There’s a curvy outline where the bar used to be, some graffiti on the ground where the bathrooms were, and parts of the old front doors have been turned into moldings, but that’s pretty much all that remains of Max Fish in the space that will reopen as the second location of Sweet Chick.
Owner John Seymour — who lives in Williamsburg, where his Southern grub spot’s original location is located — was overseeing the finishing touches when we dropped in earlier this afternoon.
Seymour grew up in Manhattan, but he wasn’t a regular at the Fish. In fact, he was initially interested in taking the Pink Pony space, but the broker told him it was the hallowed ground next door that had the liquor license. “My initial reaction was, shit, you know… I just know that history,” said Seymour. “But then I took a second thought about it and said I should take it as opposed to a Chipotle taking it or as opposed to Starbucks or the Gap. I was just like, if somebody’s going to take it, it should be us.”
The new bar (where cocktails and new menu items like a chicken parm and waffles will be served till 4 a.m.) is located across from where the old one was (Seymour cites feng shui), and in lieu of a pool table in the back there’s now a picnic table (the place seats 70 walk-ins total). Rest assured the bathrooms were “totally destroyed” (except for the aforementioned graffiti on the ground) and relocated to the middle of the restaurant.
For more about the menu, see our previous post here. To see the space, click through the slideshow above.
Sweet Chick, 178 Ludlow St., bet. E. Houston and Stanton Sts., Lower East Side
Update, May 22: Due to a delay, the restaurant won’t open today as stated in the original version of this post. A rep says they’re now aiming to open by next week.
Update, June 5: The restaurant opens tonight at 6 p.m. Menu here.