Seven years have passed since El Diablo closed at 101 Broadway, on the ground floor of the old First Avenue Hotel. The space has been vacant ever since, but with the redevelopment of the hotel into an apartment building called the Quayle, the ground-floor retail units have also been remodeled and are ready for tenants. The first of those will be Street Feud, a full brick-and-mortar version of chef Merlin Verrier's quick-service counter of the same name inside Avanti Food & Beverage.
Street Feud will take up 1,650 square feet, according to Verrier; the rest of the El Diablo space has been divided into separate units for other bars and restaurants. The vibe will focus on street art and hip-hop, reflecting the international street food menu that will grow by 30 to 50 percent from its current iteration. "Right now we have three tacos, but we'll have more like five, and also five or so each of the other menu items," he says of the current bao buns, flatbread and quinoa bowl. "The menu will also include new lettuce wraps and more salads and sides."
So expect best-sellers like the current pork belly bao buns, tacos al pastor and crispy mushroom tacos, along with plenty of new eats to explore. Street Feud will have its own liquor license for beer and wine, and a variety of international sodas will also be available. "The most exciting thing for us will be to fully curate the experience for guests from start to finish," Verrier adds.
The chef is working with Track Architecture on the design of the space, which will include elements he's been thinking about since conceiving of the Street Feud idea several years ago, now incorporating existing design features in the building. "There's some great gymnasium-style parquet flooring that got left in there, so we're going to use that," he says.
El Diablo and its sibling bar, Sketch, were favorites on the stretch of Broadway running through the Baker neighborhood, until owner Jesse Morreale, who owned the entire building, ran into legal troubles with the city over the building's safety. After several eviction notices, Morreale closed the restaurant and bar, and the building was eventually sold to Digital Cowboy LLC at a bankruptcy auction in 2015. The Quayle, named after Charles Quayle, who designed the original hotel, which opened in 1907, just recently began leasing affordable apartments.
Verrier says that Street Feud will continue to operate at Avanti through the end of its one-year lease; he hopes to have the new Broadway Street Feud open sometime this June.
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