Sorry Chumley, there’s a new bar in town and this city ain’t big enough for the two of you.
Froggy’s is a brand new bar and restaurant from Chefs Liz Johnson and William Aghajanian, moving in to the space at 86 Bedford Street. Doing business under the company name Pen and Frog Social Club LLC, Froggy’s is described by the owners as a “neighborhood restaurant that will service the community with a full menu,” with a food style described as “upscale American tavern.”
Prior to opening Froggy’s Chef Liz Johnson served as the head chef of the highly-acclaimed MIMI restaurant in Greenwich Village, starting when she was only 24 years old. After MIMI, Johnson assisted in the opening of Freedman’s, a modern Jewish Deli in Los Angeles, which saw her praised as one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs in America. Most recently, Johnson partnered with Aghajanian to open The Catbird Seat in Nashville Tennessee and have earned serious acclaim with their latest project.
Aghajanian, meanwhile, has been cooking professionally since the age of 13, where he trained under Chef Eric Ziebold at CityZen in the Mandarin Oriental. After five years of training with Ziebold, Will traveled the globe to work internationally and acquire powerful new skillsets. Working at critically acclaimed restaurants such as Noma in Copenhagen and New York’s own Per Se, Will eventually ended up working at MIMI, where he met Liz and the two began conceiving of The Catbird Seat together.
Now, about a year after ending their tenure at The Catbird Seat, the two are back at it again to bring a thrilling new tavern to Greenwich Village. Moving into the recently vacated bar at 86 Bedford Street, Froggy’s will be replacing Chumley’s, one of the neighborhood’s most historic bars. Established in the Prohibition era by Leland Stanford Chumley, the bar has had a long and storied history, serving as home for generations of poets, playwrights, activists, and artists. In fact, the term “86” as a euphemism for removal is rumored to have began at Chumley’s, where rowdy patrons were tossed out of the bar at 86 Bedford.
While the original Chumley’s closed in 2007 when the dining room collapsed, the name had been reused multiple times in subsequent revival attempts. It closed for good when the pandemic hit in 2020, and the space remained vacant for nearly two years before being acquired by Liz and Will. With 1,900 square feet of space between the ground floor and basement, the space has a proposed occupancy of 68 guests.