Avenue N…and Opening a Restaurant

Just got back from a tour of Avenue N, Nick and Tracy Rabar’s soon-to-open restaurant in Rumford Center. The space, which is adjacent to Seven Stars, is a still a shell — no walls, no floors, no plumbing, no fixtures — but the duo have a plan (not to mention funding, design and, as of last night, a full liquor license. Construction crews will break ground next week, with a hope-to-open date sometime in mid-March. The rehabbed factory has sixteen-foot ceilings, lots of windows, exposed brick, and very cool old sliding barn doors. Expect forty-five seats, a dozen at the marble-topped bar and thirty-two additional seats on the patio in summer. The menu is family friendly American fare (pizzas are part of the plan and so is a burger), and the restaurant will be open seven days and serve Sunday brunch. The couple, most recently of the Chow Fun Food Group (XO, Ten, Rick’s Roadhouse, etc) will be hands-on, Nick in the kitchen and Tracy heading up the front of the house. So, there you have it; that’s what we know right now.


Totally unrelated, but if you love reading about new restaurant concepts, build-outs, etc., you absolutely must read Frank Bruni’s piece in today’s Times. It offers up the details and logic behind Chef John Fraser’s plan to open a pop-up restaurant, appropriately dubbed What Happens When in NYC. I’ve eaten at Fraser’s Dovetail, and I hope to score a reservation during the fleeting nine months the chef will keep his newest venture open. It’s a great read…and it will give you some insight into all that goes into — or, according to Fraser, doesn’t have to — opening a new restaurant.