Greenwich Village's next hot spot? The Lion
If last night was any indication, John DeLucie’s new Greenwich Village restaurant, The Lion, will be just as fabulous as the restaurant that earned him celeb-chef status, The Waverly. The glam crowd at what was the first of three preview nights before The Lion officially opens in May was fashion- and media-heavy; those dining on the tuna tartar and lamb porterhouse included Nora Ephron, Lucy Sykes and Euan Rellie, Dave Zinczenko (rumored to be an investor), Dr. Lisa Airan, and Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher (who refrained from Twittering at the table).
As at the Waverly, the walls at DeLucie’s new West 9th St. spot are as eye-catching as the patrons. Interspersed among vintage maps and lesser known art works are pieces by Warhol, Basquiat, Damien Hirst and David LaChapelle. The two-story space has quite the illustrious history: in the 1950′s, long before it became a restaurant called The Village (which closed last year), it was a gay cabaret spot also called The Lion. Barbra Streisand won a talent contest there before she was famous, and a teenaged Joel Schumacher was a bus boy.
Reps for the restaurant insist it will be more democratic than the Waverly. There will be a phone number and email address for reservations, and walk-ins are supposedly welcome (despite the fact that it has yet to open to the public, neighbor John Leguizamo has allegedly already made it his regular burger joint). And a rep for The Lion says that, eventually, reservations will even be available via–gasp!–Opentable.