Welcome to House Style, wherein Grub Street introduces you to the people who work at New York's scene-iest restaurants. First up: the staff at the Fat Radish. When the restaurant opened nine months ago, it was an instant hit, thanks in large part to the A-list parties being thrown by owners Ben Towill and Phil Winser, who also own events company Silkstone. But even though the restaurant's down-home, vegivore-friendly name might seem at odds with the the tucked-away Orchard Street location and fashion-forward clientele, the place has managed to keep its buzz going. The casual, comfortable vibe of the place and the admittedly attractive staff no doubt plays a part in keeping people coming back, ensuring that the dining room remains packed. So, what does it take to make sure the restaurant keeps feeling fresh?
The Fat Radish Gang
Phil Winser (left) and Ben Towill, Owners
You two kind of have a similar look going on.
Ben: You can do such an array of things in a restaurant day-to-day, so you want to be smart, but comfortable.
Phil: It fits into the clientele. No one comes in here in a suit and tie. That’s the whole feeling of the place ... We have young kids who live around to older couples who come in to eat. Forward-thinking people of all ages come here like it’s their home. Anyone from the designer of a cool tailor shop to young hoteliers — it’s a whole array. People tend to be creative, forward thinking, and like good food in an atmosphere that’s not pretentious.
Jamie DuMont, Events Director for Silkstone
How are Silkstone and the restaurant tied together?
I think the whole aesthetic of the company is it’s relaxed, it’s chic, it’s contemporary, but with elements that come from different time and space and generations. I feel like we do have a specific look, and I think it’s very classic and it’s very comfortable.
What about those white jeans – only after Memorial Day?
Absolutely. I do follow that crazy rule and I’m very strict about it. Some people think I’m silly. Some people say it doesn’t matter anymore, but I don’t know; I think that’s a rule that’s always made sense.
Is it hard to keep them clean?
[Laughs.] That’s the dry cleaner’s problem.
Robyn Kerr, Reservationist (left), and Dave Quon, Café/Boutique manager
Tell us a little bit about the clientele.
Dave: We're right in the middle of Chinatown, yet if you go up Orchard two or three blocks, it gets a lot more populated. There are a lot of galleries and artists, so I think that naturally it kind of attracts people in that vein.
Robyn: People that work here are artistic outside of here as well.
Dave: Yeah, there are a lot of people here who are musicians or actors; Ben and Phil really promote that.
From Left: Servers Ana Velazquez, Slavica Dragojevic, and Daryl Nuhn; Hostess Elsa Bloedon
How would you guys describe the space?
Daryl: I think it’s like someone who doesn’t know how cool it is. I think that’s what people in New York try to do: have their little secret, where they know they’re really cool, but they’re not trying to act like it. This place has its own style, it’s kind of beat-up ... there are weird things on the walls, but it’s not trying to be; it just is.
Everyone working here is so attractive ... Is there any pressure to be stylish?
Ana: It’s all about comfort and it’s super-casual, which I really like.
Slavica: What I really like about the style here is they give us a lot of freedom. They tell us about the uniform, but we’re still really free.
Daryl: We’re all very different personalities. I wear the same necklace and the same shoes and the same jeans, every day; that’s just my uniform. Ana always wears really cute Nikes, colorful ones. Everybody’s different and we all just happen to go well together.
Sae Joong Suh, Bartender
How do you think the restaurant fits into the neighborhood?
I would say if I was walking through this neighborhood, I’d be very surprised to see this place, but it’s a really, really nice surprise.
From Left: Office Manager Caroline Sheahan, General Manager Steven Bustos, and Executive Chef Nicholas Wilber
How would you describe your clientele's style?
Caroline: It’s funny, because I read all the pieces online about the fashionable clientele. It’s very true. I saw a woman in here who was straight out of the eighties. We have a lot of great PR companies that send a lot of their clients here, and a lot of that happens to be fashion industry. So it seems like somebody has some sort of tie. It’s fun to come down here and peek at what everybody’s wearing.
