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Two Top NYC Restaurateurs Join Forces for a New American Bistro in the West Village

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John McDonald and Serge Becker are set to open a new restaurant on Sixth Avenue sometime this fall

A streeview image with a car parked on the street and a restaurant with a red awning in the background.
The new restaurant will take over the space of John McDonald’s El Toro Blanco
Via Google Maps

Top NYC restaurateurs Serge Becker and John McDonald — who own hotspots like Jamaican restaurant Miss Lily’s and Soho seafood spot Lure Fishbar, respectively — are joining forces to open a new American-style bistro in the West Village this fall.

Hancock Street, as the restaurant is named, is located at 257 Sixth Avenue, between Bedford and Downing Streets, and takes over the space of McDonald’s Mexican restaurant El Toro Blanco, which permanently closed in March following the state-mandated shutdown on dining in.

The menu, helmed by Waverly Inn alum Ryan Schmidtberger, will spotlight bistro fare like pan roasted Dover sole with a gribiche sauce, braised lamb shoulder served with fire-roasted eggplant and a green olive and mint chutney, and a squid ink linguine.

“For Serge, It’s a block away from Miss Lily, and for me, in the sweet spot near my other restaurants,’’ says McDonald, who first burst onto the NYC restaurant scene with the opening of the legendary Soho establishment MercBar, which shuttered in 2013.

McDonald describes the new restaurant as “elegant but casual,” and says Hancock Street — which Becker will design — will only serve dinner. “It will be upscale, but not precious,” he explains. “We are going for the clubhouse feel, which is more of a nighttime experience.”

The restaurant will seat 75 inside, 56 on an outdoor patio, and 30 in a private dining room, but with the return of indoor dining being indefinitely postponed in light of the growing spread of COVID-19 across the country, McDonald hasn’t settled on a firm opening date just yet.

“Things are changing every day and hopefully by the fall indoor dining can safely resume, which will justify something new,’’ he says.

Hancock Street

257 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10014

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