The Vastly Transformed Sidewalk Café Will Re-Open This Month


Things have been quiet at the Sidewalk Café since March, when it closed for renovations. Long a haven for anti-folkies and fans of alfresco boozing, it had been an Avenue A institution since opening in 1985. We now hear that the place is scheduled to reopen by mid-August. And when it does, it won’t be quite the same place its patrons remember.

Like just about everything else in the East Village, the Sidewalk has traded up: For starters, it’s got a publicist, who emailed us with the news of its “vast transformation.” Its new interior involves “reclaimed barn wood from upstate New York,” “rustic hanging lanterns,” and a mirror with “distressed glass” that will hang behind the bar. The restaurant’s original neon sign has also been moved indoors.

The new kitchen will serve “modern homestyle food” such as crème brulée French toast with caramelized brown sugar and bacon, paper-baked mustard tilapia, and “housemade” potato chips. Monday Open Mic Night — apparently the longest-running of its kind in New York — will remain intact, even if everything around it is more or less unrecognizable.

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