Hotel Chantelle Quietly Soft Opens at 92 Ludlow

Posted on: November 9th, 2010 at 6:33 am by

This next story is over two years in the making, and involves the never-talked-about nightspot Hotel Chantelle. Back in September 2008, Eater broke news that the 1920s-Paris-inspired restaurant was to open at the squat 92 Ludlow Street. Brought to you by the owners behind Royal Oak in Williamsburg, Hotel Chantelle promised to occupy an eye-popping 7,500 square-feet of space divvied up between the three levels, including basement and roofdeck.

This image has been archived or removed.

Said roofdeck was to be year-round, courtesy of an enclosure, and also boast an “Edward scissorhandian topiary garden with hedges and trees in the shapes of animals.” Meanwhile, the subterranean hangout would be super-exclusive with its own bar, and only accessible to those with limited edition skeleton keys.

This image has been archived or removed.

Well, a tipster sent along word yesterday morning that Hotel Chantelle is a go; it soft opened over the weekend.

Two years late, by the guy who owns Royal Oak in WB. First of its kind below Delancey. Going to be a mega-club/restaurant. Will no doubt bring unpleasant crowds, but the decor is really impressive. All the wood is salvaged from 18th century Philadelphia buildings that were being torn down. Everything looks like it cost a shitload. Apparently he still plans to proceed with the “key system” that’s described in the two year old Eater post.

Going on the tip, we stopped by later in the day for an early look at the joint and met owner Benjamin Shih.  First impression – it’s very swanky, with fancy upholstered booths, dim lighting, and plenty of wood. At this point, the ground level restaurant is the only operational part of Hotel Chantelle, and fits approximately 390 heads. No menu just yet, but the fare will be “French colonial.”  Only full bar, salads, and small plates of fruit, cheese, and bread are now available.

This image has been archived or removed.

We were told that the grand opening should happen sometime within the next few weeks, with the other floors slated to unlock roughly six weeks out.  Shih candidly admitted to us that it should’ve happened in January 2009, but there were a few roadbocks along the way which delayed the whole process.

This image has been archived or removed.

When asked about the basement club, he said that it is strictly a casual hangout for friends of staff, press, and “people in the neighborhood.” But that it isn’t some kind of standard issue velvet rope/clipboard deal.  Regardless, the downstairs area still sounds like it could spiral into an exclusive VIP situation.

This image has been archived or removed.

Hotel Chantelle, 92 Ludlow Street, (212) 254-9100

Recent Stories

‘Caribea’ Grill Readies Space Left Vacant by Domino’s on Allen Street

Ever since Domino’s ditched its decades-old Allen Street location three years ago, the commercial space has been a vacancy consistently peddled on the market. Now, a new concept is a-knockin. Caribea is as it sounds – a fast casual pan-Caribbean grill. The restaurant at 203 Allen will seat fourteen tables and a stand-up bar, for […]

The Projects Jockeying for the $20M Chinatown Revitalization Funds

Several months ago, Governor Hochul announced a $20 million grant in the form of the Downtown Revitalization initiative (DRI).  Some forty sites around Chinatown were identified during the DRI process, which is led by a Local Planning Committee of community representatives and supported by State agency staff and a consultant team. That list was ultimately […]

Displaced Chinatown Business Returns Months After Devastating Fire

Four months after a deadly fire knocked out 78 Mulberry Street, one of its businesses returned to the scene. Ewa Trading Company reopened in its former Chinatown home earlier this week. The store had spent some of the interim displacement period selling from a shuttered Vietnamese restaurant a few paces north. The two-alarm fire broke […]

EDC Sues Essex Restaurant for Back Rent over Former Essex Market Lease

Three years removed from its relocation across Rivington Street, the city filed suit against the Essex restaurant for alleged unpaid rent. The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) sued Essex for nearly $60,000 in unpaid back rent on the former Essex Market building it previously occupied, according to the lawsuit filed Monday. The city entity claims that […]

Exile on Orchard Street: Tenement Museum Recreates Exhibits During Renovations

The Tenement Museum is amidst a preservation project at 97 Orchard Street, but will continue its programming with replicas not too far away. The 1863-era tenement this past Sunday embarked on “vital” restoration work to preserve its walls, floors, roof, as well as the installation of a new HVAC system that will provide improved climate […]