First Looks, New Openings and a Look Back

Sometimes I make people mad at me. It happens. My editors fume if I am designing something and some other blogger gets the inside scoop first. “Oops” worked once. “I forgot” another time. When you’re getting close to the conclusion of construction the PR peeps come swarming in and want to control the spread of information. They interview me or get a few sound bites about design intent and then flitter away. They don’t send me a release or keep me in the loop. I guess they figure I know what’s up. Well, here we are again. A few joints on the cusp of being fabulous.

image My design firm Lewis and Dizon is finishing up BEBA at 71 Spring street, just west of Lafayette, opening with veteran chef Tom Papoultis. It’s the old fr.og space, which did so poorly when every other joint in the hood was thriving. fr.og was all about bad food, awful design and ridiculous attitude, but it was in a great location. The location wont change and the Mediterranean food will be fabulous and the design will be more of my unusual. They’re hiring staff and want to get it open next week. I’ll sneak a camera in tomorrow.

image The long shuttered 146 Orchard street space is back in full tilt construction again with Camille Beccera, late of Greenpoint eatery Paloma, in the kitchen. Although it still has no name to my knowledge, Camille will offer farm fresh and local fare every chance she gets. A mid to late May opening is expected. It’s a Lewis and Dizon design as well. The design is based on the history of Orchard street, with modernized elements of the fabric of street life in the LES influencing the aesthetic.

image Everybody wants to know about the former Nells space we are producing for the 1Oak/Butter team. I expect that to open mid-may as well. Everyday it gets closer to the realization of our vision. I can’t speak much about this other than to say we have been true to the aesthetic of Nell’s, but have added sweeping decorative elements to satisfy these modern times. That means we respected the old school and pushed in the new school. The engagement of my pal Butter/1Oak owner Scott Sartiano to the charming model Allie Rizzo pleased us all. When it was whispered in my ear last week I sent him a text telling him I finally found the elusive name for his 14th street super supper club: Fiancé. He text laughed at me. I’ve seen the ring, this place better make money.

Last night, dressed in all my Easter suaveness, I visited Suzanne Bartsch and Kenny Kenny’s Sunday night soiree over at Greenhouse. It was magnificent. The positive energy of the enthused crowd all frenzied up by DJ Johnny “Daddy” Dynell made me a believer. This is the way it was, is and should be. It was a mixed crowd of mixed nuts and other nightlife denizens air kissing and showing off their easter finery. Billy Erb, Paul Alexander and faces I haven’t seen since I left this scene greeted me warmly and told me I must come more often. I told Kenny I had uncovered bags of old photos, many of him. He told me he didn’t want to see them. Maybe he is right and you just can’t look back too much. That’s why I’ve been a stranger to this weekly party, seems like I had been there and done that . However, the place was jumping with new faces (or is it fresh meat?) and I realized that this party was thriving in the present and the smiles were for that last track or the new person that caught their eye. The purity of that was refreshing. I don’t ever go to greenhouse. I don’t particularly like some of the people there or the way it is run, but I will go next Sunday. I cabbed to see Jon Lennon over at GoldBar . The Sundays have become undeniable. He was sipping bubbly water at a table next door as hordes of sweet things approached the door. Sundays seem to be close to becoming the new Mondays.

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