In theory, the unusual, wedge-shaped space at 10 Downing is a great location for a restaurant — tourists have to pass it to cross Bleecker Street, and it's within spitting distance from clubby Village favorites Bar Pitti, Da Silvano, and El Toro Blanco. But somehow, the restaurants that have inhabited the space over the last five years just haven't been able to make a go of it.
First, there was 10 Downing, a restaurant that caught on fire, lost its star chef (Jason Neroni, now splitting his time between the West Coast and makeing pizza at B-Side), narrowly escaped the Deathwatch, and quietly closed all within the span of two years. Back in fall 2010, the front part of the space reopened as a bistro called La Villette, and the back end turned into a location of Jack's Stir Brew Coffee. Now, the cafe is still there, but paper is up over the windows of the bistro.
The OpenTable page is dead for La Villette, the phone line is not in service, and a sign hangs on the door indicating that a new liquor license app has been filed under the working name 10 Downing Restaurant LLC. No word yet on what type of food this new restaurant will serve, or when it will open, but hopefully it will have more luck than the previous occupants.