THE BOWERY BOYS

Byline: Jared Paul Stern

Although it’s taken Eric Goode and Serge Becker nearly six months to open Bowery Bar, their new restaurant, the wait worked to their benefit. The fashion pack and its celebrity friends have been jamming the East Village restaurant since its opening Friday. Cindy Crawford, Calvin Klein, Russell Simmons, Jaye Davidson and Jay McInerney dropped by on Friday, Madonna was there Saturday, and Marisa Tomei, Josh Hamilton and Anna Wintour were there Sunday.
On the corner of Bowery and East Fourth Street, the new Bowery Bar was an old Gulf gas station. The building is a single-story white box that has an open patio looking out onto a 4,000-square-foot garden. “Its main asset is the outdoor space,” says Becker. “It gives a very civilized kind of feel, and will make it very attractive during the summer months, obviously.”
The legacy of the former Gulf station is evident in the restaurant’s decor: photos of dump trucks and mechanical motifs cover the wall near the entrance, and the main dining room, which seats 300, has antique wooden gear molds hanging about. There’s a darker, clubbier lounge with its own bar in the back, filled with photos of drag queens.
A stuccoed cinder block wall that surrounds the garden, planted with locust trees and trumpet vines, has an orange stripe running around its top. And Goode and Becker have somehow managed to keep the white wall grafitti-free so far — not easy considering the neighborhood.
Bowery Bar serves up a reasonably priced American cuisine, cooked by Kim Borrin, who’s still finessing the menu.
Look out, Match and Merc Bar. Judging by the first three nights, Goode and Becker, responsible for such hot spots as Area, M.K., Club U.S.A. and Time Cafe and Fez, could have this season’s hottest spot. But it’s not really that surprising to them.
“It’s not like after you do 10 restaurants you haven’t learned anything that helps you for the 11th,” Becker says. “If you haven’t, you’re stupid.”

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