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Throwbacks: Learning to Stop Worrying and Love Merkato 55

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Next week marks a new era of Eater. So all this week, we're celebrating Eater 1.0 by republishing some favorite pieces from the vault. Ahead: a classic IMterview about the state of Merkato 55 in July 2008.

Have a favorite post from, oh, before 2009? Hit us up.

merkato%2055%202008%2002.jpgIt's been a little while since we've seen an IMterview around these parts. For which we apologize. And present, this.

SlnyDaddy: merkato?
CrbdDaddy: sweet sweet merkato
SlnyDaddy: sweet sweet sweet merkato
SlnyDaddy: in aspen, marcus came over to me
SlnyDaddy: said, hey, do you mind if we talk for a moment?
SlnyDaddy: (note: didn't mind)
SlnyDaddy: said, why are you saying these things about merkato?
SlnyDaddy: good people are working at the restaurant, trying very hard. no one has done this food in NY before.
CrbdDaddy: okay, yes
SlnyDaddy: told me, you just have to come in and see
SlnyDaddy: i said, that's exactly the problem

SlnyDaddy: couple of interesting things i'd submit about the MS conversation
SlnyDaddy: 1) post-Bruni, dude's pretty involved
SlnyDaddy: 2) i do believe he believes he's doing 'the good work'
SlnyDaddy: 3) no acknowledgment whatsoever that for his African concept to work he has to surround it by a business that makes money
CrbdDaddy: well that's good to hear
SlnyDaddy: ie. a shitshow bar above and below
SlnyDaddy: let's assume that the service issues in the restaurant get worked out
SlnyDaddy: you've still got a club upstairs and a lounge downstairs
SlnyDaddy: and, if you'll permit me to add,
SlnyDaddy: the club downstairs is run by two guys who got shut down ACROSS THE STREET
SlnyDaddy: does this jive with your notes?
CrbdDaddy: i'm afraid it does
CrbdDaddy: where's bijoux's entrance relative to the restaurant space?
SlnyDaddy: via the street level dining room
SlnyDaddy: believe it's through the dining room
SlnyDaddy: although they might open that side door when it gets very busy
SlnyDaddy: the spaces are connected, if that's what you're getting at
CrbdDaddy: let the party continue, i say
SlnyDaddy: shut down the restaurant?
CrbdDaddy: maybe it's all going to be okay, if they make this plan work
CrbdDaddy: put up chest-high velvet ropes around the dining area, check
CrbdDaddy: serve delicious food, really do it right, getting there
CrbdDaddy: meantime, at bar, downstairs lounge, and rooftop plaza, bottle service for all, check
CrbdDaddy: why is that not genius?
SlnyDaddy: believe it is both genius and the actual current thinking
SlnyDaddy: now there's just the small matter that it opened as a restaurant
SlnyDaddy: bygones?
CrbdDaddy: concept: quick rebrand
CrbdDaddy: change name to mr. kato
CrbdDaddy: all is forgiven
SlnyDaddy: HA
SlnyDaddy: sweet sweet mr. kato

· All Merkato 55 Coverage [~E~]

55 gansevoort street, new york, ny

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