Michael White and his partners in the Altamarea Group are planning to open a new Italian small plates restaurant next door to Osteria Morini called Caffe Morini & Enoteca. A rep tells DNAinfo that this new restaurant will be a "unique, high quality, affordable, warm and friendly meeting place for people to gather and enjoy small plates of delicious food." Usually the words "affordable" and "small plates" don't belong in the same sentence together, but maybe White and Co. will flip the script and serve tiny portions of food at appropriately low prices. And maybe California Chrome really will win the Belmont Stakes this weekend.
Michael White and business partner Ahmass Fakahany have been trying to open a restaurant in this space for a long time. Back in 2012, the CB2 shot down a zoning request that would have allowed the group to expand next door, and the SLA determined that the move would have violated the "500-foot rule."
Altamarea Group then took the SLA to court to overturn the ruling, but the judge threw out the case. Now DNAinfo reports that Altamarea Group won approval from the Board of Standards and Appeals to move into this space, with the caveat that the new restaurant and Osteria Morini cannot be physically connected in any way. The team went before the CB2 again last fall to get a new liquor license at 216 Lafayette St., but they had no luck convincing the board to give them initial approval.
White and his posse will go before the CB2 once again on June 10. If Altamarea Group somehow manages to get this liquor license, the new restaurant could open by the end of the year.
· Michael White to Open Cafe Next to Osteria Morini [DNAinfo]
· All Coverage of Osteria Morini [~ENY~]