The team behind Gjelina, the uber-hip LA restaurant that effectively defines the vegetable-fetishizing, pan-Mediterranean, live-fire-driven New California Cuisine that's increasingly influencing kitchens in this city, is opening their own restaurant right here New York.
An SEC filing reveals that Travis Lett, Fran Cemaj, and Shelley Armistead — owners of Gjelina and its bakery/deli/cafe offshoot Gjusta — have been working with the Spotted Pig's Ken Friedman on building out a restaurant at 45 Bond St., a development that Eater confirms with property landlord David Rajwan. Friedman has been involved with the space for a while — he'd previously working with a group from England to open there — but Rajwan tells Eater that he scrapped that plan and, in December, ended up signing on the Gjelina team. According to the SEC filing, Lett, Cemaj, and Armistead hope to raise $4 million for the new location.
The new space will be two stories, with a ground floor of more than 1,700 square feet. Construction is moving fast, and while the landlord says it could be done some time this summer, Friedman says it will be a while.
It's still unclear what the concept will be, though Lett is known for his wood-fired pizzas and his homemade jams, pickles, and spreads. The Gjelina team did not immediately respond to request for further comment, and Friedman, when reached by Eater, declined to offer more specifics.
If the new project is anything like the trio's Los Angeles endeavors — minimalist rustic decor, an obsessive ethos of seasonality, an impossibly cool staff, a strong focus on take-out, and expansive menus filled with deceptively complex, vegetable-forward dishes drawing on an international palette of spices — it'll fit right in with its beautiful-people-attracting neighbors in the NoHo/Bowery triangle, including the Smile, Gemma and, right next door to the new project, Il Buco.