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Casino Takes Over Mission Chinese Spot at 171 East Broadway

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More than two years after Mission Chinese closed at 171 East Broadway, a new restaurant is about to make its presence known. The new nightlife spot, Casino, opened quietly in the space next to 169 Bar this past week. A website promises, “reservations coming soon.”

In July of 2021, Aisa Shelley (Mr. Fong’s, Primo’s in Tribeca) went before Community Board 3’s liquor licensing committee with a proposal to open a full-service Italian restaurant at 171 East Broadway. At the time, the team behind the project presented a preliminary menu for a venture dubbed, “Primo’s East Side.” In Tribeca, Primo’s (located in the Frederick Hotel) is a cocktail lounge that, “serves small bites and late-night comfort meals.”

Mr. Fong’s opened at 40 Market Street under the Manhattan Bridge in 2015, quickly becoming an art and fashion crowd favorite. Shelley went on to open Primo’s as well as Oliver Coffee in Chinatown. In the new venture, Roman Grandinetti of Regina’s Grocery, the Orchard Street sandwich shop, is said to be a partner (that was at least the case at the time of the community board presentation).

Mission Chinese was a big hit at 171 East Broadway when it opened in 2014, but lost its way long before the pandemic forced its closure in 2020. The restaurant space was sprawling, with a main dining room on the ground floor and a smaller bar/lounge on the lower level. The restaurant has an occupancy of 140.

More details from Eater Monday morning: Casino officially opens Tuesday, December 13. Up front there’s a “walk-in friendly” cafe with a bar. In the back there’s a more formal dining room that seats 70. Downstairs, another cocktail lounge will be used for private events. Shelley’s got another concept brewing in the neighborhood, an all-day cafe at 61 Hester St.

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