Remember Broadway East, the Lower East Side restaurant that went through a litany of chefs (Peter Berley, Phil Conlon, Gavin Mills, Sasha St. Germain, and briefly Patricia Yeo) before shutting down its dining room last summer? Owner Ron Castellano, who’s been lending his kitchen to some of the food vendors at his other endeavor, the Hester Street Fair, tells us that he’s turning the chic bi-level venue into a full-time events space. (Sounds like it’d make a decent alternative to a flash-mob wedding!) And with the help of Kage Konsulting, he hopes to further transform it into an incubation chamber for a rotating roster of pop-up restaurants similar to John Fraser’s. (So pop-ups really will be a 2011 trend!) Castellano half-jokes that he wants “a restaurant with a revolving door of chefs, which I already had anyway.” This one, however, would “almost reinvent itself every three months,” with “four chefs a year that are of a caliber worth mentioning” (maybe some from out of town) taking over the sizable kitchen to do their thing.
One thing that’s helping this scenario: Castellano was able to negotiate his rent down, since “the neighborhood stopped in its upswing.” So much for the Lower Lower East Side being the next big thing. (Though Andre Balazs did look at the space, as did former Harbour chef Joe Isidori.) Who knows, maybe getting some uptown chefs in the kitchen will finally bring the masses.