Two New York City restaurant veterans are aiming to open what they’re calling an ‘authentic Mexican taqueria” in a corner space at East Broadway and Rutgers streets.
They’ve tentatively named the new venue “Gracias Mama,” in a section of the neighborhood increasingly becoming a food and nightlife hot spot. Mission Chinese is right across the street. A cafe called Little Canal will soon open in an adjacent building. And, of course, Division Street and Canal Street have transformed into a dining corridor in the past few years.
An application for a full liquor license has been submitted to Community Board 3 by Nima Garos and Koorosh Bakhtiar. Garos opened Kelso & Grand, an upscale Italian restaurant, in Little Italy last year. Bakhtiar has been involved in several NYC projects, including the restaurant at the Gansevoort Hotel and the Hillstone Restaurant in Midtown.
According to the application, they’re creating an affordable restaurant with ingredients sourced directly from Oaxaca, Mexico and a “curated tequila list.” Garos and Bakhtiar are planning all-day service, beginning at 7 a.m. and continuing until 4 a.m. on weekends. There will be as many as 50 seats, including a 14-seat bar meant for both drinking and dining. They’re also installing a takeaway window. The applicants noted, “We are also aiming to improve a dilapidated part of the neighborhood and reinvigorate the whole corner on East Broadway.”
Linda Jones of the SPaCE Block Association tells us the applicants have met with local residents about the restaurant. The organization is supportive of their plan, but will insist on an earlier closing time. The proposal will be considered at a community board meeting Monday, March 14, 6:30 p.m., at 59 East 4th St.
You can see the full application, including sample menus, below.