You unfortunately only have a few more days to sample Dewey Dufresne’s wonderfully creative sandwiches at BYGGYZ on Clinton Street. In an interview yesterday morning, Dufresne told us he’s temporarily closing the shop at 37 Clinton Street at the end of this month.
Dufresne is hoping to find new investors for BYGGYZ, which has earned strong reviews since opening in September of 2017. But like so many restaurant operators before him, Dufresne discovered that doing business on Clinton Street is a risky proposition. Foot traffic just isn’t there in the daytime. While people flocked from across the city to try out the carefully constructed sandwiches, BYGGYZ never attracted the local following it needed to survive.
Back in 2011, Dufresne won praise at the San Gennaro Festival for his decadent “Byggybeef”sandwich, featuring braised short-rib. That was the signature item on Clinton Street, but other offerings received critical accolades, as well. New York Magazine named “the karrottom,” Dufresne’s vegetarian flavor bomb, the best sandwich of 2017. Gothamist touted BYGGYZ’s chicken sandwich as one of the best fried chicken sandwiches in the city. Grub Street called Dufresne’s newish (weekend only) breakfast sandwich one of the best egg sandwiches in New York.
Dufresne, of course, knows the Lower East Side. In 1999, he opened 71 Clinton Fresh Food, the restaurant that made his son, Wylie, one of the world’s most influential chefs. He was also involved in WD-50, Wylie’s critically acclaimed temple of molecular gastronomy that was forced out of business by luxury condo developers in 2014. But Dufesne has always had an emotional attachment to the block, which prompted his decision to give Clinton Street another try. In the next iteration of BYGGYZ he’ll likely choose a busier location, with built-in foot traffic.
If you want to sample Dufresne’s sandwiches on the LES, your last chance will be July 1.