Richard Sheridan and his partners Deirdre Stone, Sam O’Connor, and John Higgins had been scouring the city for a restaurant space when they stumbled upon an opportunity in South Street Seaport, the Manhattan neighborhood they all call home. “We were looking for five years for the right spot,” says Sheridan. “We even went over to Brooklyn a couple of times. But we all live in the neighborhood, and this was right at our back door. We met with the owner, who wanted to put something in that would really help out and add to the neighborhood. Something classic American, and that’s what we wanted to do, too.”
So the partners inked the deal, and they began drawing up plans for the Trading Post, which made its debut in the old Yankee Clipper space at 170 John Street a week and a half ago.
Because of their history with the ‘hood, they were adamant that it appeal to the locals. “I’ve been down here for eight years now,” says Sheridan. “When I first got here, Duane Reade wasn’t even open on the weekends. We knew our lunch and after-dinner drinks would be big business, but we wanted to cater to the residents, too. A place like this was missing down here–we all live down here, and we kept having to go to Tribeca. This is less of a Wall Street kind of a place, and more of a neighborhood kind of a place.”
They outfitted the tri-level building, which was built in the 1840s and is one of the city’s two remaining granite Greek revival buildings, with dark woods and club chairs, installing a private dining room with a waterfront view upstairs and a whiskey cellar with stone walls and intimate seating below ground. The setting, they hope, will become a restful oasis for neighbors looking to avoid the Financial District’s raucous after-work bars.
The team brought on chef Stephen Wood–formerly of the Patina Group and Miami’s Smith & Wollensky–to create the menu, and he’s turning out classic American fare that’s “a little higher end, but not higher end in price,” says Sheridan. The owner cites dishes like the tomahawk chop for two served bone-in, a garden salad made with local vegetables, and appetizers like chicken livers and pork papardelle.
The board pairs to a drinks list culled by Higgins, who ran the bar at Ulysses for several years. “We have a nice wine collection of about 85 bottles, a cocktail list, 15 beers on tap, and 35 in bottle,” Sheridan says. And while whiskey is prominent, “we didn’t want to go the whole cocktail list route because we don’t want to compete with the Dead Rabbit. They’re just down the street and good friends of ours, and they’re really doing that down here.”
Now that the place is up and running, it’s serving lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. until midnight daily, and drinkers can stay on imbibing until 1 a.m. on weekdays and 2 a.m. on weekends. Sheridan says brunch will start next weekend, too.