After a five-year-plus hiatus, Mono + Mono is officially back in business starting tomorrow, July 10. The much-loved Korean fried chicken joint known for playing classic jazz closed down after a fire blazed though the building in 2013. There were a few times over the years when it seemed like it would re-emerge, only to no avail. But now it’s finally up and running, and has returned to occupy its old haunt on East 4th Street.In recent months, the restaurant has been plenty busy preparing for the big launch and also wading through hip floral arrangements. (Flower shop Le Bouquet NY also occupies the space at 116 East Fourth Street, between First and Second Avenues.) Come for the Instagram-worthy rosebuds, stay for the mouthwatering chicken?
The new opening has brought a fresh attitude and menu. For its soft opening starting in mid-late June, Mono + Mono debuted not only a café with coffee and fresh-squeezed juice, but also a $50 per head prix fixe menu featuring sweet summer corn soup and a choice of entrees like gambas al ajillo (Spanish-style sautéed garlic shrimp with chili and paprika) along with molten lava cake for dessert. But what happened to the fried chicken?As I was passing by the restaurant, an employee—who introduced himself only by his first name, Insoo—mentioned that they’d still serve their iconic double-fried chicken, but they’d made some noticeable additions to the dining fare. The prix fixe listing ran only for the duration of the soft opening, but there will be new surprises for their official menu, which features “New American fusion” cuisine. They’ve changed up their hours too and will reportedly remain open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Pre-fire, Mono + Mono was only open for dinner. However, the restaurant was tight-lipped about further details, not wanting to make a big media splash before the grand opening.
Since their website and social media pages are no longer active, you’ll just have to have to swing by in person. Let’s hope they’ll still bust out their collection of 30,000 jazz LPs, which were mostly spared from the fiery embers.