Cooper Union on the left,
The Piano building on the right,
The crane over the new
Cooper Square Hotel in the distance.
The Cooper Square Hotel continues its inexorable, 23-floor rise above East Village sea level.
A recent post on Gawker reveals that one of the developers, Gregory Peck (not that one!), was given the ‘boot’ from the partnership. According to Gawker, Peck was a “douchebag.” Gawker speaks french, evidently.
The Carlos Zapata-designed structure already has a nickname, too – the shark fin – embodied by its arching steel frame.
The hotel itself is on 3rd Avenue (or the Bowery – it’s all the same there) between 5th and 6th streets and surrounds a little building filled with resilient East Village inhabitants who are toughing out the construction as the Peck Moss Group building literally surrounds their historically significant building as chronicled by the Villager:
[Hettie] Jones said several famous artists and musicians have lived in the building, including Hettie’s ex-husband, LeRoi Jones who later changed his name to Amiri Baraka as well as Archie Shepp and Elizabeth Murray. Others who have visited the building include jazz musicians Ornette Coleman and the late Don Cherry and the late poet Allen Ginsburg. Jones herself is an author and poet who won a Norma Farber Award in 1998. She has written extensively about black women in music and co-authored Rita Marley’s book, “No Woman, No Cry: My Life With Bob Marley.”
As I was walking around the E.V. today, I wondered how the business of one of my favorite East Village bars, the Scratcher, would be affected. No doubt it will survive, if not prosper.
Down By The Hipster blog followed up on Gawker’s news that culinary competition will invade the hotel from an L.A. restaurant group and offers a few other tidbits:
I happened to speak to one of Meridian Restaurant Group’s partners last winter. Meridian(separate from chef/partner Govind Armstrong) is best known for LA’s Table 8, opening Rok Bar LA (a tremendous failure) and L Scorpion Tequila Bar, both in Hollywood. Said partner told me he was opening a restaurant at the New Cooper Square Hotel with ‘celebrity chef’ (and Applebee’s pitch man) Tyler Florence. That deal may have fallen through.
Govind Armstrong has more appeal as a star chef, although he is much better known on the West Coast. He recently opened Table 8 in Miami for Meridian in a shitty space at the new Regent Hotel between Ocean and Collins, and it opened to tepid reviews. Best bet is Meridian is opening Table 8 NYC at the new Cooper Square Hotel and not just a Govind Armstrong restaurant.
It is very likely that I will never set foot in any of the aforementioned restaurants – I’m just not cool enough. To be sure… Gridskipper get ready to update your list.
April 14th, 2007
Entry Filed under: East Village, New York City