In August 2017, the lights went dark on DBGB Kitchen & Bar on 299 Bowery, between First and East Houston streets. After five years of collecting dust, and a brief interest from the folks behind The Ainsworth, the space is finally getting a new tenant: Ixta, a “trendy, upscale,” late-night Mexican restaurant and bar, reports What Now New York.
"We had an eye on this location for a very long time," Ixta's owner, Mike Himani tells Eater via email. For the restaurant industry veteran — he currently operates Nanking, Indo Chinese, Nisi and Chickpea — this Bowery spot is his second iteration of Ixta, originally located at 48 East 29th Street in Nomad from 2005 to 2007. He explains that he lost the location due to the terms of the sub-lease, but he "knew we always wanted to open Ixta again."
For Ixta's reprisal, Himani is bringing on executive chef Francisco Blanco from Mexico City. Blanco, who cooked at Le Cirque and Eataly’s Manzo, will fine-tune a menu of southern Mexican and Oaxacan dishes at Ixta while mixologist Jenny Castillo will be creating tequila- and mezcal-based cocktails.
The spacious commercial unit inside the Avalon Bowery complex will be outfitted with 165 seats with another 10 stools along a 22-foot rectangular bar, and two televisions, according to public documents from Manhattan's Community Board 3, where Himani also requested approval to bring in 3-4 piece mariachi bands on special occasions.
Inside, the "decor will be lush with murals, handmade art, a mix of natural and organic materials with Aztec touches," says Himani. According to a photo posted by EV Grieve in July, the style is in line with the exterior signage. A tropical wallpaper depicts two gigantic red and green monstera leaves and what appears to be the striped back of a tiger across the entirety of the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Gone are the French letters spelling out DBGB’s offering of sausages, soufflés, and charcuterie across the windows.
“The neighborhood is changing,” Daniel Boulud said of his decision to close DBGB, while others criticized him for having a hand in the gentrification. The Washington D.C. outpost of DBGB remains standing.
Public documents show that Ixta is scheduled to operate from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday.