It’s a much-anticipated revival of the original Meatpacking District restaurant, which opened in 1999 and was credited with transforming the area into a hip wining and dining destination. It was a McNally classic — meaning a highly atmospheric French bistro — and as expected, it drew quite a crowd like Anna Wintour, Martha Stewart, and Sarah Jessica Parker for steak frites, shrimp cocktail, and penne puttanesca. The fashion-crowd favorite closed in 2014, and McNally has promised to bring it back ever since.
Pastis will open at 52 Gansevoort St. in Meatpacking, and this time around, fellow James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr (Le Coucou, Upland) has been brought on board. Starr’s restaurant group will be running the restaurant’s day-to-day operations, though both partners own an equal portion of the new restaurant. Culinary direction and the restaurant’s look and feel will be a collaboration between the two.
McNally has previously said that the new rendition will be different than the old Pastis, adding that this “this is a very different time.” Indeed, the Pastis of today will join newly compelling French bistros like Frenchette (owned by two McNally restaurant veterans), where an updated beverage menu zeroes in on natural wine, and a cool, modern space makes it the restaurant-to-be.
The project itself has been a long time coming. McNally, who has never brought in major outside partners to run his restaurants, has wanted to reopen Pastis ever since it closed in 2014. But when the star restaurateur suffered a stroke a few years back, his investors pulled out of the project. That fueled his decision to partner with Starr.
McNally’s kids, Harry and Sophie, have helped him keep his other restaurants like Augustine and Minetta Tavern running; and when Starr found out that he was seeking a new partner, he stepped in with both funds and operational expertise to help with the revival.
Pastis’s opening is now just one month out. Stay tuned for more.