The basement floor of the McCarren Hotel & Pool is about to change hands again.
First, their was The Elm, a well-reviewed but expensive joint with a celebrity chef. It never really caught on.
Next, the space became Oleanders, a kitschy 80s-inspired fern bar that was too cute for its own good.
In September, a new restaurant will be opening in the space. It’s called Thaimee and we’re hoping the owners can finally get it right:
The space across from McCarren Park last hosted Oleanders, a fern bar-themed restaurant initially opened by solid Williamsburg restaurateurs Joe Carroll (St. Anselm) and Francesco Panella (Antica Pesa). But Carroll and Panella left the restaurant within months of the opening due to management change at the hotel, and Oleanders never quite picked up buzz the way their other restaurants did. It quietly stopped serving dinner earlier this year. Before that, fine dining star chef Paul Liebrandt had a restaurant called The Elm in the hotel, but it shuttered after a year and a half.
Investment group Empire Capital bought the hotel at 160 North 12th Street last fall for $20 million and decided to do a revamp of the food and beverage, approaching Bruck — an avid diner who runs a consultancy company called Eaters Drinkers — for help.
He and the chef will be opening Thaimee in the basement space in September, with two weekday tasting menus featuring eight courses. A more casual a la carte menu will primarily feature Thai fare from Thaimee’s hometown of Chiang Mai.
Since it’s a hotel, food will be offered all day. Breakfast will be a buffet, and lunch will be less fancy than dinner. Weekend brunch will also be buffet-style, including standard American brunch fare with Thai touches.