Ray’s, a Lower East Side cocktail bar backed by the actors Justin Theroux and Nicholas Braun, is coming soon to Greenpoint.
From the Jac’s on Bond and Pebble Bar crew — Matt Kliegman, Carlos Quirarte, and Matt Charles — comes the second location of Ray’s at 905 Lorimer Street and Nassau Avenue on November 16. Greenpointers first reported news of the opening.
The cocktail bar is almost a carbon copy of Ray’s in Manhattan, which calls itself a “hometown bar” on its website tagline. The new location has a pool table, a disco ball, retro-tiled floors, and booth seating. The bar will open at 5 p.m. and serve food until 11 p.m. to start. Drinks are served until 2 a.m.
Fabián Von Hauske-Valtierra and Jeremiah Stone, the owners of the Manhattan restaurants Contra and Wildair, created a food menu for the bar. (Hauske-Valtierra and Stone are partners at Pebble Bar and Jac’s on Bond.) The idea was to serve straightforward, accessible food: fried bologna sandwiches, french fries, and a smash burger with lettuce, onion, and pickles.
Ray’s is one of several Manhattan businesses to open in Greenpoint in recent years. Upside Pizza and the Chinese restaurant Málà Project both have locations in the area now. Caffè Panna, an ice cream shop in Gramercy, is opening in the neighborhood next spring.
“There was always the intention to expand,” Kliegman says of Ray’s. He and his partners are taking over a corner space that some locals call “cursed.” The building across from McCarren Park has been home to several restaurants that did not last: Sauvage, a French restaurant; Xilonen, a Mexican cafe; and Cool World, its most recent tenant. (One of its owners, Julian Brizzi, is a partner at the new Ray’s.)
The owners think a bar, not a restaurant, can break the spell. “I don’t believe any piece of real estate is cursed,” Kliegman says. “I do believe that sometimes the concept and the space are not perfect matches for one another.” The original Ray’s opened in a corner space that was also across from a park and home to a series of failed restaurants. Is it an omen?
On the Lower East Side, Ray’s is known as a hangout for celebrities, thanks to investors Theroux and Braun, who played Cousin Greg in the HBO show Succession. (Theroux is not involved with the bar in Greenpoint. Braun, who occasionally bartends, is a partner.)