411NSIDER: Charlie Bird

August 7th, 2013 by The House

Charlie Bird

PX This presents THE 4.1.1NSIDER REVIEW

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re getting sick of restaurants. New restaurants, old restaurants, hip restaurants, swanky restaurants, small restaurants, big restaurants, exotic restaurants, all of fucking Graydon Carter’s restaurants– we’ve tried them all, and we are up to our eyeballs in stupid goddamn restaurants already.

Look, we know why you’re here, we know what you want, and as you’re well aware by now, absolutely nobody else knows what they’re talking about quite like we at PX This do. Let’s face it, we’re so official, all we need is a whistle.

So, welcome to the 4.1.1NSIDER, where we’ll keep it brief. Just the facts, Jack. Better than that: just the facts you need. Hell, even better yet: just the facts you need on ONLY the coolest places to go. Wouldn’t it be great if everything in life were this smooth and slick? You’re welcome!

Charlie Bird

• Why it’s cool:
Actually, we have no fucking idea. Cuz in all honesty if you had told us months and months ago that a sommelier from Cru and a chef from Colorado were planning on opening up a new restaurant in downtown New York featuring totally played-out "Italian-inspired"/"farm to table" cuisine and 24/7 ole skool hiphop blaring out of the speakers, we’d have snickered and responded "good luck with that." And that would have been our polite commentary.

What can we say, we’re finally stumped. (And we’re glad, oh so very very glad.)

• Why it works:
Location, location, location.

Hah, we’re kidding!
You might recall that Charlie Bird is housed in that weird little building just off the corner of Houston and 6th Ave that stood empty for nearly an eternity with nary a commercial space to even speak of. After being gutted, re-faced, and nearly entirely re-structured, it finally opened about year ago as King (it was called King, right? does anybody even remember?) supposedly featuring a sous chef from Shorty’s 32 who somehow decided it would be an amazingly brilliant idea to serve frozen food from Costco (albeit al fresco) at a genius 600% markup. Needless to say, that restaurant lasted about a day and a half.

Also: that church and playground. Buh-bye, ABC license. (But whatever! Making a good living off a mere 10% food profit margin after paying rent, utilities, taxes, salaries, legal fees, and buying perishable inventory, etc is like, totally a BREEZE anyway! Who needs a silly ABC license?)

And yet, it works! It’s a miracle.

• Why it’s formidable:
The food is really really really good. And so is the service! And so is the design and layout of the space, including the bar and bathrooms! ALL TOGETHER, ALL AT ONCE. (And yes, we like the hiphop.)

It’s kinda like we died and went to restaurant bizarro heaven or something.

• Why it’s debatable:
Uhh, this can’t possibly last, can it? I mean, for sure the partners are going to start hating each other and eventually come to physical blows and/or nasty litigation, or the chef’s head is going to swell up until he storms out of the kitchen one day to pursue a career as a pompous reality TV celebrity, or the landlord is going to start resenting that he signed away a reasonable lease at an equitable price, or The New York Post is going to give it a great review thus drowning it in an overwhelmingly unbearable patronage of Idiots & Uglies, or something, RIGHT?

A nice restaurant in a great neighborhood with good solid food and a sleek but casual ambience that isn’t overhyped by a stupid self-entitled discriminatory food media? That’s just CRAZY TALK.

• Spotted with our own eyes:
Admittedly, nobody we know, and so far, nobody famous. But one look at this crowd tells us that these are mostly locals. West Village / SoHo LOCALS— that means affluent, well-groomed, and gainfully employed. (Ya know, i.e., the parents of all those cute kids at Bar Pitti and Miss Lily’s.) Color us "sold."

• Rating: ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼
** Suns are allocated on a scale of one to five, based on how many days a month you’re likely to find us here. **

 

Charlie Bird
5 King St (just off the SE corner of Houston and 6th Ave) • SoHo • 212 235 7133

 

 

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