Monday, July 20, 2009

Looking at what may be coming to 347 Bowery

Koi is one of the bars/restaurants going before the CB3/SLA tonight. Koi is applying for a full liquor license.

In preparation for this, some higher-profile Koi employees held a meet-and-greet at Sala Restaurant on the Bowery last Thursday to answer any questions about Koi possibly turning the former Salvation Army East Village Residence into another outpost of the upscale sushi eatery. (The other locations are in Bangkok, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and in NYC at Bryant Park).

There wasn't any planned presentation. It was rather informal. And awkward. Not many people were there, at least when I was around. (And no naked sushi models.) And the people who were there didn't strike me as the concerned-neighbor type. (The Lo-Down was there too and has additional coverage.)

A few random things from the evening:

— Everyone from Koi was really nice in that trying-too-hard way. But, still, nice.

— The patrons of the Bryant Park Koi were described as low-key, mellow, more mature (i.e., not a bunch of partygoers prone to peeing and vomiting in the streets — my words not their words).

— Someone from Koi volunteered that the former Salvation Army Residence would actually become a restaurant and not merely flipped to be converted into another condo/hotel/high rise. Hadn't even thought of that.

— Koi co-owner/CEO Nick Haque wasn't present, but he is expected tonight at the CB3 meeting.

There were pamphlets offering a few more details on the proposed restaurant. Two floors for the restaurant/bar...6,000-square-feet...230 total seats...overheard someone say the exterior design would be in keeping with the neighborhood.

To learn more about Koi, I visited their Web site and read the many press clippings available.

That write-up in Wine & Spirits on top is my favorite. In describing the LA Koi: "Its valet zone is standing-room-only with paparazzi hoping to catch a glimpse of Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan stepping out of an Escalade, and its bar is three deep with supermodels and those who like to be seen with them."

Hmm... Just think of the lux row lining up here...the Bowery Hotel and Cooper Square Hotel and DBGB and 52 East Fourth St and Keith McNally's coming-soon pizza joint and ....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hrmn, I don't think I have a problem with this. Looks from the drawings like they're not going to alter the building much, keeping it in character with the rest of the neighborhood. Like the Bowery Hotel - which isn't ideal but palatable - whose fairly simple brick architecture keeps it in character with the neighborhood, this looks like a decent addition to the neighborhood for residents who aren't total nimbys but are still offended by garish buildings and meatpacking district culture like the cooper union.