With Sauce, East Village Restaurateur Frank Prisinzano Heads a Lil’ South

New Restaurant SpaceMeghan Keneally The new restaurant will be at 78-84 Rivington Street, located on the corner of Rivington and Allen Streets.

The owner of Frank, Supper, and Lil’ Frankies, along with a business partner, are opening a new Italian restaurant called Sauce on the corner of Allen and Rivington Streets in early October. In addition to a dining room, the space will feature a grocery section as well as a demonstration kitchen that will host cooking lessons.

Last year, Frank Prisinzano, who runs three restaurants in the East Village, and Rob DeFlorio applied to open a fourth restaurant on Second Street and Avenue A. Citing the high number of restaurants in the area and the noise levels, the community board resolved not to support their application for a liquor license.

“They were right,” Mr. DeFlorio said about the decision. “We got excited because the place was two doors down [from Supper] and it was available. We jumped the gun.”

Upon going back to the drawing board and finding the space on Rivington, they were approved for a beer and wine license from the board immediately. The new restaurant, set to open on October 4, will be the first of Mr. Prisinzano’s ventures to cross below Houston Street.

“It was the same people on the same community board, and we walked in and check, fine. It passed unanimously and literally took maybe 60 seconds,” Mr. DeFlorio said of the approval for Sauce’s license, which allows the restaurant to serve until 4:00 a.m.

“I don’t even know if we’ll use those hours,” said Mr. DeFlorio, “but they gave it to us. We might end up going for full liquor in a year but it’s much more about the food than about the drinking.”

According to Mr. DeFlorio, the restaurant will have a pick-up window that will serve coffee in the morning, sandwiches at lunch, gelato on hot days and late-night pasta catering to the neighborhood’s nightlife scene. A glass case will display ingredients and butchered meats for sale. There will also be a teaching component to the store: A demonstration kitchen will be built in the coming months and instructional videos might also be sold.

Lil' FrankiesMeghan Keneally Open calls for wait staff will be held at Lil’ Frankies.

“I feel fortunate to have carved out a place for my style of Italian cuisine in the East Village,” said Mr. Prisinzano. “It feels like the right time to get involved with the Italian food and culture on the Lower East Side.”

Mr. DeFlorio added that they are excited to expand southward. “The Lower East Side already happened – it happened a while ago – but that particular corner is a bit undeveloped,” he said of the corner of Rivington and Allen Streets. “We liked it because we’re kind of anchoring that corner.”

Open calls to fill positions at the new restaurant- including wait staff, bar backs and line cooks- will be held on August 9, 11, and 15 at Lil’ Frankies.