OPENINGS: 87 Food & Drink (8.7.19)
Tribeca’s hottest new go-spot comes courtesy of locals Brian Kennedy & Jolene Howard, who wanted to bring a casual, cozy good-for-all-occasions spot below Canal Street. We spoke with Jolene about what you can expect at 87 Food & Drink, and why it should be on your happy hour (and date night, and pretty much any night) go-to list…
Tell us about 87 Food & Drink…
87 Food + Drink started as an idea hatched among a small group friends who live/work in Tribeca. We all agreed that there wasn't a place to go for lunch, an after-work drink, or casual dinner in our little hamlet (87 Walker sits on the border of TriBeCa, Chinatown and the courthouses below Canal between Broadway and Layfayette).
My husband Brian Kennedy and I have lived in TriBeCa since 2006 and have been forever searching for “that place” to go when friends want to meet up for a drink and a meal in a comfortable loftlike setting. So we worked with our friends to build the place we wanted to go, and voilá! 87! It’s a pretty place, the menu is simple and well-executed, and our cocktails are as tasty as they are beautiful.
What makes 87 Food & Drink so unique?
Our setting is really comfortable. We personally live in a loft with an open-plan for our living spaces, so 87 functions as our dining room. I imagine that many downtowners are like us - we love to share a meal with a group of friends but sitting everyone at one table and cooking for a crowd isn't easy in a Manhattan apartment! Our food is simple and accessible - everything is sharable and we worked with our chef to make sure there are a variety of great crunchy vegetable options since side dishes are always everyone's favorites anyway (and they're the most difficult to make at home!)
What can locals expect when they visit 87 Food & Drink?
A warm welcome! We are locals ourselves and have been so astonished by and thankful for the support of friends and neighbors in our first days. I'm surprised every day to see a new familiar face and am even more surprised to meet so many friendly folks sitting at the bar that wandered in because they saw the doors open and wanted to see what we're up to. Everyone can expect a beautifully crafted cocktail like our Tequila Mockingbird at the 25' long bar, and our diners can expect bright flavors like our house-pickled vegetables, an ever-changing selection of ice-cold briny oysters or our lemony roasted heritage 1/2 chicken.
What's coming up for 87 Food & Drink this fall?
We have a huge TV at the bar, so I plan to spend my Saturdays drinking Yellowhammers and watching Alabama football games, but since I'm probably one of the few Alabama alums in the area, we have other plans for the fall like introducing brunch, which we think a lot of families will appreciate. Our 11YO daughter has a plan to introduce an emojis-only kids menu, and we definitely want to open for lunch during the week since we are so close to the courts. Becoming a destination for jury duty lunch is a goal.
What are your go-to spots in Tribeca?
Over the years, I've spent a fair number of fall football Saturdays at Warren 77 since we don't have cable! We're regulars at Walker's, Greca, The Greek and China Blue. I love the elegance of Tamarind - what a space! Terra is a winter go-to for sure. Our weekday coffee spots are Interlude and Kaffe 1668.