Orchard Street’s Black Tree Expanding Next Door

A former leather goods shop at 131 Orchard St. will be incorporated into Black Tree's existing space.

A former leather goods shop at 131 Orchard St. will be incorporated into Black Tree’s existing space.

Owners of the 1-year-old restaurant plan to knock down walls in the rear of their deep, narrow space and convert the former retail space next door to additional seating and a new, much larger kitchen.

Sandy Dee Hall and Macnair Sillick shared their plans with The Lo-Down this afternoon. On May 12, they will appear before Community Board 3’s liquor licensing subcommittee seeking approval of their expansion, which includes both physical space and hours of operation. They are proposing to extend their evening hours from midnight during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends to 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., respectively.

Black Tree, which was voted “Best New Restaurant” in The Lo-Down’s 2013 readers’ poll, regularly has more customers than space, Hall said, leading to long wait times even on slower weeknights.

The expansion will enable them to seat around 70 diners, more than twice the current capacity. It will also provide new workspace for churning out pasture-raised pork and other meat dishes based on a whole-animal approach, as well as farm-sourced veggie side dishes and appetizers.

Black Tree's bar and front seating area will remain intact; the rear wall will be knocked down to provide access next door.

Black Tree’s bar and front seating area will remain intact; the rear wall will be knocked down to provide access next door.