Beer! Oysters! 700 Feet! New Hole-in-the-Wall on First
Laura Kusisto Feb. 4, 2011, 12:29 p.m.
95 First Avenue
Claustrophobics have long been culled from the East Village, so no one will blink an eye at a 700-square-foot restaurant with portions to match.
Catching the small-plate trend, a new oyster and craft beer bar is opening in Little India, where they’ve already managed to fit an entire subcontinent worth of cuisine into a small strip.
The new restaurant will be called Upstate, owner Shane Covey told The Commercial Observer, because that’s his original home and also the source of many of the meats and cheeses he plans to serve.
Mr. Covey formerly worked at the much larger oyster bar Shaffer City. The restaurant recently closed. “I guess it’s now or never,” he said. Mr. Covey will take much of the staff with him. “We’re going to run oysters. It will be a small batch,” he said, and will also serve craft beer
The demand was strong for the space between Fifth and Sixth streets, according to brokers Mark Tergeson and Dean Valentino of ABS Partners, who represented both the tenant and the landlord, Quad 344 LLC. Interest ranged from an organic sandwich shop, a tapas place, a Mexican restaurant and several sushi places.
Mr. Covery has already adopted the minimalist attitude toward space shared by East Villagers, content to have their showers in the kitchen or beds in the living room: “You don’t need a full kitchen with venting and a duct system,” he said. “You don’t have to do the three-course meals, and you can still have a life.”