A First Look at BEast, the Latest ‘Secret’ Lounge, Opening Thursday

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Photo: Courtesy of Broadway East

Ladies and gentlemen, here’s your very first eye into BEast, underneath Broadway East. It’s the latest — after Chloe and Southside — in the wave of lounges tucked under restaurants, and as far as downtown cred goes, this one might just be your winner. We’re not just saying that because it has a cool entry involving a secret buzzer and a sexy hallway. That's pretty much de rigeur these days. No, we’re saying it because it’s operated by Ron Castellano, and the sound system, like the one at his other spot, Santos’ Party House, is designed by Jim Toth. Starting with this Thursday’s opening-night party, it’ll be open from 10 p.m. onward from Thursday through Saturday, and at times (à la Void circa 2000), there’ll be “video nights” pairing visual artists with D.J.'s.

In keeping with Broadway East, organic wines will come from producers who participate in land preservation, solar power, wildlife protection, and the like (two examples: Stoller Chardonnay, apparently the first LEED winery in the U.S., and Paul Dolan, a Mendocino Valley brand that doesn’t use chemical fertilizers). The drinks, including a tomato martini that looks similar to the one at Devin Tavern (tomato vodka, curried green-tomato garnish) will also showcase organic brands like Crops vodka and Orlio beer.

The bar menu is still in development, but you can expect the following:

spiced pepitas
fried chorizo-stuffed olives
edamame
lotus-root chips
mole sweet-potato fries
marinated shiitake and avocado rolls, pickled ginger, cucumber, dulse
ancho-fried calamari — smoked paprika remoulade
Yuno Farms blistered shisito peppers with sea salt
tofu sliders with smoked-pepper salsa and celery-root ketchup
wild-mushroom pizzette (taleggio, mache)
grilled radicchio panni
Torganic tofu club
scallop ceviche with melanga chips

The space holds about 60. Chances of it becoming the Submercer (or at least the Kingswood) of the graphic-design set: medium to high.

BEast, 171 E. Broadway, nr. Rutgers St.; 212-228-3100