Sure, New York may be caught in the middle of what is disconcertingly being called a “heat dome,” and hot, melted cheese is probably the last thing on your mind as you desperately fan yourself with a free Time Out NY on the Finnish sauna known as the subway. But come on: Melted cheese makes everything better, and if you can’t accept that then perhaps there’s no help for you. Enjoy your limp kelp salad.
Meanwhile, Edgar Villongco knows all about the transformative powers of melted cheese. Raclette, his Alphabet City ode to the French cheese dish, has proven so popular that he has decided to expand the current 14-seater to include a second location. Enter: 511 East 12th street, also known as the former location of the beloved and now-closed Northern Spy Food Co.
In June, Villongco submitted a liquor license application to the Manhattan Community Board 3, and explained that he was still in talks with the landlord of Northern Spy’s former location to finalize a deal on the lease. While Villongco told us recently that the lease had not yet been signed (“there is a big possibility we will wrap this up by next week,” he said in an email), he and his team have actively begun raising funds for the move by launching a Kickstarter, with the goal of raising $100,000 by September 1.
Nonetheless, Villongco hopes to be open before then, saying that he’s aiming to launch the new outpost by mid-August.
As is the case with any Kickstarter, a certain pledge entitles you to goodies, which in this case means cheese (or cheese-related merchandise). Exclusive reservations, free dinners, and mugs and t-shirts are all available to pledgers.
While Villongco first applied to CB 3 for a full liquor license, he explained that he settled for a wine and beer license during a CB meeting on July 11. “We did this to benefit the neighborhood associations who expressed their concern about having a full license mid-block on a side street,” he said.
The menu will initially be the same as the original Raclette, but Villongco hinted that there will be some new additions that are planned for the fall and winter menus.