Cain's Secret Project to Bring a Whole Lotta Bling to Little Italy

When we looked in, we couldn't look beyond the graffiti-mural entryway because we were blinded by the bling.


Cain's owner Jamie Mullholland says he isn't spilling the beans on his new Nolita joint Gold Bar until it opens in January, but James Famularo, broker for the space's former tenant, Odea, reveals that designer Robert McKinley (PM, Cain) has completely draped what's to be a Pangea-like restaurant and bottle lounge in its namesake element: Gold-leaf ceilings, gold chains separating railroad-style rooms (unlike Odea's enclosed areas), and the coup de grace, 3,000 gilded fake skulls covering the walls. Plus, there will be captain chairs at a low-slung bar. In other news, trendsetter La Esquina and newcomer Bar Martignetti will soon have more company in their area: Famularo says he's talking to major operators about four other spaces within a three-block radius. “A year ago all the calls we got were for the meatpacking and West Chelsea. Now it’s all for the Little Italy–Nolita area.” Lot attendants, we suggest you learn how to park an H2. — Daniel Maurer