In his most ambitious project to date, the chef and restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten will fill the Seaport District’s Tin Building with markets, dining counters and restaurants, to open in the spring.
Mr. Vongerichten’s company will run everything in the 53,000-square-foot space.
Built on the Manhattan waterfront in 1907, the building, covered in corrugated tin, originally housed the Fulton Fish Market, which relocated to Hunts Point in the Bronx in 2005. After the fish market left, the building was eventually moved, disassembled and replicated 32 feet from its original South Street location, back from the highway and closer to the East River. It was raised more than six feet and supported with a new foundation to replace the crumbling wooden piers.
Mr. Vongerichten has been working on the project with the Howard Hughes Corporation, the seaport’s developer, since 2014.
“I remember the original building,” Mr. Vongerichten said, recalling his early days as a chef in New York starting in 1986. “It was a very funky market, smelly, but you could see the sun coming up from it.”
A retail fish market, which Mr. Vongerichten says will sell “restaurant-quality seafood,” will greet visitors near the entrance, one of several fresh food stations for the Central Market, the heart of the complex. A walkway will connect the building to Pier 17, a restaurant and entertainment hub.
The building’s stands and shops, designed by Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors, will be fitted with sleek ribbons of brass, turned wood details and marble surfaces to contrast the building’s industrial shell. The stands will have counters for a quick bite, like a plate of oysters and a glass of wine.
Mr. Vongerichten and the developers expect a mix of locals, tourists and other New Yorkers, including Brooklynites arriving by ferry, to be drawn to the market.
The Tin Building will offer six full-service restaurants. The very French T.Brasserie, selling rotisserie chickens, will open into the market area and have outdoor seating. An intimate 19-seat sushi and sake restaurant, Shiku, will morph into a late-night izakaya. Another part of the market will sell the chef’s private-label condiments and other products, a new venture for him. On the second floor, reached via escalator, will be Frenchman’s Dough serving pizza and pasta. Also, Seeds & Weeds, a restaurant for plant-based fare, and the ultraluxurious House of the Red Pearl, with plush aquamarine banquettes and an open kitchen for Chinese food as spun by Mr. Vongerichten. Head chefs have not yet been appointed.
More casual will be six counters and cafes. Double Yolk for breakfast, T Café and Bakery for baked goods and sandwiches, stands for crepes and dosa, and a glittering candy store and ice cream shop with a Dutch door for street-side service, all on the ground floor. Upstairs will be Taquito for Mexican tacos, a craft beer bar and a cooking studio that will host classes and demonstrations, and double as a professional recording studio. The kitchens will be on the third floor. A small museum on the ground floor will have displays explaining the history of the market.
The Tin Building, 96 South Street (opposite Beekman Street), tinbuilding.com.
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