MANHATTAN – It’s been eight long months since the Upper East Side lost one of its favorite watering holes, even if it was technically located in East Harlem. We’ll always remember the good times at The Rochard, but now we know what will be taking its place at the corner of East 97th Street and Lexington Avenue— an upscale, comfortable tavern named Lexington Publick.
It may be a brand new restaurant and bar, however, Upper East Site has learned Lexington Publick will feel pretty familiar to Upper East Siders from the get-go.
That’s because the owners of the new establishment are also the owners of the Third Avenue Ale House, the popular American gastropub located at the corner of East 92nd Street.
“This is this is definitely going to be a comfortable, chatty neighborhood pub [and] tavern,” co-owner Jacob Rabinowitz told Community Board 11’s licensing committee while seeking a liquor permit earlier this year.
The 60-year-old restauranteur describes the new tavern as a scaled down version of the Ale House, just a few blocks to the north.
Unfortunately, brown paper covers all the windows on the new bar– keeping prying eyes from seeing the changes underway inside the establishment.
According to Rabinowitz and partner Chloë Patellis, Lexington Publick will feature a smaller menu than the Ale House– about half the size– with a spread of salads, sandwiches and a couple of entrees.
“It’s just not going to be as extensive as the one that we have a few blocks down, but yes, there will be a full menu,” said Rabinowitz.
Prior to its transformation into Lexington Publick, the space was home to The Rochard for four years before the owners were forced to close the popular bar due to the crushing financial pressures brought on by the pandemic.
“We tried to recover and operate business as usual,” the Rochard’s team said in a statement last October, “but unfortunately without the assistance we needed from our politicians and landlords, we’ve no choice but to close up shop.”
Lexington Publick has big shoes to fill, but based on the success of its sibling to the south, it seems it will have no trouble becoming a popular, relaxing neighborhood hangout, just like the Third Avenue Ale House.
Right now, it’s not yet clear when the new tavern will open its doors, but we do know regular hours will be from noon to 1:00 am Sunday through Thursday and until 3:00 am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Upper East Site reached out the Third Avenue Ale House for more information on the new pub, but did not hear back by time of publication.