See that photo up top? That's the former home of Ron & Dan's Keg, and the future address of Lou's Food Bar, Frank Bonanno's new restaurant, which was gutted yesterday after Bonanno, who also owns Bones, Luca d'Italia, Mizuna , Osteria Marco (and soon, Wednesday's Pies), sealed the deal on the space last Friday -- a space that Bonanno's been working on since April. "We made some offers on other places, but I really wanted to own the real estate, this was a good deal, it's in my neighborhood and it's got 22 parking places," says Bonanno, who's spending a shitload of dough -- $80,000 -- just in fees to upgrade the biker bar previously owned by Ron Garcia and Dan Gonzales.
Lou's, which Bonanno describes as an "American bistro with French influences," will open during the holidays, in mid-December, at 1851 West 38th Avenue, with what Bonanno calls "really, really simple food that's all about execution and using artisanal, housemade ingredients."
The board, short and inexpensive, will pimp six different pâtés; eight varieties of sausages, including bratwurst, boudin blanc, Italian and merguez, all with different setups; brandade; sandwiches, including a French dip; soups like French onion; fried chicken; a tangle of large salads; and spaghetti with mozzarella-stuffed meatballs. "It'll be the only place I've got where you can order spaghetti and meatballs," says Bonanno, who's been playing around with those meatballs at Luca. "They're working out well, and people are really loving them."
Adam Hodak, who oversees the beverage programs at all of Bonanno's restaurants, will also control the libations syllabus at Lou's. "We'll have a fantastic cocktail list and wine program, as we do at the other restaurants, and we're also going to make fresh juices -- housemade sodas, almost -- that give kids a healthy alternative to other beverages," notes Bonanno.
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The restaurant will be kid-friendly, too. "We won't have a kids' menu, since there's plenty for them to eat on the regular menu, but this is going to be a nice, casual neighborhood joint where you can definitely bring your kids, although it'll also be a great date place," says Bonanno.
The 88-seat space, which will include a charcuterie area, a bar with space for 25 butts and a patio that can hold eighteen, will serve lunch five days a week, dinner seven days a week and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. I'm really excited about this project," says Bonanno. "And I've got to say that Ron and Dan we're unbelievably cool in helping us keep this thing alive. I think they even had tears in their eyes when we closed the deal."
We have tears in our eyes just thinking about all those pâtés and sausages. It's going to be a Merry Christmas in Sunnyside.