Changes are underway at Ssäm Bar, chef David Chang’s ten-year-old trailblazer in the East Village. The restaurant closed on Sunday to begin a renovation, a design upgrade that means the notoriously uncomfortable stools will be replaced with chairs with backs. Photos from East Village blog EV Grieve show that a crew already started to demolish and excavate the interior on Monday.
It’s not yet clear when the restaurant will reopen or what it will look like, but a spokeswoman says they expect it to be a very short closure. The Momofuku team historically likes to work pretty quickly with revamps. When they turned Ssäm’s back room from Milk Bar to a duck station in 2011, they closed for just two weeks. They also flipped the bar at Má Pêche into Fuku+ in a night, though this Ssäm renovation looks like it is more work intensive.
The change also means that wildly popular experimental cocktail bar Booker and Dax ended operations in Ssäm’s back room over the weekend, after five years in the space. Owner Dave Arnold plans to reopen the bar elsewhere as a stand-alone project, though it may be a while since he’s still seeking out the right location. But once it’s open, fans can expect Booker and Dax 2.0 to be similar to the original. Hear anything about where it might be popping up? Drop us a line.