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What’s Going On With the NYC Gjelina Project?

Members from the super hip Los Angeles restaurant are targeting a spring opening

Gjelina
Gjelina in LA
Photo via Gjelina

Looks like super hip LA restaurant Gjelina is moving ahead with New York plans after all — and is looking toward a spring opening in Noho.

Despite initially saying a new group was involved in the space, property landlord David Rajwan now tells Eater that some members of team Gjelina are still involved and he has been told they have opened a farm in Rhinebeck to service the restaurant. He says restaurateurs April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman of The Spotted Pig are no longer involved.

Back in 2016, Travis Lett, Fran Cemaj, and Shelley Armistead planned to open a location of their pan-Mediterranean, quintessentially “new California” restaurant at 45 Bond Street, between Bowery and Lafayette Street. They were working with Bloomfield and Friedman, both of whom have been embroiled in scandal recently for accusations of Friedman’s repeated sexual misconduct. A year and a half ago, Lett and company filed documentation to try and raise $4 million for the NYC project.

Rajwan tells Eater that the Spotted Pig team backed out of the space “a long time” ago. He declined to provide any further information about who exactly is involved now and what will go into the two-story space, which lies on the same street as perpetually busy restaurants Fish Cheeks, Il Buco, and The Smile. It’s also around the corner from new Naples import Sorbillo Pizzeria.

Gjelina and sister bakery/cafe Gjusta are two of LA’s best-known restaurants, representing all the things that people associate with modern California dining — cool, pretty people; vegetable-forward dishes; and obsession with seasons.

Neither the Gjelina team nor the Spotted Pig team immediately responded to requests for comment.

Correction: This story has been corrected to show that some members of team Gjelina are still involved with opening a restaurant at 45 Bond Street.

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