Once the most debauched nightclub in New York, the Beatrice is being resurrected as a ‘cozy’ chophouse by Graydon Carter
- Last Updated: 12:03 PM, May 2, 2012
- Posted: 10:42 PM, May 1, 2012
A disco ball refracted light onto the haze of smoke that filled the back room, with its low ceilings and black-and-white checkered floor. Samantha Ronson was working the DJ booth, and girlfriend Lindsay Lohan was by her side.
Ashley Olsen worked her way through the A-list crowd — whose favorite activities included getting trashed, dancing and locking lips — to say hello to Ronson, but Lohan was not having it.
“Get your 15-year-old ‘Full House’ ass away from my girlfriend!” she reportedly screamed.
Welcome to the Beatrice Inn, circa 2008.
But the fun was fleeting. In 2009, the legendary nightclub run by scenesters Matt Abramcyk and Paul Sevigny was raided and padlocked by the city for overcrowding and building code violations. Speculating on its future tenant has been a favorite New York pastime ever since.
Now, the latest chapter in the storied history of the Beatrice Inn — the unassuming subterranean spot on the corner of West 12th and West Fourth streets — is about to unfold.
Late this month, Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, along with partners Emil Varda and Brett Rasinski, will breathe new life into the fabled Greewich Village haunt, transforming it into a cozy chophouse with a seasonal menu by Brian Nasworthy, a former sous-chef at the Time Warner Center’s vaunted Per Se. It promises to be a neighborly place, with a published phone number and reservations on OpenTable.
“Democracy will be the order of the day at the Beatrice,” Carter tells The Post.
“Most tables will be available on a first-come, first-seated basis. This will be a restaurant for our West Village neighbors and their friends,” adds the bon vivant, who also owns venerable NYC restaurants Monkey Bar and the Waverly Inn, which had a nonworking phone number when it opened in 2006 (instead, insiders called Carter’s office directly, or e-mailed “Fritz”).
In many ways, the new Beatrice Inn will have more in common with the original Beatrice Inn. Before the young Hollywood set descended upon it in the late aughts, it had been a red-sauce Italian joint run by husband-and-wife team Elsie and Ubaldo Cardia for 50 years.
The old Beatrice Inn, with its pink walls and cold 75-cent martinis, drew an old-school Village mix of editors, oddballs and power brokers — some of whom dined there as many as six nights a week. According to its menu cover, “The charm and the mystique of Bohemian Greenwich Village is alive, affordable and just around the corner . . .”
The late journalist Charles Kuralt was perhaps its most famous regular, and even dedicated the final chapter of his 1995 best seller, “Charles Kuralt’s America,” to the restaurant.