The sidewalk shed has come down from the newest location of Grand Central Oyster Bar, which will be opening soon in the space that was last occupied by Fornino on Fifth between Garfield and Carroll, and we're getting our first glimpse at the inside and outside of the restaurant. it looks pretty good!
The exterior of the triple-storefront space mimics the original location with both its cream-colored tiles (meant to evoke the Gustavino tiling) and arches. A look inside the front windows reveals that the northernmost storefront has a new raw bar and two counters, one facing an open kitchen. All the way up front will be a fish market, specializing in high-quality seafood and, of course, oysters.
The bar room still thankfully retains the marble bar and back bar from Fornino, and has a "lounge" in the back. A Happy Hour is in the works, and there will be 10 beers on tap and an extensive wine list.
And the main dining room looks just about complete, with seating for about 50 to 60 and a large arch in the wall. That antique chandelier you see used to hang in the Grand Central location; it was removed after a 1997 fire and the landmarks Commission didn't let them re-install it. It's also separated from the bar room by an old fire door, which can be closed for private parties.
The anticipated opening date was December 1, so we can expect for the doors to open any day now.