In April, news broke that big dog restaurateur Steve Hanson had signed the lease on the former Japonais space at 111 East 18th Street with plans to turn it into an "Asian-themed" restaurant. Now, Flo Fab reports that it will be a Japanese place (Hanson's first) called Kibo, and it's slated to open sometime next month.
The menu will have dishes made on a robata grill plus sushi, noodles, and small plates made with organic ingredients that put an emphasis on "nutritional benefits." The bi-level space will have two bars plus a lounge and a DJ booth. As it's being pitched, Kibo actually doesn't sound all that different from Japonais, but if there's anyone that can pull off big box Asian in Gramercy, it's probably Steve Hanson.