East Village natives Stephen and Adam Ballinger are looking to debut their second restaurant concept.
The brother’s opened the cocktail bar Sweetie at 85 Avenue A in the late summer of 2021 after a few years of working at other businesses. Prior, they both worked at Webster Hall in various capacities, from bartender to marketing manager, which their family owned and operated until 2017. Now the duo is looking to secure the ground floor space of the five-story mixed-use building at 244 E Houston Street to house their yet-to-be-named bar tavern concept.
Its proposed menu includes small bites such as olives, veggies with hummus, and artichoke dip for $6-$12, a meat and cheese charcuterie for $13, and half-a-dozen specialty pies from classic margherita to four cheese, veggie, chicken bacon ranch, meatball parmesan and sweet and spicy for $12-$15.
It is slated to offer 12 tables with 50 seats, as well as two bars with eight seats, with proposed hours of operation of 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. daily. The team also hopes to be able to host private events at the venue.
Their flagship concept, Sweetie, is a specialty cocktail bar open from 8 p.m. until 4 a.m. from Thursday through Saturday. Its alcohol offerings range from cocktails including their signature Sweetie paloma to their Ontario old fashioned, mezcal penicillin and and bergen daiquiri all for $14, draft beers like Budlight and Brooklyn Lager for $7-$8 and canned liquor like Tecate and White Claw for $8-$10.
Stephen is a “hands on operator” who will likely presume a managerial role at the bar, whereas Adam primarily takes on a marketing role. Both have bartending experience, with Adam briefly working at Danny Meyer’s flagship concept, Union Square Cafe, and 2A Bar after his family sold Webster Hall.
Danny Meyer is best known for founding the widely successful chain, Shake Shack, with the city recently getting its first-ever outpost in the Lower East Side and its fourth location in Jackson Heights. However, he also founded and operates Union Square Hospitality Group, which has created numerous concepts such as Daily Provisions, which opened its fifth outpost in Cobble Hill this fall.
His daughter, Hallie, is also slated to open a second outpost of her first solo concept Caffé Panna in Greenpoint next spring.