Daniel Patterson Heads to New York With the Elevens, a ‘Crowd-Sourced’ Restaurant in Tribeca [Updated]
In case you didn't know, Coi chef Daniel Patterson is kind of a big deal in the international culinary world, and today we learn that he's taking his show on the road and expanding beyond the Bay Area. In early 2012, he'll oversee the menu at a "microfinanced" restaurant in New York with bar superstar Dale DeGroff. The name of the spot, which will be located at 58 Lispenard Street: The Elevens. As the Tribeca Citizen reports, the team is also employing Coi designer Scott Kester. The look is going to be "New Victorian ... civilized yet playful ... [think] if Iggy Pop designed the Oak Room." (See one of the mood boards at left, and another below.) But the most interesting part here is that partners Kester and David Lefkowitz are importing a foodie-investor concept from San Francisco's Commonwealth, where start-up funds were raised through small donations from hundreds of people, with the promise of part-ownership and payouts in meals.
Here's how this will work: The Elevens is looking for 2,000 individual donations of $500 apiece, in order to raise $1 million (sign up here). These 2,000 people will then become "seatholders" who will get a 25 percent discount on everything they order throughout the life of the restaurant (if they bring three non-seatholders to dinner, everyone gets 25 percent off as long as the seatholder is the one paying the bill); priority reservations; and access to exclusive events and tastings. They're also promising seatholders a vote in certain decisions about the restaurant, making them feel like actual investors in the business even though the $500 share is pretty minuscule. And yes, you can still try to get a table if you're not a seatholder, but with the above rule about guests in place, good luck the first couple of months.
You can preview Patterson's draft food menu and cocktail list here. As far as we understand, Patterson will be overseeing all the food and training the staff, but no word on who a chef de cuisine may be. Patterson will return to cook for special events, including (potentially) the planned annual, off-site events for seatholders.
They say they're taking inspiration from "The Moral Thermometer and the Temperance Movement [caps theirs]. Or, more precisely, the social factors surrounding spirited conviviality: home distillation, the rise in popularity of alcohol in America, Prohibition, and the social groups who toiled in secret to indulge, convivially, in drinking." (Patterson is known in S.F. as the thinking man's chef, thus all the concepting and mood boards ... )
We've got a call in to Patterson (he's in Sydney at the moment), but the Elevens team has already said that if all goes well in NYC, they'll be doing more outposts in other cities, starting perhaps in San Francisco. In any event, the idea will give Patterson a chance to get his name out there on the East Coast beyond the odd Alice Waters–bashing New York Times column.
Update: Patterson got back to us and says that he's excited to help out his friend Scott Kester however he can, but that the sample menu posted is likely to change significantly. Also, he downplays the food effort a bit, saying, "It's bar food."