The Pastis revival project recently brought James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr on board, and according to Starr, his company Starr Restaurants will be overseeing all the day-to-day operations of the new Pastis opening at 52 Gansevoort St. in the Meatpacking District.
Starr tells Eater that although he and legendary restaurateur Keith McNally have an equal partnership in the endeavor, Starr Restaurants will be handling daily matters once the restaurant starts running. Things like the culinary direction and the restaurant’s look and feel will remain a collaboration between the duo, Starr says.
It’s significant for McNally to be taking on such a major partner; in the past, he’s always run the restaurants within his own company.
And Starr’s own restaurants have been influenced by McNally in the past: His DC French bistro Le Diplomate takes cues from McNally’s iconic Balthazar. Starr says he’s excited to be teaming up with such an influential figure in New York’s dining scene. McNally is behind lasting hits like Balthazar and Minetta Tavern, and the original Pastis, which opened in 1999, is often credited for establishing the Meatpacking District as a stylish dining and drinking destination. “It’s like being asked to sit down with The Beatles,” says Starr, who used to be an entertainment promoter.
McNally had a stroke more than a year ago and has spent a lot of time in London recovering, but he recently told Eater in an email that he was at the Pastis site this week, working on kitchen design. Starr declined to comment on McNally’s health. The new Pastis is expected to open in about a year. Stay tuned for updates.