Wylie Dufresne will Help his Dad Open ‘BYGGYZ’ Sandwich Shop this Summer
One Dufresne moves out, another moves in. So it goes on upper Clinton Street where the elder Dufresne is poised to return in the wake of his son’s forced departure. Yes, Dewey Dufresne is back on the block more than fifteen years after first opening the acclaimed 71 Clinton Fresh Food in 1999, and inadvertently launching the career of Wylie.
The 69-year-old restaurateur shows no signs of slowing, and will open the BYGGYZ lunch counter at 37-39 Clinton Street later this summer (delayed from initial goal of April). This according to a profile piece in the Post over weekend. However, white butcher paper is still in the windows and the canopy from the John’s Deli predecessor remains.
The signature sandwich netting the spotlight – one of twelve – is the Tuna SOF, featuring “layers of tuna, extra-virgin olive oil, black-olive spread, marinated artichokes, tomato, capers, red onion and hard-boiled egg slices, carefully stacked on sesame bread from Chinatown’s Prosperity Dumpling.” Also, desserts are to come courtesy of Oddfellows in the East Village.
He moved to New York City in the late 1970s so that he could be close to Wylie, who went to school at Friends and was an ace first baseman.
Dewey went on to open the Lower East Side’s legendary 71 Clinton Fresh Food. In 1999, he hired a relatively unknown Wylie, then just 29, to be the chef — inadvertently launching the big-time career of his son.
Now it’s Wylie who’s lending a hand to Dad. When the shop opens, he’ll be in the kitchen, helping train the staff. “I think [it’s] a great idea,” he says of his dad’s new venture. “He’s got a great sandwich palate.”
John’s Deli shuttered last summer. The token butcher paper has been in the windows for months, signaling the inevitable changing of the guard.
Dewey Dufresne is the culinary patriarch, having operated a small group of restaurants under the Joe’s name in the 1970s.