Acme, which replaced Cajun specialist Acme Bar & Grill on Great Jones Street, may be only one month old, but the place is already attracting an ultra-stylish, ultra-hip crowd. Chalk it up to the new restaurant's owners and investors: Jean-Marc Houmard and Huy Chi Le of Indochine; Jon Neidich of the Standard Hotel; and BlackBook founder Evan Schindler. It also doesn't hurt that the chef, Mads Refslund, is one of the founders of Noma in Copenhagen, and he's turning out some seriously impressive Scandinavian-inflected food. Whatever the case, the restaurant has garnered a reputation so quickly that we knew it was time to check in with the staff for a Fashion Week edition of House Style.
Acme's managers: Craig Atlas, Robert D'Arcangelo, and Charlie Smith
DO YOU HAVE TO WEAR JACKETS? Craig: We all wear jackets for the most part. I think it's just that you're supposed to come in and have some kind of manager look so there's a way to visually distinguish you from the rest of the staff and/or the clientele. If you have no idea if someone is dining or working in a place, that's weird. SO, CHARLIE, YOU'RE THE GATEKEEPER TO ACME? Charlie: I wouldn't refuse that title. HOW FAR OUT ARE YOU BOOKING? Charlie: At the moment, two weeks. ANY ROOM FOR WALK-INS? Charlie: Yeah, we try to keep the tables at front and the seats at the bar first-come, first-serve. Craig: I think we've seen we already have a bunch of neighborhood regulars. People want to just be able to pop in and get a table. It seems walk-ins get accommodated pretty frequently, especially early in the evening, or late, or especially at the bar.
Tristan Lacourt, Cassie Gann, Miles Trauman, servers
ARE THERE ANY MEMORABLE OUTFITS FROM THE FEW WEEKS YOU'VE BEEN OPEN? Miles: We're seeing a lot of fur. A lot of fur jackets, big furry hats. Cassie: Cut-outs. Tristan: There was a woman one night with a huge white fur hat. Miles: She had a whole wedding cake on her head. Tristan: She was very skinny, and the hat was bigger than her..
Pierre Batraville, server (on left)
DO YOU HAVE A DAY JOB? I do. I'm a music producer. My company is Black Sand. DO YOU GET A LOT OF STYLISH PEOPLE IN HERE? Yeah, we do. I'm seeing a lot of interesting mink coats, and chinchilla. HOW DO YOU GUYS CREATE THE VIBE? I think it's their style of management — they let us be ourselves. They pretty much hired us all for our personalities, not our experience. We're all very affable people. It is a great spot. It's gonna be even better as time goes on.
Nick Vorderman (second from left), Trevor Schneider (far right)
HOW DO YOU LIKE WEARING THE SKINNY TIES? Nick: I think they're great. We're all skinny gentleman. DO YOU GET A LOT OF FASHION PEOPLE? Nick: So far, yes. Fashion, art, entertainment. We had a Cynthia Rowley event last night. Tuesday we had Vladimir Roitfeld. Tonight is Suno. HOW ABOUT REGULARS? Trevor: We definitely do have a fair share of regulars. Nick: It's well-received. People who live in the neighborhood say this neighborhood needed something like this. ANY WELL-KNOWN REGULARS? Trevor: Some notable customers we've had in the two weeks I've been here are Seth Meyers, Russell Simmons, the guy that played Newman on Seinfeld. The Olsen twins were here. Anthony Mackie. Rachel Zoe. Nick: Chuck Close the artist. I liked seeing that.
Trevor Schneider, bartender
DO YOU HAVE A DAY JOB? I kind of dabble in a few things: nutrition, computers, fashion, travel. NUTRITION, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? I study nutrition. Juicing and health, conscientious eating. I'm a juice head. YOU DO HAVE A GLOWING COMPLEXION. THAT MUST BE WHY. Thank you. It helps, it certainly helps.
Chef Mads Refslund (left) and chef de cuisine Ariel Fox
WHEN YOU PUT TOGETHER THE MENU, WERE YOU THINKING ABOUT COOKING FOR A FASHION CROWD? Mads: No. I was thinking about a mix of my ideas and the owners' ideas. We met in the middle. It was more like home food, family food, food you want to be eating more than once a month. You take food that's local, and it's very family-style. AND THAT WAY YOU FOSTER REGULARS? In a way, yeah. People want to come back more than once. It's more like a second home for people. It should not be too expensive, it should not be just for foodies — it should be a mix. WHY CHANGE THE MENU ONCE A MONTH? To follow the season. SO IT'S KIND OF LIKE FASHION? Yeah, in a way it is like fashion.
Jean Charles, door person for downstairs lounge
NICE SUIT. WHERE'S IT FROM? It's from H&M. DO YOU HAVE A UNIFORM? No, since I do the door, I get to use my unique style. Sometimes it's a suit, sometimes a vest, jacket, jeans. Whatever I feel. DO THE PEOPLE COMING IN DRESS WELL? I had these two model girls walked in with fur coats and low-brim hats, almost a Carmen Sandiego kind of thing. It looked cool.
The Acme team
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