Big Night Restaurant Group (Marlowe, Park Tavern, The Cavalier) is adding another spot to its roster with the upcoming Leo’s Luxury Oyster Bar. Taking over the old Wexler’s space in the Financial District, Leo’s will be a cocktail bar that also serves seafood, owner Anna Weinberg was quick to stress to Eater. “This is a bar with food as opposed to the other away around like we usually do. It’s seafood for cocktails. Food is so over,” she joked. Though Weinberg and her business partner (and husband) James Nicholas haven’t yet officially hired a bartender to design the cocktail menu for the bar (which is named after their son), they anticipate it being an internal hire and having the menu focus on aperitif-driven cocktails, Champagne, rose wine and coolers.
As for that limited food, chef owner Jennifer Puccio is making a menu of small seafood items like a raw bar, grilled oysters, soups and salads, Inside Scoop reported. “You won’t be seeing main courses at all unless you decided to do a lobster roll for lunch or something like that,” Weinberg explained. Pastry chef Emily Luchetti will create the desserts.
Behind a small lounge in front, the space will seat 40 with a large raw and cocktail bar in the middle of the room and a banquette-lined smaller room in the back as well. Ken Fulk and Jon de La Cruz (The Battery, The Cavalier) are going for a Mad Men-inspired design with wood paneling, polished marble and brass accents.
Weinberg said they hope to open Leo’s by the end of the year, but it will depend on how fast they can staff the space. “We will certainly open in some capacity, even if I’m bussing tables,” she said. Stay tuned for more details to come.