Following some quality time spent with Eugene Remm and Mark Birnbaum, it’s time now for some new details about Abe & Arthur’s and Simyone, the duo of venues they’re currently building into the former, and seminal, Lotus space on West 14th Street. As previously announced, Abe & Arthur’s will be a New York–style brasserie; Simyone will be a serious entry in the velvet-rope category of lounges.
Exec chef Franklin Becker, who is currently lending his hand to the team at Delicatessen, is developing a menu at Abe & Arthur’s of American standards like roast chicken and steak frites. How the small-plates part of the menu will look is less clear, but the guys want to create a restaurant “of dishes that are just good, that you just like,” says Birnbaum. And while the wings-or-no-wings debate rages on among them, expect Becker to draw the line short of, say, mozzarella sticks. As for the interior, the entry is low-lit and tiled and will open into a mix of light wood and double-high and mirrored ceilings. “Good spaces have that ‘reveal’ moment, where you see it,” says Birnbaum. The good news is that these guys know their sweet spot, and it’s more about crowd and atmosphere than it is about food — although both acknowledged that the food needs to be, at a minimum, “good.” Adam Platt, God help you.
Simyone will be downstairs in the basement, the Tenjune to Abe & Arthur’s STK. It’ll be dark, sexy, celeb-centric at the outset. And, make a note: Just because you get a table for dinner doesn’t mean you’ll have access to the club. Neither the restaurant nor the club will bear any resemblance to Lotus, a nod to the latter’s singular place in the history of meatpacking clubland. The whole shebang is tracking for July, give or take.