Tao Group Begins Work at Chris Santos’ 199 Bowery Project as More Details Emerge

Posted on: July 7th, 2015 at 5:00 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

The General is deposed.

With EMM Group having fully vacated the premises, 199 Bowery is now in the hands of the Tao Group. And the evidence on the ground is starting to reflect the change in ownership. The conversion is already underway, with demolition teams onsite for the gut renovations.

Chris Santos – proprietor of sister haunts Stanton Social and Beauty & Essex – is to helm the new restaurant concept with partner (and Tao owner) Rich Wolf, presumably in the old front-of-house footprint of The General. Remember that there were also simultaneous rumors that a downtown iteration of LAVO would open in the failed Finale footprint, but that chatter was deflated real quick. That doesn’t mean, however, that it won’t happen…

Anyway, application materials were filed with Community Board 3 yesterday evening for 199 Bowery. Let’s have a look; there’s a lot to digest.

It’s clear that this project if fuckin’ enormous, and that, coupled with the fencing next door for the rising CitzenM hotel, will no doubt keep those car horns honking. Not to mention the crowds and other noise for neighbors. As you probably guessed, there are two components to the Santos project, upstairs and downstairs. The ground floor is the restaurant of unknown cuisine and with 110 tables, sporting closing times of 2am all days; the lower level is the club for which principals seek 4am closing all days. The likely sticking point with the plan, however, is the proposed sidewalk cafe and its 1am closing time (11pm on weekdays).

Two liquor licenses are sought for both levels. Certificate of Occupancy for the whole premises reportedly allows 900 people. Tao plans to file for the necessary public assembly permit.

Given the amount of security personnel (7-12) and other employees (250-300), this appears more like a club situation than Stanton Social or Beauty & Essex.

Last month, when pressed about local fears over project scope, team Tao again banked on Santos’ reputation – “He’s been in good standing with the Lower East Side community for the past decade with his two current restaurants The Stanton Social and Beauty & Essex, and he looks forward to continuing that relationship.”

Tao seems so confident of a license approval that renovations have been apace for the last month…

This image has been archived or removed.

Recent Stories

Bird Watching on the Lower East Side this Weekend

Binoculars at the ready! This weekend, the Urban Park Rangers from the Department of Parks and Recreation are hosting a birding session on the Lower East Side. The Rangers will guide enthusiasts of all levels to the best spots in the neighborhood, and the city at large, to catch fall migratory birds in action. Bring […]

Bank of America Plants itself Beside Destroyed Sunshine Cinema

With a commercial office building rising on the ashes of the Sunshine Cinema, it’s no wonder that a retail bank is moving in next door. Bank of America is planting itself in the long-fallow shop at the southwest corner of East Houston and Eldridge Streets. Work permits on file with the Department of Buildings give […]

Essex Market Shut Down for Private Maker’s Mark Event, Leaving Locals Confused [Updated]

The following guest post was written by Joshua Cohen, a Lower East Side resident and patron of Essex Market. I think the Essex Market, generally speaking, has been a great model for public-private partnerships. But last night, the Market hosted a private event for Maker’s Mark whiskey, where the local community’s interested were certainly not […]

T-Mobile is Closing its Delancey Street Store

Lots of retail turnover on Delancey Street this month. Earlier this week, we broke news of Rainbow’s imminent departure from the thoroughfare after more than a decade in the neighborhood. Today, it’s the loss of another corporate footprint. Though, one with arguably less utility. The eleven-year-old T-Mobile outpost, essentially an advertising expense for the wireless […]

Speed Cameras Installed on Pike Street

As part of the city’s push to capitalize on pedal-heavy motorists, new speed zones and cameras are proliferating. The latest in the neighborhood is outside Rutgers Houses on Pike Street. The camera box installation appeared within the last couple weeks, affixed to a lamppost between Cherry and Madison Streets. As with other locations, when the […]