Jason Hennings debuts Diablo Royale Este on Avenue A today. The spot, an offshoot of the West Village's Diablo Royale, opens on Cinco de Mayo, a holiday marking the Mexican army's victory over the French. Whether Hennings will win over his neighbors remains to be seen.
In addition to the main floor restaurant, Diablo Royale Este has a basement bar and a 30-seat outdoor garden. These two non-culinary features made Avenue A residents weary of the new kid on an already bar and club-clogged block. And although Diablo obviously passed the necessary Community Board and State Liquor Authority's fearsome approval gauntlets, Hennings is likely in for a bumpy ride.
Even before it opened, Diablo loomed large in the minds of its neighbors. At an East Village CB3 meeting last month, several attendees cited the eatery as an argument against new applications they had come to speak against. A fishmonger and seafood restaurant courtesy of Keith Masco on the same block came under the most fire, with neighbors railing against Masco's plans for a full liquor license and a garden area that mirrored those Hennings already had in the works. Ultimate, Masco's plan was approved, with a few concessions on his part.
In the meantime, get yourself to the backyard while you can and see chef Peter Klein spit-roast suckling pigs. The neighbors will just love that! Let's hope they don't put Hennings over the fire next.
Photo via Grieve