Ben Kay, designer of R Bar and Brass Monkey, tells us he just gave a makeover to 200 Orchard and that starting with friends-and-family tonight, a menu of paninis and European beers will replace the live music and D.J.’s. Is the Lower East Side growing up? Kay says the look is now “more rustic” thanks to upstate barn wood, big mirrors, wall sconces, and pendant lighting. The venue, now known only as 200, will have a private back room, Sunday soul parties, and in addition to the aforementioned paninis, bar snacks such as Irish sausage rolls and Cornish pasties will be served till 3 a.m. And Kay is giving a similarly rustic makeover to the old Café Deville space.
A year ago, it was said the space would get a sports bar, but Kay says that Penny-farthing, as the new project from the owners of Phoebe’s will be called, will have no more than a few television sets for World Cup games and the like. Kay is giving that bi-level venue a “very industrial but comfortable atmosphere”— upstairs there’ll be a 45-foot-long bar made of “ancient-looking” wood, banquette seating, and high-top tables, as well as antique wheels, pulleys, and prints to fit the bar’s name (the penny-farthing is a type of bicycle also known as a high wheeler). Downstairs there’ll be a lounge boasting exposed stone and another bar. A full kitchen will turn out “American-English-Irish” bar food “in the same vein as Phoebe’s” (think shepherd’s pie). The owners are hoping to open in the second week of May.
200, 200 Orchard St., nr. Houston St.; 212-253-2235