Caviarteria Beluga Bar, a now-shuttered Tribeca caviar bar with a convoluted past, is looking to revive itself in the East Village. Owner Walter Drobenko has applied for a liquor license at 234 East Ninth Street between Second and Third Avenues to reopen the luxe caviar, Champagne, and piano bar with a retail component, EV Grieve reports.
The proposal is similar to the shuttered Beluga Bar he owned at 75 Murray Street, offering caviar, smoked salmon, blinis, and foie gras, sourced from the mail-order caviar company he also owns. Here, though, Drobenko — who is an attorney and owns Cloister Cafe next door, too — is considering adding sushi to the menu, he tells Eater in an interview. The space is smaller, with room for up to 50 people; the full proposal is below.
Caviarteria was founded in 1952 and has had a very gripping history. Drobenko took over the company in 2006 after two of the original owners died in apparent separate suicides. Before that, they had brought the Caviarteria brand to nine locations in NYC Las Vegas, and Florida, all shuttered by 2006. Tax returns from fiscal year 2001 showed a $2 million loss, the Post reports.
Still, this did not deter Drobenko, who went on to open the original Beluga Bar in Tribeca, open from 2013 to 2016 until the landlord declined to renew the lease, he says. Now, he will attempt to bring Beluga Bar back to life starting with a Manhattan Community Board 3 meeting next week, saying that few places exist in the city where people can eat caviar and drink Champagne.
This latest entrant adds to several upscale bars that have joined New York City’s drinking scene as of late. The Lobster Club, The Aviary, and The Office all opened this fall offering pricey food and drink in luxe spaces. And while there aren’t many dedicated Champagne bars in NYC — Flute and The Champagne Bar at The Plaza Hotel among them — Air’s Champagne Parlor also opened in 2017.