Spying the Street Art Inside the New TAO-Chris Santos ‘Vandal’ Project on the Bowery

Posted on: December 1st, 2015 at 5:17 am by
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This co-opting of street art to sell gentrification and upscale living is out of control. It’s clear the show is over when clueless institutions like the Hotel Indigo hire “artists in residence”; or real estate nimrods plan insensitive parties in the South Bronx with graffiti and bullet-riddles vehicles front-and-center; or when nightlife bigwigs at the TAO Group partner with chef Chris Santos to make street art the theme of its new “Vandal” concept down on the Bowery.

As previously reported, the TAO Group has tapped a host of notable artists to decorate the guts of Vandal. Nothing vandalizing about it. Hush is curating, having attracted creatives like Shepard Fairey, Apex One, Eelus, and Tristan Eaton to participate in the venture. We were able to spy a clear shot of some artwork through the garage door windows the other day. Drop cloths are everywhere, but you can just barely make out the Hush piece in the main room (the cross-legged girl).

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Photo: @Hush

There’s also plenty of image sharing happening on the artists’ social media pages.

Vandal takes a page from sister spot Beauty & Essex, and will include an up-front faux “gallery” entrance. The restaurant will seat some three hundred patrons across three dining rooms on the main level, and include a basement “lounge.” Menu is still up in the air, with an ambiguous description of “globally-inspired small plates.”

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Photo: @Hush

Community Board 3 approved the full liquor license application for both levels back in July. The TAO crew ultimately agreed to stipulations of 1am closing times during the week and 2am on weekends; 3am closing time all days for the basement lounge.

Vandal should open sometime next month.

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