9 and i: Welcome to the Era of the Single-Character Restaurant Name


A few weeks ago, Restaurant i opened in a former Jennifer Convertibles in the Flatiron District. Next week, i Lounge, the adjoining bar, makes its debut. The resto-lounge combo will be the dining and drinking destinations for the forthcoming Hotel Gramerci, slated to open this winter.

About 20 blocks north and a few more west, another single-character restaurant is preparing to launch next week. 9 is opening in the space formerly occupied by Mangia e Bevi. Michael Berardino, formerly of dell’anima and ‘inoteca, is at the helm, and will turn out Mediterranean-influenced dishes like chickpea fritters, meatball sliders, braised lamb neck, and his answer to the city’s fried-chicken obsession: buttermilk fried rabbit.

The two launches beg the question: Is it a good idea to name a restaurant a single digit or letter? It might make for tricky Googling. Then again, it can’t be worse than some of the other restaurant names we’ve seen in this town.

893 Broadway

800 Ninth Avenue

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