S.R.O. Will Bring Tapas and Tin Ears to 245 Bowery


Sometimes, the restaurant world presents us with material that it seems only Jonathan Swift could have written — for further reference, see: History of the Bowery, 2006-Present. And now it seems that yet another entrepreneur is eager to exploit the Bowery’s benighted past for the entertainment of the comfortable classes: 245 Bowery, the annex of the Sunshine Hotel, will become S.R.O. As in “single-room occupancy,” or “Skid Row-era flophouse.”

The surrealistically clueless name will be attached to — surprise — a new tapas restaurant. Last night, the owners held a meeting to discuss their plans with the restaurant’s neighbors. Bowery Boogie attended, and brought back a full report.

The restaurant’s owners, Ewa Olsen and Christopher Chesnutt, are also the proprietors of Alta, a West Village tapas restaurant; the tapas at their new establishment will be “Spanish-slash-Portuguese.” Chesnutt claims that he doesn’t want the place to turn into a club or lounge, and that it will close at 11 p.m. on weeknights and 1 a.m. on weekends. He’s apparently envisioning something more akin to Pulino’s and DBGB, though without Pulino’s mammoth signage.

But hey, it could be worse: Reportedly, Duane Reade wanted to colonize the space. The landlord turned down the drugstore chain because he felt he was being bullied, instead finding the tyranny of small plates to be more palatable.