the new space, just a service counter for the seats. The space was once all one, and was divided more recently by the landlord. They are pretty simply just punching a hole in the wall. There will be a maximum of two buyouts a month.

An opening date was not discussed, since everyone involved was pretty happy to end the discussion, but the windows now say “coming soon.”


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  1. Funny you mention the spat between the owner the the community board. The few times I’ve listened to these meetings it shocks me how unprofessional and unorganized the board members are. Time for these unelected officials to give their seats up to more competent people.

  2. Brushstroke was owned by David Bouley, not Daniel Boulud

  3. I have appeared before the community board in Tribeca. They do no impact studies or assemble any information about neighborhood consequences. Their decisions are arbitrary and the whole proceeding is uninformed and very imperious. We need some set of rules that need to be followed. At least three members live in the same high rise building insulated from the havoc they may reap. They do not contribute to quality of life but rather create serious problems for neighbors with a response “if it’s a problem they won’t get their liquor license renewed in two years.” We really need to elevate the behavior and make this body more responsible and responsive.

  4. We really need to elevate the behavior and make this body more responsible and responsive.

    Yes, and how do you suggest we do that?

    • There are Liquor License guidelines for Tribeca and each neighborhood: https://www.nyc.gov/assets/manhattancb1/downloads/pdf/ll-stips/CB1%20Liquor%20License%20Guidelines.pdf

      Frankly, giving the business two years to succeed and be a good neighbor is a better attitude than no and listening to fear mongering. Even if a CB says no, the SLA may grant the license anyway and then the community has lost any leverage they had. A yes with stipulations can be a balanced answer.

      Also for the commentators – Community Board applications are open if you want to donate your time and talents. It is an unpaid public servant opportunity that you have to interview in order to be appointed. Check out the MBPO website for details.

  5. If you feel you could do a better job, then APPLY! Applications are available now!