Colors — the rocky restaurant that opened in 2006 by surviving Windows on the World employees after the September 11 terrorist attacks — will reopen this October on the Lower East Side after closing in 2017, AMNY reports.
The restaurant will be located at 178 Stanton Street, between Clinton and Attorney streets, with chef Sicily Sewell-Johnson, who last cooked at a soul food sandwich shop in Berkeley, California. Sewell-Johnson will focus on black American cuisine.
Colors seemed to have good intentions: It was originally founded by people who lost their jobs at famed Twin Towers restaurant Windows on the World, which was located on the 107th floor of the North Tower. Nonprofit restaurant lobbying group Restaurant Opportunities Centers United owned it and dealt with operations, the idea being to employ Windows on the World veterans, as well as anyone struggling to find a job as a way to train them on restaurant work.
But a lengthy 2018 Times report didn’t paint as rosy of a picture of the restaurant. Though ROC told AMNY that the restaurant has always paid a diverse set of people above the minimum wage, the report said that those checks were often late. Business slowed down so much that the restaurant reportedly couldn’t afford mint for the bar. And some of those original founders ended up suing the ROC, saying they were cut out of the restaurant, though they lost the suit.
ROC founder Saru Jayaraman told the Times that a new business partner will ensure future workers are paid “fair wages.” The unnamed business partner will handle operations, while ROC will focus on training less-skilled employees. Eater has reached out to ROC for more information.
The restaurant has also expanded to Detroit, with plans in 2017 to open in Oakland, New Orleans, and Washington D.C. Those plans have not materialized.
Colors is set to reopen on the LES next month.