After rumors leaked that the John Dory might be reopening in the Ace Hotel, we called Ken Friedman who confirmed that he’s negotiating a deal to occupy a vacant space on 29th Street and Broadway. He expects to solidify things with the hotel within the next week or two, and after that, there’ll be the question of whether or not the Ace can score another liquor license for a restaurant, two times the size of the original, that “may be called the John Dory, or may not be” (Friedman also says the décor may or may not look as much like “an acid trip underwater”).
“We love the neighborhood,” Friedman told us. “It’s everything that the old neighborhood was not — people live there, people work there, and there’s so much going on there.” Adding to that is a friendly landlord and the possibility of a sidewalk permit. If the project moves forward, expect the hotel’s Tin Pan Alley–themed bar to be set aside for the moment. “April and I looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s do one thing at a time — what do we really need to do?’ Any bars are on hold till we can realize our biggest dream, which is reopening the John Dory.”