There’s a big new Italian restaurant, wine bar, and beer garden opening in a renovated Brooklyn warehouse this week — and it’s backed by chef John DeLucie, who once ran a thriving network of restaurants in New York City.
Dubbed Ainslie, his newest project opens in a 10,000-square-foot location in Williamsburg on Thursday. It’ll be an Italian-leaning affair, with dishes like burrata, wood-fired pizzas, housemade pasta, grilled branzino, and a New York strip. In total, the restaurant can seat 340 people among its wine bar and dining room, a beer bar that’s connected to an outdoor garden, a lounge, and a rooftop.
DeLucie has partnered with fellow restaurateur AJ Bontempo and brothers Sergio and Mario Riva, who also run Carroll Place and Osteria Cotta. The team owns the building at 76 Ainslie St., between Union Avenue and Keap Street, which they’ve been renovating over the past two years. The new space is outfitted with furniture made from wood that belonged to the former factory, plus a 30-foot airplane hangar door was added as an entrance to the beer garden.
It’s a big win for DeLucie, one of the original founders of the Waverly Inn. DeLucie once ran a mini empire of restaurants from the Upper East Side to the West Village with then-partner Sean Largotta, but most of those closed in 2015, due in large part to Largotta’s alleged shady financial dealings. The chef was also forced to pay $575,000 to employees who won a wage lawsuit against one of his restaurants, which DeLucia also claimed was of Largotta’s doing.
Today, the chef still runs runs Midtown Argentinian restaurant Bedford & Co. and the revamped Empire Diner in Chelsea. In October, he’ll also debut a restaurant and lounge at Midtown’s HGU hotel, and Ainslie opens Thursday at 4 p.m.
Hours will be Tuesday to Sunday from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m., plus a live DJ comes in on Wednesday through Saturday from dinner to close.