After more than three years in the making, sushi star Masa Takayama's Tribeca teppanyaki project Tetsu might finally open in 2016. Tetsu was one of the city's most anticipated restaurants when news came out about it more than three years ago, and the team talked about an opening in 2013. It received a conditional approval for its liquor license, pending proper city documentation, according to the State Liquor Authority, but the restaurant never came into fruition. The SLA ultimately denied the license in September due to the missing information, some of which could only be obtained after the restaurant opens.
This week, Tribeca Citizen noticed that Masa's name was back on the local community board agenda to apply for a liquor license at 78 Leonard Street, and Masa's representative confirmed to Eater that he's still planning to open Tetsu. They wouldn't give more details, but property management company Gumley Haft said that the restaurant team has informed them that they're aiming for a mid-2016 opening date.
Construction didn't even really start until last year, said Jennifer McNally, who works on 78 Leonard St. for Gumley Haft, and some issues further delayed construction earlier this year. They didn't restart construction activity until very recently, she added.
In 2013, Masa told the SLA that Tetsu would seat 200 people in a 2,200-square-foot dining room with two grilling tables and 21 other tables. The plan also said the restaurant would have a bar area. It's still unclear if the delay means any major changes in the concept for the Tribeca location.
In the midst of all the delays, Masa opened a Tetsu in Las Vegas with the grilling concept. His team will be going in front of the Manhattan Community Board 1 again later this month to gain support for a liquor license at the restaurant again. Two years ago, the board was happy to approve the license — as long as Tetsu soundproofed the restaurant and agreed to not apply for a sidewalk cafe.