The team behind popular Lower East Side kosher shop The Pickle Guys is getting into the restaurant business for the first time with a new fried pickle shop. The kosher pickle shop recently moved to a new location at 357 Grand St., where the retail store will soon be accompanied by a small, counter-service restaurant. The pickle retail portion’s already in soft open, but the restaurant won’t be ready until the spring. Like the pickle shop, the restaurant will be kosher — part of owner Alan Kaufman’s dedication to the neighborhood’s Jewish history, says manager William Soo.
A name for the shop and menu are still in the works, Soo says, but expect it to focus primarily on frying the wide variety of pickles from the retail shop, possibly with options like fried okra, fried mushroom, and fried tomato. “We pickle many, many things throughout the year,” Soo says. “We’ll try to bring that stuff to the eatery.” Burgers, chicken sliders, and beef sliders will also likely be on the menu, though they see fried pickles as the primary draw. “That will be our main thing, what we’ll be best at,” he says.
The Pickle Guys first opened in the neighborhood at 49 Essex St. about 14 years ago. They shut down that outpost and a Midwood retail location last year for this Manhattan expansion. Kaufman used to work at the legendary Guss’ Pickles, which left LES in 2009.
The casual restaurant will be the first time the pickle purveyor will be going beyond retail. It will mostly be suited for to-go orders, with limited seating at bar stools and tables. The team’s aiming for an opening in March or April. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.