Lower Manhattan seems to have found a one-man preservation crew in Soda Shop co-owner Craig Bro. Not long after refurbishing that restaurants eerie addition, Bro lent his restorative mojo to the Cosmopolitan Hotel and began renovating a space that what was once a ladies' lunch counter in the 1800s, and which has just opened as Cosmopolitan Caf. Bros plan for instituting single-dish dinner service next week is as pleasantly anachronistic as the place itself.
Bro tells us hes always wanted to do a European-style caf. The current menu reflects that desire, with items like pan au chocolat, espresso from the bars antique Fiorenzato machine, and the usual assortment of focaccia sandwiches, olives, and prosciutto. Dinner service starts next week with only one item per night, dependent on whats available that day at Greenwich Streets mini-greenmarket and what Bro feels like cooking. The reconstruction of the space is meticulous, with artifacts including Bros own great-grandfathers icebox and an original billboard from the hotel boasting 300 steam-heated rooms, which Bro uncovered from the vault underground tunnels once used for the citys water supply. Now if he can only uncover a liquor license, hell really be set. Alexandra Vallis
Cosmopolitan Cafe, 95 West Broadway; no phone