Most Viewed Stories
Entire Family Gets Paralyzed After Feasting on Deadly Pufferfish by Mistake
Korea’s New KFC Double Down Is Even More Horrifying Than the Original
People Upset With ‘Illegal Pete’s’ Burrito Shop for Obvious Reasons
Café Owner Infuriates Parents by Banning Kids Who ‘Run Rampant’
Alan Cumming Does Most of His Cooking in His Dressing Room
What to Eat at Vic’s, the Five Points Team’s Fresh New RestaurantAll openings »
The Marrow Will Close Tomorrow NightAll closings »
Search by name
Or, search by
Stories Elsewhere You Might Like
Portion Control: How to plan the right amount of food for a dinner party
A Halloween Feast For Adults Only
Make This Delicious Muddled Cocktail While Jack Daniel’s Rested Rye is Still Available
Big Night Out: Eight destination-worthy cocktail bars around the country
powered by PubExchange
Latest News on Grub StreetWylie Dufresne Commemorating Final Two Weeks of wd~50 With Ticketed Blowout Feasts
Wylie Dufresne's pioneering restaurant is going out with a crazy modernist bang, or course, and not at all with a whimper.Girl Who Was Burned by Hot Denny's Coffee Will Get $500K
The waitress who put the cup on the table's edge was negligent.Entire Family Gets Paralyzed After Feasting on Deadly Pufferfish by Mistake
Fugu is apparently as dangerous as everyone says, and doesn't have to be served raw and in Japan by a careless sushi chef to mess you up.Grub Street’s Restaurant Power Rankings: Tacos, Tarte Tatin, and More
Find out where to eat in Grub Street's weekly ranking of the city's most-buzzed-about restaurants.5 Awesome Outtakes From Alan Cumming’s Grub Street Diet Shoot
He's a very good sport.People Upset With ‘Illegal Pete’s’ Burrito Shop for Obvious Reasons
"This is a place that's going to instill violence in our community," critics say.This Restaurateur Tracked Down and Stalked a Yelper
"Straight up though if I ever see you near one of my places of business, we are going to have a discussion."Kristen Wiig and Fabrizio Moretti Dine at Locanda Verde; Leonardo DiCaprio Opts for Omar’s
This week's Celebrity Settings.Belgian Chocolate Company ISIS Decides It's Time to Change Its Name (Again)
They found a replacement that has less of a jihadist ring to it.After Ebola-Related Closing, the Gutter Will Reopen Today
Meanwhile, Brooklyn Bowl is all like, "it wasn't us."
"I have loads of water and vitamins, but also loads of vodka sodas."These Guys Are Buying Every Beer in America to Make a ‘Pandora for Alcohol’
The 40,000-brew quest doesn't involve any actual drinking.Korea’s New KFC Double Down Is Even More Horrifying Than the Original
There's a burger patty in there!Café Owner Infuriates Parents by Banning Kids Who ‘Run Rampant’
"The short answer is No, we are not child friendly."Jim Gaffigan May Have Killed Hot Pockets Once and for All
Kate Upton isn't helping things much, either.Culinary Superstars Christian Puglisi and Chad Robertson to Cook Dinner at Rose Bakery Next Month
Denmark's hottest chef and America's reigning celebrity baker are joining forces for one night only inside Dover Street Market.New Restaurateur Is Positive He Owns the Diner From Famed Nighthawks Painting
The real question is where are Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Elvis?52 Gorgeous Photos From Chef Alain Passard’s Truly Excellent Twitter Feed
He exclusively posts food porn.Swiss Company Has No Idea Why It Released Hitler-Themed Coffee Creamer
They also had Mussolini ones in hazelnut.Street Food All-Stars Join Forces for New Harlem Market
It all starts this Sunday, and there will also be beer.
