Since its closure in December 2017, the space that housed Crepevine for 18 years has sat vacant, alongside many others on its block of Church Street.
Now, a new restaurant, Gramercy Park Brasserie & Wine Bar, is finally slated to take over the space at 216 Church (between Market and 15th streets).
Named for the famed private park in New York City — from which owner Mark White hails — Gramercy will offer "approachable and fair-market-value" bistro fare, White says, at prices comparable to those of nearby Finn Town Tavern.
White has also leased the adjacent space at 212 Church St., formerly Church Street Flowers, to operate a takeaway business, Gramercy Park To-Go. He told Hoodline he's leased both spaces for a decade, with the option for an additional five years.
White has previously been involved in four restaurants, mostly in New York. A year and a half after moving from the East Coast to his new home in the Tenderloin, he's venturing out on his own for the first time.
"I love this neighborhood," he said. "As a gay man, this is where I wanted my businesses to be."
With a choice of four potential spaces around the area, he chose 216 Church "because I love the architecture and large windows," he said.
In keeping with the "Gramercy Park" moniker, he plans to fill the space with plenty of greenery, including a large chandelier made out of leaves and a big tree growing around a communal table.
"This place will look like a park when it's done," he said.
Gramercy Park will serve lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Sample menu items listed on the eatery's website include chipotle-agave lacquered salmon, paleo cauliflower mac & cheese, and Yemenite-style beef ribeye.
To start, the restaurant will only have a beer and wine license, but White is on the hunt for a full liquor license, which he hopes to obtain before Pride.
A few sample cocktails are already listed on Gramercy Park's website, including the Pomegranate Lime Zinger (vodka, pomegranate, lime, honey, mint), the Champagne Sundays (champagne, açai sherbet, white chocolate twist), and the Bosses Tea (Patrón Citrónge, rum, fresh lemon juice, cola).
Next door, Gramercy Park To-Go will offer coffee, bagels, croissants, salads and other grab-and-go items for commuters. "Postmates, UberEats, etc. will be able to pick up their order to go there," White explained.
While White says Gramercy Park will open on April 1, public records indicate that he has yet to apply for construction permits or his beer and wine license. He said he's currently working on the permits, with the goal of starting demolition on the space by next week.
Both the restaurant and the to-go space will be open late, which White said was one of his landlord's requests when he signed the lease. Gramercy Park should be open until 10 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends, with Gramercy Park To-Go operating from 7 a.m.-midnight every day except Sunday.
"We see that there's a need for the locals to have a later spot," he said. "We really want a place that everybody feels happy, welcome and comfortable."
Thank you to tipsters Gary O. and Tracy L.