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American Pub Aims to Make Village Locals Feel at Home

By Danielle Tcholakian | May 31, 2014 8:24am | Updated on June 2, 2014 8:14am
 Chapter One, a new restaurant on Greenwich Avenue, aims to be an upscale, classic American pub for Village regulars.
Chapter One
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WEST VILLAGE — A new Village pub is vying to be the neighborhood's go-to joint for locals.

Chapter One, which opened a couple of weeks ago at 33 Greenwich Ave., is eager to welcome Village residents that the owners hope will become regulars.

"I want this to be a typical Village place," said operating partner Damian Collins, "I want customers to feel that when they come in here they're going over to one of their friend's apartments for drinks and dinner."

Chapter One, so named because it's the first venture by Collins and a handful of other Irish and Irish-American partners, aims to be an "upscale classic American pub," Collins said.

While the owners all have Irish roots, their love of traditional American bars is guiding the pub — which features an extensive bourbon and rye list, walls covered in black-and-white photos of vintage bars across America, and wood-paneled walls.

But some things remain uniquely Irish.

In planning the new pub, Collins drew upon his restaurant training 20 years ago in Ireland "to bring everything back to basics" and avoid the recent trend toward overcomplicated recipes proliferating in the city's eateries, like cocktails with 24 ingredients — or "a farmer's market in a glass."

"Nothing here is dressed up — what you see is what you get," he said. 

Executive chef Warren Baird, a graduate of Johnson & Wales culinary school, is taking inspiration from classic hearty American cuisine, but with his own spin. A beef tartare appetizer, for example, is made with olive oil instead of raw egg. 

Baird's menu, with appetizers averaging $12 and entrees costing between $20 and $30, also includes a "12-hour pork belly," cured and smoked in-house.

Collins is also prioritizing customer service, the way he was taught decades ago in Ireland.

"Nowadays the customer is forgotten — there isn't an emphasis on service," he said. "At Chapter One, everything is about the customer."

Chapter One, 33 Greenwich Ave., 212-842-9146. Dinner served from 5 p.m. until midnight Sunday through Thursday, and until 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Brunch is served from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.