It used to be the office for Fletcher & Parry, a literary agency; before that I believe it was a residence. "It" is a lovely carriage house on 17th street, just off of Irving, but something has drastically changed of late. Yesterday, when Danielle and I passed by after strolling through the Greenmarket, it seemed to be under very new management.
"The House" has a large black sign above the picture windows on 17th street and there’s a winterized front door for future customers. We poked our heads in, why not, and saw that it's now a restaurant, albeit one that looks like someone is playing dress-up whilst the grown-ups are away.
My impressions of the physical space: the main floor, where the office was and before that probably the living room, is now filled with high chairs and high tables, a new bar with a flat screen TV and crown moldings on the ceiling around a chandelier. The kitchen is in the basement and I was told that the second floor has a smaller dining room and a second bar. How they fit that in there I don't know; there were two tiny offices up there before. I had the sense that they were going for a mini-coach house look. [Coach House is now Babbo, and was another rare NYC townhouse space]. I got the feeling that it was all for show somehow, all too new and not particularly comfortable. Personally, those high chairs and tables make me feel even smaller, my feet don’t reach the ground; just call me Baby Snooks.
Beyond the space and onto the food. Conversationally, I asked "JP" who was standing behind the new bar what I thought were some routine and benign questions: when are you opening [soon], what kind of food [comfort food], who’s cooking [can’t tell you], who’s the owner [really, can’t tell you], do you do events [we’re already booked up through next summer, thank you very much]—all of which were all met with an unusual iciness. Harrumph.
I thought I understood that it was a tight resto market out there, but I was a little surprised that two potential neighborhood customers and cute girls to boot were so summarily dismissed; that didn't strike me as particularly neighborly nor friendly. Hence, they rate an initial harrumph. I will have to see when it opens but it seemed awkward and forced as a restaurant. Single family home, yes! High end literary agency, maybe. Cozy neighborhood resto, eh maybe, maybe not.