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The Wren Opens Tonight on the Bowery (Updated With Photos) - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


The Wren Opens Tonight on the Bowery (Updated With Photos)


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Interior photos: Noah Fecks. Exterior: Stephen Rex Brown.

The tavernkeepers behind Bua on St. Marks Place, Wilfie & Nell in the West Village, and Sweet Afton in Astoria are set to add another bar to their portfolio. Mark Gibson said that he planned to open The Wren at 344 Bowery (the space at the corner of Great Jones Street that was formerly Sala) tonight at 5 p.m.

When The Local stopped in about an hour ago, the team was still putting the space together. Mr. Gibson, 37, said The Wren – named after the Wren Day festival in Ireland, where his parents still live – would be “primarily a bar with great food,” and he described the food, which will be served until at least 1 a.m. nightly, as “classic pub food but pushing it a little further.”

The menu (below) was designed by the head chef, David Mawhinney, with the help of P.J. Calapa, who also designed the menu at Sweet Afton. Mr. Mawhinney, 33, worked at Per Se and then followed that restaurant’s chef, Jonathan Benno, to Lincoln. Here, he’ll be sourcing ingredients from purveyors like Anne Saxelby (for cheese) and Tom Cat and Grandaisy bakeries (for bread). There will be Irish bangers made with Berkshire pork (sourced from Los Paisanos in Cobble Hill) and fish and chips made with skate. A variety of items will be served in small mason jars – a nod to the chef’s parents, who were active picklers when he grew up in Canada.

In the new year, a 50-seat lounge will open in the basement. The focus there, said Mr. Gibson, will be less on food and more on cocktails crafted by one of his partners, Krissy Harris. Ms. Harris, 32, ran the cocktail program at Gramercy Tavern for three years. Here, she’ll be overseeing a beverage program that will include $12 cocktails, ten beers on tap, and draft wine. Ms. Harris said she wanted the cocktails to be “just unique enough to have people have conversations about them,” and cited a “Grown-Up Rum and Coke” made with Cardamaro and San Pellegrino Chinotto.

The Wren will be open from 4 p.m. till 2 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and till 4 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. It will open at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and brunch will be added in the new year.

Dinner Menu

Drinks Menu

This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: December 14, 2011

An earlier version of this post misstated the surname of Krissy Harris.