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Chef With Michelin-Starred Restaurants Eyes Iconic Riviera Cafe Space

John Fraser’s next project will open in the former sports bar space, if he has it his way

John Fraser Daniel Krieger

John Fraser, the chef-owner behind Michelin-starred restaurants Nix and Dovetail, has applied to take over the space that formerly housed Riviera Cafe, the beloved sports bar that closed in August after nearly 50 years in West Village.

Not many details are out about what Fraser is planning — Eater has reached out for more information — but if it’s anything like his other restaurants, the corner space at 225 West 4th St., between 10th Street and Seventh Avenue, could be in store for some vegetarian-friendly food in a casual setting. Fraser is known for his penchant for vegetables, running Dovetail on the UWS, a vegetable-focused tasting menu restaurant that became known for its meatless Mondays concept. But he also has four more casual concepts downtown, the vegetarian Nix, playful bar Narcbar, New American rotisserie Narcissa, and American tavern the Loyal.

No matter what Fraser does, he has a high mark to live up to. Riviera Cafe, which attracted sports fans and Red Sox fans in particular, closed last August and New Yorkers were quick to mourn the loss, with even West Village resident and Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker calling it a neighborhood landmark.

Fraser’s restaurant empire currently doesn’t include anything resembling a sports bar, so to be determined whether the new venture will preserve anything about the defunct Riviera. Stay tuned for updates.

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