Brooklyn empire builders Rob Newton and Kerry Diamond are shuffling around two of their Carroll Gardens restaurants next month. Their Vietnamese hit Nightingale 9, which opened in the spring of 2013, will relocate to 329 Smith St., replacing the couple's first restaurant, the southern Seersucker. In the Nightingale 9 space, they will open a more casual Seersucker spinoff called Wilma Jean. Named after chef Newton's maternal grandmother, the new concept will serve some of the more popular Seersucker menu items.
Seersucker will close after brunch service this coming Sunday, and renovations will begin right away. Nightingale 9 will close during the 4th of July holiday weekend and will reopen as Wilma Jean the next week.
The changes might not come as a huge surprise to anyone in the neighborhood who has endured the long waits for a seat at Nightingale 9, a smaller restaurant with a smaller kitchen than Seersucker and a tiny bar. A source close to the couple also notes that the confusion in the media and in the general public between their Seersucker and chef Brian Malarkey's Searsucker in San Diego (not to mention the Searsucker in Austin) was also a motivation for the change.
Says co-owner Diamond, "This month is our four year anniversary of Seersucker, and we're excited. We like new projects obviously so we're looking at it through that lens. We put our heart and soul into Seersucker so it's definitely a big announcement for us. We think it's good all around." She also added that the Nightingale 9 team is excited to be able to be able to play around with cocktails and a full liquor license.
Newton also recently signed on to create a restaurant for the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which is slated to open in October.
· All Coverage of Nightingale 9 [~ENY~]
· All Coverage of Chef Robert Newton [~ENY~]