Soho has been trying to regain its mojo since the art and nightlife crowds decamped post-Millennium to Chelsea and the LES, respectively. But once quiet Howard Street is now suddenly abuzz with the style set.
The big news was the opening of Aby Rosen’s 11 Howard hotel this past spring. With its fancy pants Stephen Star French restaurant La Coucou, and its happening bar The Blond (Which has Beatrice Inn DNA), it’s sort of what The Bowery Hotel was ten years ago. Other neighbors include interior designers Roll & Hill, fashion boutique M. Crow and hip sandwich shop Smile to Go.
“Howard Street has indeed seen a flurry of activity in recent years,” notes Selwyn Chan, who with partners Ivy Tsang and Jonathan Chu has just opened the retro-cool eatery Nickel & Diner on the street. With its five-and-dime chic (by Dutch East Design), it is rife with laidback charm. But make no mistake, it is serious about its coffee program, partnering exclusively with Nobletree. And Exec Chef James Friedberg counts such haute restaurants as La Cirque and Aureole amongst his credits.
Chan notes, “The full menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner is comprised of chef-driven eclectic American fare, using the finest ingredients available – rather than what may be expected at a typical diner.”
Is this a harbinger of a full-on Soho revival? Perhaps. But says Chan, “We’re just excited to be contributing to the evolution of this emerging neighborhood, which is a true crossroads between Soho, Little Italy, and Chinatown.”