Gjelina is reopening in New York, following a fire that has kept the restaurant closed for more than a year. The restaurant at 45 Bond Street, in Noho, from one of Los Angeles’s most famous restaurant groups, was years in the making. Gjelina CEO Shelley Armistead declined to comment.
In January 2023, the team finally opened the doors on its bi-level space with a woodfire oven, serving a vegetable-centric menu and pizzas. But that same month, the restaurant announced via its Instagram that it would be closed “until further notice” due to a fire that ripped through the restaurant, shocking fans and leaving its 81 employees, some of whom had relocated to New York from Los Angeles for the opening, suddenly out of their jobs.
The New York City Fire Department responded to the fire at 11:28 a.m. and by 1:36 p.m., the flames in the ductwork were considered “under control.” The week of the closure, no visible damage showed on the exterior of the building, but a summons notice was stuck to the door dated for March 2023. “The cause of this fire was accidental: Rangehood Fire - Ductwork,” a press secretary for the FDNY said in a statement to Eater.
After a year dark, many wondered whether Gjelina would reopen in New York. But this week, the team announced on its Instagram that it would return, initially listed in its Instagram bio as “early 2024,” which it changed to “2024” following the publication of this article. Gjelina posted on its stories that it was hiring for several Bond Street positions, including general manager.
Even from the onset, Gjelina opening in New York has been a bit of a saga. It was first announced in 2016; at the time, the team — which also owns Gjusta, Gjusta Grocer, Gjelina Takeaway, and several other Los Angeles-based ventures — had plans to partner with Ken Friedman, before his Spotted Pig empire came crumbling down due to a sexual harassment scandal and they parted ways. As of 2019, Travis Lett, the restaurant group’s longtime chef who was initially involved in bringing the restaurant to New York, was no longer involved in the project.
Update: February 5, 2024, 11:51 a.m.: This article was updated to include comments from the FDNY.