Barnes & Noble's former flagship location at 105 Fifth Avenue shuttered in 2014, leaving behind a 25,000-square-foot hole that's finally being filled. Beginning May 13th, an enormous food complex will open its phase one with a cafe and wine bar concept, quickly followed by a bakery on May 19th, a restaurant on June 1st and a food marketplace opening later in June. The sprawling development is called Union Fare.
The cafe and wine bar will open daily at 7 a.m. to serve La Colombe coffees—including their proprietary draft lattes—before transitioning into a wine bar with snacks in the evening. The phase two bakery portion will serve sweet and savory pastries, breakfast sandwiches and cream-filled croissants in flavors like Birthday Cake and Ham & Pepper Jack Cheese by Executive Pastry Chef Thiago Silva.
The entrance to the restaurant will be on 6 East 18th Street and entrance to the bakery and market on 7 East 17th Street; a Banana Republic has the 105 Fifth Avenue storefront.
Silva is joined by Executive Chef Yvan Lemoine for the phase three restaurant, which boasts 185 seats for dinner service. The menu's American contemporary and there's also a charcuterie bar offering house-cured meats and local cheese plus a raw seafood bar. There are of course cocktails, wines and ten American craft beers on tap. Finally, the phase four market, for grab-and-go foods. There will also be some "speakeasy-style private event spaces" underneath the restaurant.
The concept shares some of the gene pool with URBO, the now-defunct Times Square barstaurant behemoth that offered multiple experiences under one roof. We'll know more once we get a look inside, which should be in the next week or two.