Ex-Stars Chef Part of Proposal for New Rochelle Restaurant and Food Complex
Back in the spring, legendary chef Jeremiah Tower told Toqueland that the next time he had an idea for a restaurant, he was just going to do it.
Well, it looks like he’s followed through on that promise, or would like to, if the town of New Rochelle selects the proposal he’s a part of, one of two in contention for the “adaptive reuse” of the former Naval Armory on East Main Street, near Echo Bay.
The backstory of this development is summarized nicely on the website of New Rochelle mayor Noam Bramson. In brief, the town’s city council solicited proposals for the space in May and there are two contenders. If you want to know everything there is to know at this point, there’s even a link to the proposal itself, which–if you’ve never seen a business plan/prospectus for this kind of thing–you might find a fascinating read. There’s also video of the presentation that was made to the city council last week. (The proposal with which Tower and company are vying is centered on the performing arts.)
A useful, succinct history of the Armory and its environs, and enthusiasm for the Tower proposal, is offered in this Westchester Magazine blog post, which compares the project to Seattle’s Pike Place Market and Philly’s Reading Terminal Market. To us, it sounds like a cross between those landmarks and New York City’s own Chelsea Market, or maybe even Eataly.
Good Profit, the team with which Tower is affiliated, is an impressive lot that includes architects and designers who have been involved with projects ranging from the London Olympic Stadium to New York City’s High Line.
According to the proposal, Good Profit’s vision for the Armory is as follows: “[I]ts primary use [is as] an indoor open market that will function under the expansive existing barrel vaulted roof. An assortment of vendors and restaurants preparing, serving and selling locally raised and harvested foods will occupy the Main Hall of the Armory. Additional uses in the Annex may include the local chapter of the American Legion, commercial oﬃce space and a bicycle repair facility.”
The proposal goes on to say that “The anchor of the Armory will be new restaurant experiences orchestrated by award-winning chef Jeremiah Tower [emphasis Toqueland’s], our executive culinary director. Situated primarily inside the former drill hall (our proposed Market Hall), with views into the kitchens, these dynamic spaces serve as meeting places for the enjoyment of regional food prepared to the highest quality. Above, on the Mezzanine and its Terrace, there will be a wine and oyster bar with seating, both indoors and out overlooking Echo Bay and the Long Island Sound. To the outer edge of the Market Hall, the East Hall will house additional vendors and casual seating. Prepared food will be available throughout the Armory at diﬀerent price points.”
With no disrespect to the other proposal, we at Toqueland couldn’t be more excited by the prospect of Jeremiah Tower getting back in the game so close to our New York City home, and applying his legendary sensibility to the bounty of this region. We’ll be following the city council’s decision with bated breath and a whetted appetite.