‘Excuse My French’ Bar-Restaurant Opening Soon at 96 Orchard Street

Posted on: December 23rd, 2015 at 5:10 am by
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Excuse My French, but the new fuckin restaurant is opening at 96 Orchard Street, across from the Tenement Museum. The so-called establishment, situated in the below-grade commercial space, is on the precipice of launch. Later this month, according to the website. Lights are on, and someone is home.

Let’s take a peek inside.

Peering through the windows, it’s the artwork, tin ceilings, and floral flourishes throughout that set the tone. Transforming the lounge feel of Cafe Dancer – which sold the assets to Chef Johann Giraud – into something a bit more Victorian. But can it last here where two prior bar-restaurants failed?

The menu, as you might guess, is French fare. Dishes include steak tartare, burgers, Duck Confit, and “Pastis” Shrimps. Its full liquor license was approved by Community Board 3 back in September, but the paperwork is still pending with the State Liquor Authority.

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Excuse My French is the third food/nightlife business to roll the dice at 96 Orchard Street since Cougar shoes downsized in 2008. It’s also a copycat of sorts, as there’s already Pardon My French on Avenue B in Alphabet City.

For posterity, here are the stipulations agreed to as part of the eventual license. Note the disclaimer from CB3 as to why it decided to approve this license:

1) it will operate as a full-service French-focused tapas restaurant, with a kitchen open and serving
food during all hours of operation,
2) its hours of operation will be 11:00 A.M. to 12:00 A.M. Sundays through Thursdays and 11:00 A.M.
to 2:00 A.M. Fridays and Saturdays,
3) it will have a closed fixed facade with no open doors or windows and will keep its entrance door
closed at all times,
4) it will not commercially operate any outdoor areas,
5) it will install additional soundproofing,
6) it will play ambient background music only, consisting of recorded music, will not have live music,
DJs, promoted events, scheduled performances or any event at which a cover fee will be charged
and will not have more than twelve (12) private parties per year,
7) it will not apply for any alteration in its method of operation without first appearing before
Community Board 3,
8) it may have “happy hours” to 7:00 P.M.,
9) it will not host pub crawls or party buses,
10) it will insure that there are no wait lines outside and will designate an employee to oversee
patrons and noise on the sidewalk,
11) it will have three (3) fifty-five (55) inch screens or monitors which will display artwork without
sound,
12) it will conspicuously post this stipulation form beside its liquor license inside of its business, and
13) it will provide a telephone number for residents to call with complaints and immediately address
any resident complaints
Community Board 3 is approving this application for a full on-premise liquor license although this is a location in an area with numerous full on-premise liquor licenses because 1) this is a sale of assets, 2) this applicant has entered into an agreement regarding its method of operation with The Orchard Street Block Association (attached hereto), and 3) the applicant has experience working in similar businesses, furnished one hundred forty-seven (147) signatures in support of its application and provided letters of support from its prior employers.

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