The former space of Le Baron — once New York's hottest nightclub — may now transform into a Japanese small plates and sushi spot. Nightlife guy Ron Castellano, who was a managing member of Le Baron, has submitted a liquor license application for a to-be-named "sushi restaurant and bar" at 32 Mulberry St. in Chinatown. Castellano, who also owns downtown club Santos Party House with party guy Andrew W.K. and shuttered restaurant Rosette, declined to comment more about his plans.
But according to the application, the new restaurant would make use of all three levels of the Le Baron space. Each floor will have tables, for a total of 78 seats and 14 bar stools. And despite Le Baron and Castellano's reputation for places pumping with music, the application says that the restaurant will only have music at "background" quiet levels, both from a DJ and recorded music. Castellano and other partner Jake Smith are requesting to serve liquor from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m., seven days a week.
The sample menu includes shrimp and chive gyoza, soba noodles, crispy fish, and a small omakase. Preliminary prices range from $8 for gyoza to $45 for the small omakase. Castellano says more information is contingent on how his meeting with Manhattan Community Board 3 goes. The community board recently decided to be stricter about approving liquor licenses. Their vote is advisory to the State Liquor Authority, which makes the final decision. Castellano will be going in front of the board on Monday, May 16. Le Baron closed some time last year. Castellano declined to say why the once-hip club closed. Check out the full sample menu for the new place below.