The subterranean lounge opening at 19 Kenmare tomorrow has a “secret chef,” according to its menu. The folks at The Lø aren’t saying who it is, but Camille Becerra would be a safe bet. The onetime Top Chef contestant will soon open a restaurant, De Maria, in the space above The Lø, and the 50-seat lounge is operated by Becerra’s partner in the restaurant, musician/DJ/entrepreneur Grace Lee.
Given its pedigree, it’s not surprising that The Lø aims to be “a new epicenter for all creative types to gather,” complete with film screenings, art shows, and poetry, tarot, and astrology readings. For those who’ve run out of things to say about their latest trip to Tulum or Art Basel, there are games like Uno, backgammon, and Cards Against Humanity.
Becerra, you’ll recall, moved on from her Greenpoint restaurant Paloma after it burned down in 2008, and has recently done stints at Navy in Soho, Cafe Henrie on the Lower East Side, and also in the Rockaways. Aside from being a capable chef, she’s an “it” girl of sorts, having appeared in magazines like Elle and even in an Estee Lauder campaign. Lee, formerly known as G*LEE, is also decidedly hip, spinning at various hotspots around town and at one point appearing in a Mercedes campaign. She founded Liaison Femme, a collective of female DJs that has grown to include creative women of all stripes. Her Instagram is as Kinfolky as you’d expect.
According to the press kit, her lounge is “inspired by the Beat Poets and glitz of the Paris Jazz Age.” The latter, at least, comes across in the form of satin sofas and a $14 cocktail named the Matisse (see the menu below). The food, meanwhile, was inspired by Oaxaca street cuisine.
The space at 19 Kenmare has a spotted history. Back in 2007, Forty Deuce, a burlesque club backed by Sting and David Bowie, failed to get a liquor license there, and a sushi restaurant similarly failed to impress the community board. Then Travertine opened and closed there, and Ken & Cook did the same. Maybe one of those tarot readings will tell us whether The Lø can break the curse.
The Lø, 19 Kenmare, nr. Elizabeth St., open Wed to Sun, 8pm to midnight.