A staff dinner with the celebrity chef who hates celebrity.The Most Patriotic Thief Ever Stole a Big Rig Full of High Life
44,000 pounds of the Champagne of Beer is enough to power a large party in a small country.What to Eat at Vic’s, the Five Points Team’s Fresh New Restaurant
It opens tonight.A New Study Confirms We’re Entering a ‘Golden Age’ of Bourbon
It expects investments totaling $800 million over the next five years.Watch As Experts Rave About ‘Organic Food’ That’s Really Just McDonald’s
Pranksters strike again!Grimaldi’s Shanghai Imposter Looks Pretty Horrible
The impostors even have a bright blue sign that reads, "I'm gonna make you a pizza you can't refuse."Introducing Sea Change, the ‘Uni of Cheese’
You can get it tomorrow at Saxelby Cheesemongers.Lucasfilm Is Not a Fan of Empire Brewing’s ‘Strikes Bock’ Beer
The resemblance is too strong in this one, it tells the U.S. patent office.Starbucks Will Unveil Its Chestnut Praline Latte Next Month
It's the first new holiday drink in five years.Grindhaus Hits the Reset Button With a Brand-New Chef and Steak for 2
The Red Hook restaurant has put a giant sirloin on the menu. It costs $50 and feeds at least two people.
Served at his new casual outpost, Aldo Sohm Wine Bar.Here Are the 2015 Michelin Stars for San Francisco; Benu and Saison Both Get Major Upgrades
Chefs Corey Lee and Joshua Skenes join the three-star club.Restaurant Posts Somber ‘Obituary’ After Upstairs Neighbor Kills the Business
"Cause of death: The HMO owner who did not fix a leak."McDonald’s Figures Out That People Sort of Hate Going to McDonald’s
The megachain's profits take a dive while Chipotle just keeps on killing it.A Man Claims His Golden Corral Chili Contained a Snaggletoothed Rat Head
"I was like, 'Maybe, you know, sometimes you get a hard bean inside.'"Burrata Everywhere: 24 Places to Eat Everyone’s Favorite Menu Item
It's the new bacon.Cappuccino Chips Are, Thankfully, No Longer Happening
Wasabi Ginger has won Lay's "Do Us a Flavor" contest in an apparent landslide, and no one is demanding a recall.L.A.’s Top Round Roast Beef Plans to Open in NYC, and Everywhere Else
Bring on the Beef on Wecks, Provel-topped steak sandwiches, and gravy-topped dirty fries.World Decides Deep-Fried Candy Corn Is One Step Too Far
"Those four words in THAT order? NAW."Above the Fray: How Restaurants Become Impervious to Criticism
To be above a certain threshold is to enter a kind of realm of immortality and myth, immune to the random quibbles of everyday life.
Choose this Poké Ball and get 26 traditional osechi dishes for $136.Brave Chili’s Cook Vows to Capitalize on Shirtless Viral Photo Shoot That Got Him Fired
"Trust and believe I'm capitalizing."First Look at Empellon al Pastor, Now Open in the East Village
Alex Stupak has flung open the doors of his much-anticipated bar-tortilleria in the East Village.Eataly’s Wine Shop Makes a Triumphant Return
The celebration includes free glasses of sparkling wine tonight.The Race to Create America’s Premier Carbonated Cold Brew
The Austin-based company Coffer has already attracted attention from coffee industry heavyweights.Ben & Jerry’s Defends Its ‘Hazed & Confused’ Ice Cream
The company told angry parents nothing about it "condoned hazing, supported hazing, or even inferred hazing."Yotam Ottolenghi on Instant Ramen, Plenty More, and His Secret Candy Stash
"People are becoming quite precious about what they eat."New York Taste Returns Next Month
Our annual culinary extravaganza happens November 10 with more than 40 of New York's best chefs and restaurants.The 10 Best Lines From Jay Rayner’s Brutal Steakhouse Takedown
"The most unintentionally funny restaurant to open in London in a very long time."Danny Meyer’s Untitled at the Whitney Closed in Advance of Its Move Downtown
The Breuer building is closed, but the huckleberry pancakes will be back in May of 2015.