Openhouse Bowery and the Former Subway Entrance at 168 Bowery

Posted on: November 8th, 2012 at 6:09 am by

The temporary Little Peep Prep School opened on the Bowery in early September. At the time, we learned from its owner that the part-time educational facility would share the footprint of 168 Bowery (aka 10 Kenmare) with an unnamed gallery/events space. But today we have more intel on the project. Look no further than the pop-up specialists at Openhouse Gallery.

168 Bowery is the forthcoming home of Openhouse Bowery, and is actually a joint-venture with Wilson Tang of Nom Wah Tea Parlor. It marks the third such location in the neighborhood, behind 201 Mulberry and 379 Broome. However, this corner spot seems more ambitious, offering 2,000 square-feet for “pop-up dinners, cocktails, and influencer events.” In fact, Little Peep Prep is one of its first clients at this address.

Openhouse Bowery appeared before Community Board 2 in September [PDF] to present plans for their revolving host space, but were summarily denied. CB2 was concerned with delivering a wine and beer license to an establishment “with no parameters on use or seating arrangement at all,” and that doing so would be a “dangerous precedent.” For its part, though, co-owner Jonathan Daou claims that the license would only be used on occasion, and always end before midnight.

Nevertheless, project build-out has ramped up in recent weeks, evidenced by the new glassy facade and workshop within. We are told that the Tri-Lox design team is involved with furnishing the kitchen, having utilized reclaimed wood from bowling alleys and rooftop water towers.

Most interesting about the space, however, is the sight of exposed tiling and familiar mosaics along the walls. In fact, this spot is a onetime entrance to the abandoned portion of the Bowery subway station for the JMZ line of yore. The subway stairwell remains intact, but sheetrock blocks access to the platform proper.

Urban spelunker Steve Duncan explored this terrain last year, filmed by longtime collaborator Andrew Wonder.

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