The Wall Street space’s beloved French bistro Augustine, compelled to shut by the pandemic final yr, will rise once more — with a brand new title and a powerhouse new proprietor.
Daniel Boulud will launch a brand new French bistro subsequent spring on the Beekman Street website of what was Keith McNally’s farthest-downtown eatery, The Post has realized.
It’s large news not just for Boulud’s followers however for the entire FiDi/World Trade Center eating scene, which has badly missed Augustine because the Covid-19 disaster compelled McNally to shut it in July of 2020.
When Augustine opened on the Beekman Hotel in late 2016, it turned the No. 1 gathering spot for the Wall Street space’s movers, shakers and scenemakers. Anna Wintour made it an everyday hangout for her Conde Nast military working on the close by World Trade Center.
Boulud made no announcement of his new place however spoke to The Post after we noticed a liquor license utility within the window with the title of his firm, Dinex.
“We were talking to the landlord for a long time and we came to a nice agreement,” Boulud mentioned Wednesday.
It was too early to have a reputation or a chef. But Boulud mentioned, “The concept is a French bistro.”
“I think the location is good,” he added.
Augustine regulars recall partitions and columns of glazed tiles painted with birds, burgundy banquettes and downtown’s most mellow restaurant lighting from floral-accented ceiling fixtures.
Boulud mentioned a lot of the 80-seat eating room’s widely-praised, Paris-redolent inside would stay because it was, though McNally was permitted to take away sure gadgets corresponding to distressed mirrors.
Boulud’s on a big-time roll. He launched instant-hit Le Pavillon final spring and simply reopened his flagship Restaurant Daniel after a redesign. He additionally reopened Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud and is looking for a brand new location for his shuttered Cafe Boulud.
McNally, in the meantime, is hardly out of the restaurant enterprise — his Balthazar, Pastis, Minetta Tavern and Morandi survived final yr’s lockdowns and are thriving. But Augustine’s destiny was sealed by its location in a neighborhood that noticed Manhattan’s largest exodus of residents and employees after the pandemic struck.
Boulud wouldn’t focus on phrases. Augustine’s preliminary lease was $500,000 a yr, Grub Street reported. Conditions have modified a lot since then that speculating on Boulud’s deal could be silly.
The new place gained’t come at a greater time for the district south of Chambers Street as residents and workplace employees return. The space has robust waterfront eating choices with Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s The Fulton and Andrew Carmellini’s Carne Mare at Pier 17 on the East River and the eye-popping Liberty Bistro at Brookfield Place on the Hudson.
But fine-dining pickings past steakhouses are slim within the blocks in between. Nobu Downtown, Tom Colicchio’s Temple Court (additionally within the Beekman Hotel) and Felice on Gold Street are positive to welcome the culinary firm.