Canary Club started with an old figure of speech: canary in a coal mine.
The new restaurant, live music lounge, and supper club in New York’s Lower East Side was originally conceptualized for Aspen by husband and wife team Ryan Chadwick and Emily Frantz. When their original space out West didn’t come to fruition, they toted the idea to downtown New York, where they have lived for the last eight years.
Although now situated far from the former coal mining region — where the pair originally met; Chadwick also runs an outpost of Grey Lady in Aspen, as well as the Escobar nightclub — the canary concept has taken on new life, channeled through the space’s color scheme.
“People think of canary, and they think of yellow,” says Frantz, an interior designer; she also drew inspiration from Wes Anderson and the disco era. “But canaries can be all different colors. I thought it’d be really fun to play with complementary colors — red and green — and really make it exotic, wild and unexpected.”
Although the duo is packing three concepts onto Broome Street, they aimed to make each space distinct, underscored by the decision to create separate entrances for each project. (An interior staircase also connects the restaurant and lounge.) The forthcoming Canary Supper Club, located in an adjacent space to the restaurant, will host various dining formats including collaborative dinners with different chefs and Sunday night family supper.
At street level, the intimate restaurant channels a modern French café with sage green tones with pops of pink and antique mirrored elements; downstairs is funkier and more disco-inspired, with white monkey scones hanging off dark green walls, two bars, and vintage Hermès fabrics wrapping the interior columns.
The concept was further refined after Chadwick and Frantz went down to New Orleans this past winter on a research trip. “We were just so inspired by the energy and the nightlife and the jazz and the food, that we thought we would have this be a nod to New Orleans and French Creole tapas, which I think is hard to find here in New York,” says Frantz.
The restaurant is led by chef Tadd Johnson, formerly of The Smile, who crafted a tapas menu informed by French Creole cuisine and Cajun flavors. Dishes include charred chayote, crispy maitake mushroom, and a crudité with crayfish butter. Select plates from the upstairs menu, such as oysters, caviar, and a seafood tower, will also be served downstairs.
The smaller plates and lighter, more vegetable-driven approach ensure that the crowd will still have energy to head downstairs to the lounge. At the heart of the Canary Club concept is music, and nightly programming will include live jazz and DJs performing from a raised stage.
“We really want people to come enjoy dinner,” says Frantz. “And not feel too full where they can’t come downstairs and dance, and hang out all night and listen to music.”
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