The infamous Spotted Pig building will open on May 24 as the Golden Swan, a retro-clubby bar and restaurant that evokes the early aughts, the Wall Street Journal reports. Matt Abramcyk — who started Smith & Mills and others under the Neighborhood Projects umbrella — is behind the takeover of the space that resulted in closure following scandal.
Abramcyk gutted the space at 314 W. 11 Street, at Greenwich Street after buying it (under the LLC 314 West 11th Street) from Jay-Z’s real estate company, SCC Greenwich Realty, for $7.5 million. Its new iteration will include a cocktail lounge with its own separate menu called the Wallace Room (not to be confused with the Wallace on the Upper West Side), and a “more elevated dining room above with linen-topped tables, captains in white jackets, and elevated comfort food.” The kitchen is run by former Bâtard chef, Doug Brixton, who stepped in in 2021 after Markus Glocker left.
“We’re trying to create a clubhouse without being a membership club,” Abramcyk told the Wall Street Journal.
Formerly occupied by one of the city’s most influential restaurants known for gastropub fare, the West 11th Street space has been mired by sexual assault allegations of owner Ken Friedman, since they first surfaced in 2017. In 2020, the Spotted Pig restaurant closed and Friedman was ordered by the state of New York to pay $240,000 to former employees.
Abramcyk isn’t the first to eye a comeback in the space. In 2018, chefs Gabrielle Hamilton and Ashley Merriman wanted to save the Spotted Pig, which was met with criticism. Later, Trish Nelson, a former Spotted Pig employee was in talks to take over the space and launch a new venture with the vision of being “a Stonewall Inn for women and working class people in the industry.” As previously reported, Nelson stated the project never came to fruition with Jay-Z’s team, and she only learned of another buyer through Eater’s 2022 story.
According to the liquor license application for the building, Les Trois Chevaux chef Angie Mar was also listed as a principal owner along with Abramcyk. Since then, Mar and Abramcyk have parted ways. Mar, who worked under Bloomfield at Spotted Pig, tells Eater, “unlike previously reported, I am not involved with it.” Eater has reached out to Abramcyk for comment.
Mar spearheaded the revival of the Beatrice Inn in 2016, which had a four-year run, closing with a New Year’s Eve soiree in 2020; she still owns the name. The first go-round of Beatrice Inn, the Journal reminds readers, was the place where Abramcyk got his start in 2006 and partnered with graffiti artist André Saraiva and DJ Paul Sevigny to transform a rundown basement “into a clubhouse for their friends.” Within three years, they had racked up $23K in fines and the city’s Department of Buildings had closed the place, citing overcrowding and “inadequate means of egress.”
In opening the Golden Swan, the Journal notes that “nightlife veterans who ran in the same circles back then have opened new spots that channel that insider era, tapping into a nostalgia for the recent past that infuses fashion and music,” a trend that’s reinforced with the upcoming fall food and fashion exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology. With Mar’s publicist Patrick McGregor representing designers like Bach Mai, and a heavy rotation of fashion editors at Beatrice Inn, and now Les Trois Chevaux, that’s always been her thing.
Will the Golden Swan become Abramcyk’s post-pandemic version of the original Beatrice Inn? We’ll soon find out.