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Does anyone remember a restaurant called Chelsea Place?


I'm wondering if anyone remembers a restaurant called Chelsea Place. It was in Chelsea, and you entered through an antique store and went downstairs to get to the restaurant. They had put up some glass walls and there was lovely garden in the courtyard space that you could see while in the restaurant. I know that Chelsea Place closed quite a long time ago-- but I wonder if the antique store might still be there? I'm wondering if another restaurant might possibly be using the space? And lastly, I'm wondering if anyone who remembers the atmosphere and the food could suggest somewhere in the City that might have that same tucked away, hidden, you have to know to find it kind of place, of course with good food. Thanks!

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  1. I don't know how many responses you are going to get. Chelsea Place (and the antique store) closed about 25 years ago. Unfortunately, places like that can no longer exist given the real estate and restaurant market today. Perhaps there are some wannabes in Brooklyn that might approximate your desires, but nothing hits me at this moment. Ask on the Outer Boroughs board if you are interested.

    1. I googled "Chelsea Place" and found this as the 2nd result:

      Looking on Google street view, 147 8th Ave is now a pet store:

      Try a supper club for a similar feel:

      Or one of these places in the East Village: Bohemian or Kyo Ya.

      1. I was there back in the 80ies. Although the store entrance on 8th av closed, the restaurant space continued to function. It has an entrance on 17th St. down a short ramp a little bit West of 8th av. When I ate there 2 years ago it was a high end Mexican place which was very good.

        2 Replies
          1. re: kathryn

            Yes, Suenos; and it was excellent. Thanks

        1. I remember eating at Chelsea Place for my 25th birthday and being depressed because I was so old. It really was a unique place. Do you remember eating at Hisae's and Artie's Warehouse?

          3 Replies
          1. re: toonik

            Artie's Warehouse. The first upscale/hip restaurant attempt in an old warehouse building east of 10th Avenue. Hard to think anyone would go to that neighborhood for anything food or art or residential related. A place way ahead of its time.

            1. re: bobjbkln

              Lenny Angelo of Artie's Warehouse now has a great little place in Westhampton Beach called DeeAngelo's "Pleasant Ave." Cafe ~

            2. re: toonik

              I remember Chelsea Place, the fact that you entered through an antique shop made it "cool". Artie's Warehouse was very popular and people loved the idea that if you drove by in the daytime there was a steel roll up door closed, and you wouldn't even know there was a restaurant there. It was in the days of the disco Les Mouches also in Chelsea and the Empire Diner in its prime.
              Nowadays, Artie's concept still works i.e. Fette Sau , people love that garage idea.

            3. Whoa, that's a blast from the past. I lived in Chelsea in the late 80s/early 90s and went to Chelsea Place a few times, just to have drinks. Do I remember correctly that part of the sign was shaped like a piano?

              I don't know of anyplace with a) good food and b) the same "you can't tell what it is from the street" vibe, but in my current 'hood, the LES, there's La Caverna and Beauty and Essex. To get to La Caverna, you descend a flight of stairs into a cave-like room. Don't go there expecting to have a good time, though, unless a cave-like room is enough for you. It's loud and hot and the crowd is annoying. Beauty and Essex has an ersatz shop as its entrance, but once inside, you'll be in a pretty standard fancy-loungy place.

              Now I'm sitting here missing the Man Ray.

              1. exactly how i remember it: walking thru the antique store to the glassed-in back room. i went there several times when my parents visited in the early 80s. decent italian food, it was the first place i ever had tortellini (or for that matter any non-ravioli stuffed pasta). chelsea place was fairly upscale for the neighborhood at that point, an early sign of gentrification i guess but a good restaurant.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mcoleman

                  Thanks to all who responded. I didn't have a chance to check back before we returned to NYC and missed the information about Suenos. Good to know the restaurant space is still being used! I don't think we would have gone anyway, owing to the plethora of fabulous Mexican places (both upscale and down-home) in Los Angeles. We did find a place that has an unusual venue, a brownstone in the West Village, with an outdoor garden/ rooftop area--good food too-- Bobo's. Nice menu and good service. Of course Serendipity is in a wonderful old brownstone, but you can no longer just stop in on a whim for dessert! The place has become a tourist trap and the food is just barely edible. So having once taken my daughter there on another trip, it is not on the return list.

                2. Wow....here I am sitting here going through the archives of my mind reminiscing all of the interesting and great restaurants that I was lucky enough to have eaten in back in the 1970s. Fist up was Il Tre Merli, then there is Il Vagabondo but the one that will forever stand alone in my mind of interesting and different places was Chelsea Place. To read someone asking if anyone remembered it on Google search was just the jolt I needed to find it again. I am sad to read that is long gone since I would love to take my now husband to it, but such is progress and climbing real estate values.

                  I remember being taken there and walking into the "store" with all the antiques. Considering I love antiques and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, I wasn't ready for what I was about to experience and what a pleasant surprise it was. To walk through the "wardrobe" only to be taken into a full blown restaurant....KUDOS to the person who came up with this amazing idea.

                  1. I do! I cocktail waitressed there for a year or so in the late 80s. Loud atmosphere with the live music downstairs, chill and dark upstairs in the jazz bar, delightful ambiance in the restaurant with the garden and the ducks. Crazy owner named Giancarlo Santini. I had moved on already when it closed. A bartender friend told me she drove into the city to work her shift and the place was locked up with a sign on the door. No notice at all.But I had a great time working there and seeing some talented house musicians entertain patrons who paid waaaay too much for drinks. :)

                    And I once lived in the building next to Il Vagabondo, which another person mentioned in her post. Memories!

                    1. Great place loved it there. Remeber Charile Parker anyone?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: MEBSS

                        I remember Mr. Parker, but I recall his name was Johnny and that he was the resident trumpeteer. I worked with him. Talented and funny man. One night I entered one of the unisex restrooms and caught him standing atop the commode blowing reefer smoke into the ceiling fan! He had forgotten to lock the door. He looked at me and shushed me with his joint! Hilarious! He also drank Metaxa constantly. Those were fun years for me during my NYC era. Johnny passed away several years ago. I found his obituary online.

                        1. re: deloradayewriter

                          Yes you are right it was Johnny. Aww what about Santini

                          1. re: MEBSS

                            I'm so glad you recall Chelsea Place with me. Mr. Santini was a functioning drunk who loved espresso. He once got drunk and comandeered the microphone on the downstairs stage and ordered everyone to "get the fuck out!" During daylight savings, he would keep the place open an extra hour no matter what and not let any of the staff leave! One time I quarreled with him about it and he gave me a $100 dollar bill to persuade me to stay and work the extra hour. He was a trip!

                            1. re: deloradayewriter

                              Wow, this is a blast from the past, spent many a weekend night at Chelsea Place in the 80's, met a lot of fun people along the way and have some really fun memories about this place, thanks for bringing it back up :)