I knew I had a built-in clientele," Billy Gilroy is saying at his brand new restaurant, Match, as the phone is ringing off the hook at 10 a.m. "But even I'm a bit overwhelmed by this response."
No one else seems the least bit surprised that Gilroy's newest venture, with chef Chris Heyman (of Jerry's 103 and Odeon) and a third partner, businessman Peter Fay, is taking off like the proverbial house on fire. Gilroy practically has a pedigree in downtown restaurants: he managed La Gamelle, Nell's, the Odeon, and he co-owns Lucky Strike.
"We tried to open quietly," he says of Match, which has one of SoHo's best locations, on Mercer between Houston and Prince. "We only invited friends the first week -- but by the third night, we had 200 reservations for one night." Most nights, the owners stick around till 4 a.m., which is when the crowd finally clears out. Calvin and Kelly Klein hosted a little dinner there Wednesday night. And after being open only two weeks, Match has already pulled in the likes of Oliver Stone, Thierry Mugler, Kate Moss and Johnny Depp, Christy, Naomi, Isaac Mizrahi, Jim Jarmusch, Brian McNally, John McEnroe and Quentin Crisp.
Foodies, like Le Bernardin's Gilbert Le Coze and Gael Greene, have also dropped in, along with what Gilroy calls "the neighborhood people."
"There's a certain magic that has to happen between the tables and the lights -- it's a spark, an energy. That's the only thing you can never be certain of. Luckily, it seems to have ignited. We knew we worked really hard on the design and the food."
The menu is a hybrid of SoHo hamburger joint and L.A. multicultural restaurant: spicy duck pizza with shiitake mushrooms, vegetable plates, grilled tunaburgers, sweet potato fries, and the customers' favorite: a "raw bar" brimming with oysters and clams. "It's modern American with a strong Pacific Rim influence," Heyman says. "It's what American food is now: ethnic. It's sort of -- sexy food -- date food. It's the favorite food of the crowd that'll come here."
Why did Gilroy want to one-up Lucky Strike, just a few blocks away? "Match is more about the food," he explains. "When I opened Lucky Strike, the European bistro was what the whole scene was about. I wanted this restaurant to be about SoHo -- the artists, the cast iron, the history."Match is housed in the old Benjamin Electric building, and the partners have kept the old steel beams and fixtures. It's on two levels: the upstairs restaurant and a downstairs bar and hang-out area, where live deejays play jazz and soul. "We had this idea of 'hard and soft,"' says Gilroy. "Industrial - but warm. A place you'd want to stay for hours." Everything -- from the tables to the lights and dishes -- was designed by local artists. A huge John Chamberlain industrial sculpture dominates the main room. The downstairs is indigenous to what Heyman calls "heavy lounging -- it's relaxing, but I see people sort of grooving in their seats."
"This place is for SoHo, which is my home," says Gilroy. "Creative people, sometimes wealthy people, who dress casually. They're extremes," he smiles, "and I'm an extremist myself. In fact, I'm a hedonist." What's he going to do when the clamor starts to get extreme? Already, it's almost impossible to get in on a weekend.
"Whatever happens, " he says, "we won't let Match get unpleasant. We're trying to keep it understated. In the end, I know what I do: I serve soup and sandwiches, and I just try to do it well." That's not so extreme.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)