West Village Favorite Gabe Stulman Is Eyeing the Iconic Great Jones Cafe Space

“Looks like prolific West Village restaurateur Gabriel Stulman is trying to get in on the former space of Noho icon Great Jones Cafe. Stulman’s name is on the Manhattan Community Board 2 agenda, applying for a liquor license at the 54 Great Jones St. restaurant, as EV Grieve first pointed out.

He’s the second person to try and open a new business there; in the fall, a crew including a Tao vet applied to reopen Great Jones as a “modern American” restaurant. The Cajun restaurant closed in August after 35 years, a shutter that happened shortly after owner Jim Moffett’s death. It was known for being a lively neighborhood hang, a stand-by for locals and a late-night fixture.

Knowing that history, the last people to try and open a restaurant in the space told neighbors that it would maintain “the spirit” of the original Great Jones. What Stulman plans to do with it is to-be-announced; he declined to comment on the liquor license application.”

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Benno, Proudly Out of Step With the Age

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“Dated was the word one friend used after going to Benno, and if you’ve eaten there, too, you’ll know why. It’s as if the past 15 years in food never happened. The menu seems to be stuck in some time between 1994, when Thomas Keller bought the French Laundry, and 2004, when he opened Per Se with a young Jonathan Benno leading the kitchen.

The restaurant will probably be a tough sell to those diners who expect all restaurants to fall on a continuum between Noma and the Salt Bae place. But I prefer it to any number of newer, self-consciously modern restaurants, some of which are so determined to be of the moment that they might as well have a time stamp. Benno is not trying to be contemporary. It’s trying to be delicious. And it is, from start to finish, almost without exception.”

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