Paolo Rico Sarthou Tagatac, a college administrator from the Bronx, has been brewing beer for himself and his friends and family for a while. Now, he wants to brew it for the residents of the Lower East Side and Chinatown in a new brewpub planned for 116 Madison St., just west of the Manhattan Bridge.
Tagatac, who knows the neighborhood partly from playing soccer a few blocks away in East River Park every weekend, is a fan of CC’s Cafe, an established West Village eatery that opened its second location at 41 Monroe St. in 2011. After seeing its success translate into Chinatown, Tagatac said, he decided to start searching for a location nearby.
“When I saw CCs move there, I thought, ‘Maybe I could do that,'” Tagatac said this afternoon. “It seems like the Lower East Side is going to move in that direction.”
Tagatac, who is an assistant program director at St. John’s University in Queens, hopes to open the as-yet-unnamed brewpub by the end of the year. Last month, Community Board 3 signed off on his plans to brew and serve beer in the space, a former hair salon between Market and Catherine streets that’s just around the corner from CC’s. The committee agreed to support his application for a beer-only license under several specific conditions: operational hours of noon to 8 p.m., no happy hours, no open windows and no party buses, to name a few. He’s also applying for permission to sell beer off-premises; that application is tentatively scheduled for an August hearing, he said.
The floorplan he filed with his application questionnaire shows a brewing room in the rear of the space, a stand-up bar with room for 11 patrons and three small tables. The food menu will be limited to finger foods and snacks, he said, while the beers will be the main event.
If all goes according to plan, Tagatac won’t be the only entrepreneur launching a new food and drink concept on that block. Next week, Community Board 3’s liquor licensing subcommittee is scheduled to consider an application for a restaurant called Mr. Fong’s, which was withdrawn from the agenda last month. Originally proposed at 115 Madison St., directly across from the future brewpub, Mr. Fong’s has reapplied at a new address just down the street, 123 Madison St., on the corner of Madison and Market, close to the Manhattan Bridge overpass. The Mr. Fong’s original three-person team included Nick Morgenstern, the proprietor of El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette on Stanton Street and the new Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream on Rivington Street, but the revised application lists only the remaining two partners, Lucas Moran and Aisa Shelley. Asked about the Madison Street project a couple of weeks ago, Morgenstern declined comment to The Lo-Down.
If Tagatac’s brew pub and Mr. Fong’s are the harbingers of things to come, perhaps Madison and Market are poised to become the next Ludlow and Canal.