Michael Shah Preps Rochelle’s Whiskey Bar at Former Cocktail Bodega [UPDATED]

Posted on: August 5th, 2013 at 5:13 am by
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The latest chapter in the saga between Matt Levine and his former partner DelShah Capital…

Cocktail Bodega was caught up in the heated war between Matt Levine and DelShah Capital, and became an immediate casualty. The spiked juice bar concept at 205 Chrystie Street (aka 19 Stanton) lasted barely a year before the fallout between the two parties transpired (Levine is now suing his business partners for $20 million). Almost immediately after the closure, windows were papered to prepare for the next establishment.

Except for a couple window menus, the identity of Cocktail Bodega was completely erased from this address, though. Interior remodeling has been a constant for weeks; the exterior received a fresh coat of paint to override the whiteness of its predecessor. And we now know the mystery replacement. A Boogie tipster reveals that Rochelle’s is the next bar business at the plate, so to speak.

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Rochelle’s, we are told, is to be a whiskey bar up top and a club downstairs. The basement pays homage to previous nightspot by reviving the 205 Club namesake. “Neighborhood bar” is supposedly the vibe, but the basement might negate that altogether.

But there’s an element of shadiness here. The principals of the new endeavor appear to be Victor Jung and Michael Shah, the very dudes Levine is suing. To date, neither have appeared or applied to Community Board 3 for a new license or transfer. Moreover, according to State Liquor Authority documents and their website, Levine remains listed as a 50% owner of 19 Stanton Restaurant, LLC, the company and license operating this new venture.

Michael Shah’s PR people responded with the following:

Michael Shah is personally opening Rochelle’s, not DelShah Capital or Victor Jung. Michael has brought in long time industry veterans Brett David and Steve Yorz to run Rochelle’s.

Cocktail Bodega was closed before the fallout with Matt Levine, due to poor financial performance and the wrong concept for this location

Corporate change paperwork has been filed with the SLA to remove Matt Levine from the liquor license

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