After Kurt Gutenbrunner, chef and co-owner of Michelin-Star-boasting Wallsé, left The Hotel on Rivington’s restaurant Thor not long after it opened, it was never able to fully recover.
And while The Hotel on Rivington has officially called it quits on Thor, the modern venue and cool ambiance will not go to waste. Alan Philips and his Guerrila Culinary Group have renamed and revamped the space and will reopen on May 19 as CO-OP Food & Drink, a modern American brasserie and sushi bar. Collectively, CO-OP’s executive chef John Keller and sushi chef Stephen Wong have seen the kitchens of such culinary powerhouses as Le Bernardin, Nobu, and Sushi of Gari.
DeVinn Bruce and John Rawlins are the designers behind the space, which is inspired by ’70s California mixed with some LES. The restaurant features two substantial photography installations. The primary is a collaboration with celebrity photographer EJ Camp to create 40 oversized Polaroids of New York City icons including Betsey Johnson, Patricia Field and Jay McInerney. The second is a Baldessari inspired 40-foot wall in the lounge, constructed of filmstrips with multi-colored faces created by Bruce.
The sexy icey-grey and noir dining room claims 30-foot ceilings and its Dorothy Draper-esque appeal is evocative of old Hollywood. A sleek, long and well-stocked watering hole keeps waiting patrons busy while a sushi bar, laden in coruscating gold-mirrored tiles, can fill a little space in the belly if need be. Regardless of the lavish décor it maintains a familial appeal with the addition of a 30-foot long communal dining table constructed from one piece of Walnut wood.
CO-OP will be open Sunday through Wednesday: 5:30 p.m. – 1 a.m. and Thursday through Saturday: 5:30 p.m. – 2 a.m.