Wine and fondue restaurant The Bourgeois Pig is closing its doors this week after 12 years in business as part of owner Ravi DeRossi’s plan to turn all his businesses vegan. As DeRossi told Eater earlier this year, the restaurateur plans to convert as many of his 15 restaurants and bars into animal-free establishments as he can. Cocktail bar Mother of Pearl already switched earlier this year, and now, he’s finally making good on his plan to turn The Bourgeois Pig — the first bar he ever opened — into Ladybird, a vegan wine bar and tapas restaurant, a project he’s been talking about for years.
DeRossi is selling all the velvet, gold, and red furniture of The Bourgeois Pig to completely transform the space for Ladybird, which will open later this summer with white and emerald decor. "It will be very light and airy," he says. "It’s really a place you can come in and get a quick bite and a glass of wine, very casual." Mother of Pearl chef Daphne Cheng will create a menu of "globally-inspired plant-based tapas," and Riddling Widow sommelier Ariel Arce, who previously worked for people like Chicago chef Grant Achatz, will be putting together a list of natural and biodynamic wines.
The restaurateur admits that he feels a "tiny, tiny, tiny bit of sadness" over the closing of The Bourgeois Pig since it’s the first bar he ever opened. But DeRossi thinks the dairy industry negatively impacts people’s health and the environment, and The Bourgeois Pig uses "thousands of pounds of cheese every week," something he doesn’t want to participate in anymore, he says. "I’m more elated at the fact that it’s a huge weight off my shoulders," DeRossi says. "That is way more important to me than the tiny bit of sadness."
Fans of The Bourgeois Pig can stop in at 127 MacDougal Street until Saturday, and food and wine will be 2-for-1 until it’s all gone. Ladybird will be "totally different," but DeRossi won’t totally ignore the space’s history moving forward. The new restaurant will feature one or two fondues on the menu as an homage — they just won’t have any dairy in them.