Long-dormant Chumley's, the legendary West Village speakeasy and NIMBY magnet, has finally been given the date of its resurrection: September 6th. Nine long years after a chimney and wall collapse forced the bar to shutter, the Times reports that it'll finally reopen at its Bedford Street home, with a shiny new decor and fancy menu to usher in its new era. Up in heaven, Jack Kerouac is rolling his eyes.
As was previously reported, there's a new captain at the helm at Chumley's. Alessandro Borgognone, operator of lauded Sushi Nakazawa just a block away, signed on with two business partners to spruce up Chumley's to appeal to the neighborhood. The partners have upgraded the bar's decor to include "patterned wallpaper, leather banquettes, French-oak tables...[and a] long, dark bar." At least the book jackets—celebrating the bar's literary history—have been brought back, though some are reproductions.
The new "Chumley’s on steroids," as Borgognone describes it, puts a big focus on the dining side of the bar/restaurant. Victoria Blamey, a former chef de cuisine at notable tasting menu restaurant Atera in Tribeca, will be leading the kitchen; previously, that meant classics like burgers and steak frites "in the $10 to $25 range." Borgognone now says diners should expect to pay $50 per person—before drinks. "We don’t do bars where people are drinking in and flopping all over the floor—that’s not our kind of business," Borgognone explained.
If these measures still can't appease neighbors, at least would-be drunken hooligans will probably just walk on past Chumley's without even knowing it's there. As part of the Greenwich Village Historic District, signs aren't permitted on the building.