Australian-Indian critical hit Babu Ji is officially back in business. The East Village restaurant known for an eclectic menu and reasonably priced tasting menus shuttered in March amid wage lawsuits, but just as quickly as they left, husband-wife owners Jessi and Jennifer Singh will bring back Babu Ji near Union Square on Tuesday night.
They’re taking over the former All’onda space at 22 East 13th Street — a storefront that Ed Schoenfeld was previously going to take over for a restaurant called The Mess. Schoenfeld had built out the restaurant and even hosted friends and family nights in February before stopping work.
An Eater tipster spotted a Babu Ji sign on the space earlier this month, though the Singhs declined to talk about their plans at the time. The Singhs did not immediately respond to request for new information, and Schoenfeld declined to comment.
Reservations are now live for the new location of Babu Ji, with lots of availability for the grand opening night.
Babu Ji opened in the East Village in 2015 and quickly became known for its innovative Indian food and hip vibes. Eater critic Ryan Sutton awarded it two stars and named its vegan fried cauliflower dish one of the best of the year. In the fall, the Singhs capitalized on their success with a new outpost in San Francisco.
As for the wage lawsuits, court documents show that the attorneys are close to settlement.
Stay tuned for more.
Update: In a statement, Babu Ji adds that the new outpost will be offering cocktails — change from the East Village location, where diners only had the options of wine and to pick up beer from a fridge in the corner of the space. Options include “Shimla Cup,” with bourbon, cocchi Americano, a black tea called lapsang souchong, cinnamon, and lemon, and large format cocktails meant for multiple people. The tasting menu will also be making a return here.