A labor of love, Tribeca style

In 2008, Greg Nardello, the forever manager of Tribeca Tavern who opened the bar in 1996, bought a little rundown taxpayer next door on Sixth with the hope of opening it as something all his own. He sat on it for a bit, and other projects took precedent (he and his son opened Augurs Well on St. Marks in 2011) but by 2013, his vision of a classic New York City bar was coming together.

“He just wanted to build something beautiful,” his son, Greg, told me this week. “He didn’t use a designer and he built a lot of it himself. He was very very particular and had a deep passion for woodwork. He went through a few carpenters trying to get it just right.”

After years of working on it just about every night, in 2019, the space had a name — Lime House — but somehow operating it as a bar became an after thought. And then lung cancer set in.

By 2020, Greg’s health was failing. Tribeca Tavern closed permanently on June 4, a victim of the pandemic. And Greg succumbed to cancer on June 14. Knowing their father could never part with anything nostalgic, the younger Greg and his sister, Angela, rented UHauls and moved just about every bit of Tribeca Tavern to their mother’s garage in Queens. They had both worked at the Tavern starting as teens (“With the Daddio,” said Angela.) and they knew every inch of the place.

“The first thing we took was the picture of our grandparents,” they said. They have the Tavern’s neon sign, its Schlitz monuments, and still hanging on the walls in the garage, its chalkboards, which will make their way to Tribeca eventually. “He had a thing for chalkboards,” Greg said.

After their father’s death they wondered what the best move would be for the Lime House, and while neither was looking for a project — Greg is at Augurs Well just about every day — they couldn’t imagine renting it to a stranger.

“When my father passed away we weren’t sure what we were going to do. It’s pretty big and we weren’t’ sure we could operate it. Then we finally decided that he had put so much work into it, we wanted to open it in his vision,” Greg said. “Though he was pretty stubborn and wasn’t always open about his vision!”

Grand Eleven opened on March 23 on the ground floor only — a cozy space that includes an enclosed sidewalk café on Sixth, a hairpin-shaped bar with 10 taps, and café tables and banquettes lining the windows. Every wall and all the ceilings are elaborately paneled and painted; just about every horizontal surface is marble or granite. Open in a month or so is the second floor, which has its own small bar, its own entrance from the street and French doors as windows that open onto Sixth and a Juliet balcony that stretches the length of the building. There’s one more floor that is just a wedge of the original footprint that they imagine using for small events like whiskey tastings or private parties.

Greg and Angela’s mother is coaching the chefs on family recipes: meatballs and chicken parm. The menu is still being developed (we got to try the chicken sandwich with spicy slaw and everyone loved it). They are open Tuesday through Sunday, with the siblings splitting the week.

For a minute they thought to make the space more like Tribeca Tavern — after all, they have all the stuff. “He loved that place and he loved the neighborhood,” Greg said. “But Tribeca Tavern couldn’t be more different.”

Still, the picture of the sibs’ grandparents is just to the left of the bar.



  1. Thank you for sharing the rich backstory to this rather intriguing space

  2. This bar is excellent. Stopped by for a drink and bite this weekend with the family. Support this local business!

  3. Phenomenal space, cocktails, and food – have already been back. Soon to be a Tribeca staple!