Checking in with Taavo Somer’s ‘French New Wave’ Restaurant on Chrystie Street

Posted on: September 23rd, 2015 at 5:10 am by
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Somer is here again at Chrystie and Rivington.

Local heavyhitter Taavo Somer recently paired up with Carlos Quirarte, co-owner of The Smile, to create a new Lower East Side concept. In fact, a sixteen-table restaurant that serves “French New Wave health food.” To realize the dream, the duo reportedly purchased the assets of failed Italian restaurant Antonioni’s at 177 Chrystie Street.

The as-yet-unnamed establishment netted approval from Community Board 3 back in April for full liquor. Build-out began a month later, and wouldn’t you know it, onsite remodeling is already full force. Plywood boarding covers the access points and a coating of primer was applied. Canopy was also installed last week. Here’s a look at interior progress.

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Somer basically commands a monopoly on storefronts within spitting distance – Freeman’s, Freeman’s Sporting Club, Freeman’s Sporting Club Barber, and on and on…

But can this project really succeed where Antonioni’s couldn’t? Antonioni’s was largely a failure due to its aggressive pricing for the area amidst the competition. Like so many similar failed projects, its time behind plywood (2 years) far exceeded the time in business (1.5 years).

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