The king of London’s nightlife scene is finally headed to New York.
Robin Birley — whose posh, members-only club 5 Hertford Street is where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had their first date — is launching a private supper club on the Upper East Side, Side Dish can exclusively reveal.
The 5,000-square-foot restaurant and lounge will be called Oswald’s, after Birley’s grandfather, a famed portraitist for British royalty, according to a well-placed source. The venue will open by late 2020 on the ground floor of 30 E. 60th St., a 20-story commercial building that dates to 1917, sources said.
The 61-year-old, Eton-educated Birley — who famously bears facial scars left by a tiger that mauled him at a family friends’ private zoo when he was 12 — made headlines in the British press this year for bankrolling Boris Johnson’s campaign to become the UK’s prime minister.
Members of his secretive 5 Hertford Street, also known as 5HS, are said to include Leonardo DiCaprio, George and Amal Clooney and Prince William. Last week, 5HS got unwanted attention when its kitchen workers said they would vote on whether to strike over “poverty pay,” although, in a statement Birley says their pay and benefits are “well above the industry norm.”
Lately in New York, Birley — whose late father Mark Birley opened the legendary Annabel’s club that was frequented by the Beatles, naming it after his mother, the socialite Lady Annabel Goldsmith — has kept busy dining out “every lunch and dinner,” meeting “people and chefs” in Manhattan and Brooklyn, according to a source, who says Birley is bent on “finding out what New Yorkers love.”
His fascination with the Big Apple isn’t news. Early last year, Birley’s spokesman told The Post his intention has always been “to launch a new club concept tailored specifically for New York and New Yorkers, rather than a so-called 5 Hertford Street outpost.” At the time, Side Dish exclusively reported that Birley had been eyeing a landmarked building on Union Square that his London landlords, the billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben, had bought for $39.5 million.
But getting permits for the hotel-anchored development were onerous, and the cost to transform it from “an old clinic” to Birley’s notion of “sophisticated urban perfection” were prohibitive, according to one insider.
That space will become a 75-room boutique hotel and restaurant operated by Blakes Hotel, although under a different flag, a spokesman for the Reubens said.
As reported by The Post, Birley also had looked into buying 21 Club, but the deal fell apart when its owner, the Belmond Group, was sold, sources said.
As for Oswald’s, there’s no word on whether there will be reciprocity between Oswald’s and 5HS, where heads of state mix with royals, rock stars, Saudi princes, Russian oligarchs and Hollywood A-listers.
One thing that’s for sure: There will be no dancing in New York. “We wanted a nightclub, but it’s impossible to get the permits,” the source griped. “There will be no dancing or music, just couches and a beautiful space were people can feel cozy, like they are at home.”
For the men, of course, that will mean feeling at home wearing a proper jacket.
“We used to have places like this on the Upper East Side, but not anymore,” the source added.
Black Tap founders launch cocktail lounge
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer founders Chris Barish and his wife Julie Mulligan have launched a new cocktail lounge, Lot 15, in Herald Square’s Kixby Hotel.
The “old New York” style spot comes five months after the couple opened The Lookup rooftop.
Lot 15, designed by David Rockwell, is 1,400 square feet and seats 70 people. There’s a central bar for 11 and a lounge space with charred black wood walls, banquettes and high top seating. The art will feature street artist Fumero, whose work was formerly on the walls of Ludlow Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer.
Executive chef Stephen Parker’s menu features small and large plates, like a house-roasted turkey club sandwich for $38 to a skillet truffle mac and cheese for $12. Cocktails, from mixologist Cameron Shaw — who worked under Pamela Wiznitzer — include a vegan whiskey sour and a lemon drop Martini for $16.
“Julie and I hope Lot 15 will fill the void on 35th St. and bring great music, cocktails and food to the neighborhood,” Barish said.
… that Latin star Areppas just opened its third outpost at 25 Cleveland Pl. in Soho — a hot culinary triangle boasting La Esquina, Eileen’s Special Cheesecake, Jack’s Wife Freda, Ed’s Lobster Bar, BoCaphe and Chef’s Club. Areppas, owned by husband and wife team Celestino Diaz and Brooke Carrie Hil, launched at 115 E. 23rd St. last month.
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