CLICK IMAGE ABOVE TO BROWSE GALLERY.
Restaurateur Keith McNally is one of the best in the business when it comes to keeping people out of his construction sites and locking his new spaces down like Fort Knox. As a result, updates from bloggers, local spies and the like have become nearly constant (though not very revealing) as we inch closer to the opening of Pulino’s Bar and Pizzeria, McNally’s new project with wunderkind/punk chef Nate Appleman, formerly of San Francisco’s excellent A16. As pictures of the mythic restaurant have failed to surface, there’s very little we actually know about what the space will look like when it opens later this month—until now.
NBC recently acquired set of floor plans filed by McNally starchitect Richard Lewis in November 2008--and while less telling than the first photos every amateur blogger is vying to hang his/her hat on, the plans reveal a bit more about what Pulino’s could look like when she sets sail.
One of the most prominent features highlighted in the plans is the massive, semi-circle bar adjacent to the kitchen, which should prove useful for neighborhood drop-ins.
Other discoveries include: 1) The bathrooms are located in the cellar like they are at McNally’s nearby spot, Schiller’s, though they don’t appear to be unisex. 2) While the restaurant seems to sport a closed kitchen, the plan depicts a completely open pizza station, so crowds can potentially witness live, Appleman dough-tossing magic.
The rest of the plans seem straight-forward (and focused on the ventilation shafts that the blogosphere has been strangely fixated on for the past several months), but it does bring up a few nagging questions. Most notably, the mention of a “retail store.” This may just be archi-speak for a venue where food is sold ( i.e. a pizza place), but it could also refer to the rumored butcher shop idea Appleman was reportedly tossing around. We know he will be breaking down his own pigs and cows inside the kitchen, so it's not so far fetched.
All will be explained when McNally opens the doors in a few weeks. Until then, our hands still smell like microfiche.