Caveat: it's early yet. They just opened to the public last Thursday. Insert shakedown cruise disclaimer here.
A gorgeous space: lovely bare bones of its former life as a boiler room or whatever industrial function it once served. Raw ancient brick, steel beams, plus a bunch of cool newly-added chandeliers. The upstairs (street level) is small, quiet. The massive downstairs space is where the action and live music is. A hostess seemed to want to discourage many patrons from going down there the other night. I ignored her, and you should too. It's boring upstairs.
A fair amount of seating downstairs for diners, but the space feels like much more of a nightclub-style destination, potentially holding a thousand patrons at once (not at all what the owners pitched to the neighborhoood, incidentally). Some interesting house cocktails (including a Vesper Martini that James Bond would hardly recognize, with utterly wrong proportions), a bunch of 2.5-glass wine carafes at ridiculous markups, and a wine list that is also largely bereft of interesting bargains. If the crowds swallow these drinks prices, food will be entirely beside the point.
Speaking of food, it's a decidedly mixed bag early on. Some interesting deep-fried veggie apps (I think I detected the influence of Laura Brennan in the tempura lemon slices on one dish), and a passable "Russian"plate of unusual salumi. A $15 burger was dreadful: well done when ordered medium-rare, and served with homemade "frites" that would be fine if pitched as what they are, i.e., homemade but stone-cold potato chips.
I'm impressed with the level of hospitality so far. Much like Pops Restaurant in its first week, I don't think they anticipated the early crowds they got, but the servers put their game faces on.
There's lots of room to improve on the food; I look forward to seeing how they progress on that front. It's a wonderful space; I'd love for it to become a great live-music destination as well as a good place to eat and drink: it has tons of potential.
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