Justin Theroux, Jon Neidich, Taavo Somer, and Carlos Quirarte walk into a bar... and obviously turn it into the city's coolest place to be. Welcome to Ray's, a little slice of hometown Americana in the middle of the Lower East Side.
The space, which formerly housed Somer and Quirarte's buzzy French eatery Le Turtle, has now been molded into somewhat of a movie scene dive, complete with retro wood paneling, plush bar stools, an old school jukebox, and a pool table. Neidich, whose Golden Age Hospitality group (ACME, The Happiest Hour) oversees it, describes Ray's as "a little western, with a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll," and it's even got the horses (in the front) to prove it thanks to a very 'grammable new mural depicting a cowboy said to be "Ray" himself.
The partnership between the actor and the nightlife vets apparently came about when they "were all sitting around having drinks one night, talking about what was missing from NYC nightlife." They decided on a no-frills spot reminiscent of local watering holes found across the country - a place where everyone knows your name. Such was certainly the case at its opening bash last week, where the friends and family crowd included downtown scenesters and the likes of Mark Ronson, Vito Schnabel, and Jennifer Lawrence's fiance, Cooke Maroney. (Theroux, in case you were wondering, helped play house photographer.) We're sure that won't be the last time well-known names make an appearance at Ray's, but at least you have a chance to become one of them.
Click through for an inside look!
Ray's, 177 Chrystie St.
[Photos: Kirsten Francis, David X Prutting/BFA.com]