New French Restaurant Proposed For Watts Street

The iconic restaurant operators are back it again.
Photo: Google Earth Pro

A team of well-established New York restaurateurs is currently getting ready to debut a brand new restaurant concept.

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Yosi Benvenisti and Cole Bernard have been working in New York hospitality for over a decade. Yosi has been working in New York nightlife since the mid-90’s, and has brought to life some of the city’s most successful concepts, including legendary venues like Cheetah, Spa, The World, Tunnel, and Twilo. Cole Bernard meanwhile was behind Porky’s NYC, one of New York’s first “party bars.” Together, the two would go on to establish the popular Bounce Sporting Club, a novel concept that married the traditional sports bar experience with a 5-star culinary and beverage program. A favorite of celebrities across the country, Bounce Sporting Club has been a significant influence on the city’s nightlife since it opened in 2011.

Now, Yosi and Cole are once again partnering up to debut a brand new restaurant concept. While the two formally operated as BrandIt Hospitality Group, their newest concept will be operating under the name Maison Close NYC LLC, separate from the BrandIt portfolio. The restaurant, which has yet to be officially titled, is envisioned as a contemporary, upscale French restaurant, and will be moving into the space at 15 Watts Street.

The team’s new restaurant will be replacing Bice Cucina Soho, an upscale Italian restaurant that opened in the space in 2021. While their SoHo outpost wasn’t able to survive the difficulties incurred by the ongoing pandemic, their Midtown restaurant is thankfully still open and taking reservations. As an upscale Italian restaurant, the space is well suited to meet the vision that Yosi and Cole have for their latest concept.

The space at 15 Watts Street offers about 2,000 square feet of space for guests and will be able to accommodate quite a few patrons at one time. Between the interior tables, stand-up bar, and proposed outdoor café, the new restaurant will be able to seat about 144 guests at one time. Currently in the process of applying for a full restaurant liquor license, Cole and Yosi are proposing operating hours of 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM Sunday through Wednesday, and 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. It is worth noting though that the team has only just recently met with the community board, so none of these details have been finalized until they move forwards with the next step.

Jake Rogers

Jake Rogers is an author and playwright based out of Brooklyn, New York. A lively performer who is deeply passionate about history and literature, outside of his reporting he also produces short films and plays with his theatre troupe, the LSTC. He is currently producing a web series about a butterfly and moth who are roommates that will be released later in the year.
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