After more than a year out of commission, now-internationally-famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten reopened his first solo restaurant JoJo this week with a lighter, brighter, and whiter space — a look that’s a notch more similar to his newer restaurants like AbcV.
The Upper East Side restaurant in a brownstone opened at 160 East 64th Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues, in 1991, and since then, the French bistro has closed just one other time for renovations, back in 2002. Previously, management had said that it was time to create a more “downtown atmosphere” at the restaurant.
“We wanted to create a bright, fresh space,’’ says Lois Freedman, President of Jean Georges Management. In practice, that means drapes have been replaced by sheer white linen window dressing. The carpet’s gone, and the windows have been painted white. The furniture, too, comes in shades of light wood, beige, and brown — a sharp contrast from the black and greens of the previous rendition.
JoJo made a big impact when it first opened in New York, though over time, it’s been better known as a charming neighborhood restaurant. Now, it will serve dishes like a Peekytoe crab dumplings in citrus-celeriac infusion with ginger or roasted duck breast with hibiscus and honey glazed pumpkin, wild rice, and turnips. Take a look at the photos of the more updated, lighter space below.
With reporting by Beth Landman