Saturday was the last night in the life of BarFry, the West Village tempura restaurant helmed by Josh DeChellis. The place struggled during its brief existence, receiving mixed reviews in the early going for its all-tempura program, and BarFry never really seemed to catch on, even when DeChellis introduced his menu of prepared dishes later on. The chef blames the lack of a liquor license. “In retrospect, we should have waited to open up until we had one,” he says. “The idea of the place was supposed to be a bar where you would drink interesting but not super-pricey cocktails and have some tempura to eat with them. But when we opened, nobody thought of it as a bar, and it became focused on as a restaurant. And a lot of people didn’t want to go to a tempura shop, no matter what else we had on the menu.” DeChellis tells us there is already a new project in the planning stages — for “way sooner rather than later” — and that we’ll be hearing about it soon.
Josh DeChellis: “It’s time to move on.”