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Award-Winning Chef to Open High-End Eatery in Meatpacking District

By Danielle Tcholakian | October 27, 2014 1:06pm | Updated on October 31, 2014 4:08pm
 Guenter Seeger wants to open his new restaurant at 641 Hudson St., formerly the site of a clothing store.
Guenter Seeger wants to open his new restaurant at 641 Hudson St., formerly the site of a clothing store.
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DNAinfo/Danielle Tcholakian

MEATPACKING DISTRICT — An award-winning chef who has support from Daniel Boulud is opening an upscale seasonal restaurant in the Meatpacking District.

Guenter Seeger, a 30-year veteran of the hospitality industry, is planning an as-yet-unnamed high-end eatery at 641 Hudson St., which was formerly a Tracy Reese clothing store.

The 42-seat restaurant will offer a "tasting-style" menu and will be "small, understated but highly focused and culinary driven," Seeger wrote in a recent letter to Community Board 2. Reservations will be required.

Boulud wrote a letter of support to CB2, urging the board to approve Seeger's liquor license application.

“We are lucky that he has decided to call this great city his home and it is with great anticipation that I look forward to his opening," Boulud wrote.

But Seeger, who hails from Germany and is best known for running a now-shuttered Seeger's restaurant in Atlanta, ran into trouble with the license at a CB2 meeting last week.

CB2 denied the liquor license application in an advisory vote, raising concerns about granting a new license in a neighborhood already saturated by bars and restaurants. Some board members, though, said they were torn.

"It sounds like an amazing place," said Shannon Tyree, a member of CB2's State Liquor Authority committee. "I would want to eat there."

Seeger offered reassurances to the community, promising that staff and customers would be forbidden from smoking outside the restaurant and that the latest guests would leave by 1 a.m.

"With the Whitney Museum opening just a few blocks away, S Management Group will help bring a new respect to an area that community residents feel is overrun by bars and nightclubs," Seeger wrote, referring to his company.

The State Liquor Authority will make the final decision on Seeger's application.

Seeger's most recent venture was his eponymous eatery in Atlanta, which was named Restaurant of the Year by Esquire magazine and one of the 15 best restaurants in the country by Food & Wine Magazine.

Seeger closed Seeger's in 2007 and headed to New York to begin planning his next project. He and his wife said they spent five years looking for exactly the right location before settling on 641 Hudson St.

Another supporter of Seeger's new restaurant is Raj Vaidya, the sommelier at Boulud's restaurant Daniel and a West Village resident since 2001, who worked with Seeger in Atlanta for a brief stint in 2005.

"I have never been a part of a more amazing restaurant than when I was with Guenter in Atlanta," Vaidya wrote in a letter of support.