The saga surrounding the Spotted Pig, one of New York City’s most influential restaurants before sexual harassment allegations lodged against owner Ken Friedman surfaced in 2017, continues to unfold. In March, Jay-Z’s real estate company SCC Greenwich Realty sold the multi-level building located at 314 West 11th Street, at Greenwich Street, for $7.5 million, according to StreetEasy. Now, according to a liquor license application, it appears decorated Les Trois Chevaux chef Angie Mar and seasoned Smith & Mills restaurateur Matt Abramcyk have swooped in to establish a new restaurant at the West Village address.
Eater contacted Jay-Z’s entertainment agency Roc Nation, which helps manage his real estate portfolio, but the company repeatedly declined to comment on the sale. Abramcyk and Mar, through her publicist, did not respond to interview requests about their roles in the transaction.
Last month, Abramcyk told Eater in a phone call that he was “not prepared to talk about that” when asked about the 314 West 11th Street project, and he did not respond to multiple subsequent messages.
For the celebrity-owned space mired in controversy, its recent real estate transactions have been just as opaque: The StreetEasy report notes that Jay-Z’s real estate company sold the corner West Village building to 314 West 11th Street LLC. A lawyer listed as representing the LLC confirmed the sale to Eater, while agents on the sale declined to comment.
A recent liquor license application published on the Community Board 2 website shows that 314 West 11th Street is associated with 11th Street Restaurant LLC. The LLC is helmed by Abramcyk — the restaurateur behind several operations, including Tribeca’s Smith & Mills (and its forthcoming Rockefeller Center outpost). The application includes Mar, who took over the historic Beatrice Inn in 2016 from longtime Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter and turned it into one of the city’s buzziest restaurants. She closed the restaurant in 2020 and opened the glitzy fine-dining Les Trois Chevaux next door in 2021.
The application shows plans for a restaurant spanning at least two floors of the building. According to public documents, “the new restaurant will be upscale and will offer guests a seafood raw bar on the ground floor and a meat-based menu on the second floor,” adding that it will have a “French undertone.”
No opening timeline was listed, while the community board marks the 11th Street Restaurant LLC as doing business under a “to be determined” restaurant name.
The duo both have ties, however, to the Beatrice Inn: Abramcyk was an owner of the iconic downtown space before Graydon Carter purchased it in 2012. Mar went on to purchase the Beatrice Inn in 2016, and is an alum of Spotted Pig herself. Also listed on the CB2 documents is Edward “Ted” Wasserman of Hero Beach Club hotel in Montauk, associated with the new project at the former Spotted Pig. Matthew Edgerton and Joseph Wald were also listed on the liquor license application.
In 2020, it was reported that the Beatrice Inn would move from its historic home at 285 West 12th Street to 283 West 12th Street. However, in 2021 Mar scrapped the Beatrice Inn plans, and instead launched Les Trois Chevaux in the neighboring space. The future of the Beatrice Inn is still unclear, but on Instagram, the restaurant’s account said in February of this year it is “on hiatus.”
After the allegations surfaced in 2017 about the reportedly toxic work environment at the Spotted Pig, the fate of the restaurant remained in limbo. In 2018, chefs Gabrielle Hamilton and Ashley Merriman devised a plan to take over the Michelin-celebrated restaurant, but the deal fell through after the chefs were criticized for proposing to collaborate with Friedman (Hamilton did not respond to requests for this story). In January 2020, it was reported that Friedman settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with a $240,000 agreement, which included payments to 11 former Spotted Pig employees. Later that month, the Spotted Pig announced it was shutting down.
A February 2020 Vanity Fair profile reported that former Spotted Pig employees were banding together to buy the restaurant. One of those staffers included Trish Nelson, who was to be paid out via the lawsuit with Friedman. At the time, she described her vision for the revamped space as “a Stonewall Inn for women and working class people in the industry.”
Last month, Nelson, a former server at the Spotted Pig restaurant, told Eater that her attempts to purchase the 314 West 11th Street space never materialized and she says Jay-Z’s team told her they were not taking any offers. Nelson says she did not learn about the eventual sale until Eater reached out.
After the Spotted Pig’s closure in 2020, rumors swirled about the controversial space’s future. Eater reached out to Friedman, who said via text message that he was not aware of the building’s sale and that no information was shared with him from Jay-Z or his team.
According to the liquor license application, Abramcyk and Mar’s restaurant “will provide a new beginning for the iconic 19th [c]entury building offering guests an intimate dining experience.”
Update: May 4, 2022, 3:51 p.m.: This article was updated to clarify that Ken Friedman claims he did not reach out to Jay-Z to find out about the building’s sale.