The Public Theater in New York City is undergoing a $40 million renovation of its historic downtown home at 425 Lafayette St., the first makeover of the venerable company's home quarters since it opened in 1967.
The six-theater complex is getting more than a facelift and infrastructure upgrade; the renovation is intended to turn the building into a cultural center, with the lobby becoming a public piazza. Aside from new and expanded restrooms, a centrally located box office, and new concessions, the building will get a new entrance and lobby with an increased capacity of 170 percent. Joe's Pub has already reopened after its redesign, but recently announced is another eatery and lounge, The Library.
The Library at The Public will serve classic cocktails, wine, and craft beers and an American menu of classic and signature dishes, appetizers, bar snacks, and desserts. Named in honor of the landmark building's original use as the Astor Library, New York's first public library, the lounge will be located on the lobby's new mezzanine level, seating more than 80. It will be open pre-theater plus post-theatre until 2 a.m.
Chef Andrew Carmellini and restaurateur Luke Ostrom have joined Joe's Pub Partners to direct the expanded dining options, which will now also include The Library at The Public, lobby concessions, and catering. The Library at The Public will launch during the fall celebration of the completion of the revitalization project.
June 21, 2012