LOWER EAST SIDE — A new restaurant and Prohibition-themed lounge is planning to squeeze into the Lower East Side nightlife scene, setting itself apart by creating a "beer cellar" complete with ale experts to guide drinkers through its list of craft beers.
The yet-to-be-named restaurant from chef Erik Blauberg — who previously headed up the kitchen in Midtown's historic 21 Club — is eyeing 178 Stanton St. between Clinton and Attorney streets, the two-floor location of the now-shut Moldy Fig Jazz Club, records show.
The basement level will feature a wine cellar, secret entrance, chef's table, lounge area and "beer cellar."
"Artisanal beers are now considered a viable option to pair with dinner and beginning to replace wine as a first option," according to the restaurant's liquor license application to Community Board 3.
The ground level of the restaurant serving an American fusion menu will have seats for 70 in an art deco-style room with “dark woods and exposed bricks," according to the liquor license application.
But the real party will be in the basement.
While big groups will enter the space through the restaurant, small parties will use a secret back door and outdoor staircase to get into the exclusive below-ground area.
"The lounge area will feature luxury food items such a caviar, truffles, lobster, foie gras and Dungeness crab," according to the application.
The beer cellar promises to offer exclusive beers, use knowledgeable staff to recommend pairings for dishes and provide access to “brew masters from around the world,” the application said.
The concept will go before CB3’s liquor license committee on Tues., Nov. 19. Management has proposed to operate seven days a week with club-like hours that include 4:30 a.m. closing times after Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.