Restaurateur Alain Allegretti to Impart ‘Frenchie’s Fish Bar’ in Troubled Wassail Space
Orchard Street cider bar Wassail has been looking to sell out for quite some time. For the better part of the last year, from what we understand.
We saw a listing on Sinvin for $16,480 per month in rent, plus an additional $395,000 in key money to take over the lease (8.5 years remain).
Well, one chef-restarateur seems willing to toss the dice – former owner of Chelsea’s Bistro La Promenade, Allain Allegretti. His name first appeared on the January SLA docket for Community Board 3, seeking full liquor, obviously in a heavily saturated area. But it was a quick scratch.Now he’s back on the February docket with something tentatively called Frenchie’s Fish Bar. As the name suggests, Allegretti’s latest is a seafood joint with all the fixins (see menu below). It’ll seat 75 people with 19 tables and 60 seats. Proposed hours are 2am closing times all days.
It was Kickshaw proprietors Ben Sandler and Jennifer Lim who opened Wassail at 162 Orchard in March 2015. Upon its debut, the cider-centric bar claimed to be the only such dedicated destination in New York City. It took the reins from Todd’s Mill, which itself struggled through the previous two years.
This particular space is a difficult sell. Ever since The Orchard vacated the block in 2011 (they spent six years there), turnover has been trend. The fact of the matter is that the footprint is so huge, with rent to match, high volume is necessary to turn a profit.