The three-story brick building at 110 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg is getting a new tenant. A new restaurant called Madame Renée will open in August of 2023, reportedly in a new boutique hotel.
Restaurateur Avi Yparraguirre is opening Madame Renée in the waterfront building. The restaurant will serve French and Mediterranean dishes that will incorporate local seasonal ingredients.
Madame Renée’s ambiance will be “sophisticated, yet cozy” according to the restaurant’s public relations representative, Tara Taghizadeh. The space will be designed in a “boho chic manner” by architect and designer Chris Kofitsas, who worked on ABC Kitchen and Catch in Manhattan.
Taghizadeh told Greenpointers that Madame Renée will bring the neighborhood “a refined and cultured food and beverage experience.”
In addition to the restaurant, the building at 110 Kent is reportedly also going to be a small boutique hotel. Though Taghizadeh said she was unable to provide further details about the hotel at this time, this might not be news to some in the neighborhood.
During a community board meeting on June 7, 2022, a new liquor license was requested by “Av Marceau LLC, dba Ave Marceau, 110 Kent Avenue.” The new application cited a “Temporary Retail Permit” for “liquor, wine, beer, cider, hotel, bar, rest.”
Also, about a week later, Commercial Observer reported that 110 Kent will be “a new boutique hotel.” The publication wrote that “brokers on the deal confirmed” this.
The waterfront property at 110 Kent Avenue used to house Biba, a bar and event venue that closed during the pandemic. There was a bit a drama surrounding the closure as the owner of Biba accused the Parks Department of putting him out of business. 110 Kent Avenue is next to Marsha P. Johnson State Park, which was recently renovated. The renovation included a new mural that bled into Biba’s outdoor seating area.
On November 13, 2020, CBS News reported that “Parks said the mural would need to go through their concession space.” The owner of Biba “offered to repaint” and “even met with the state parks commissioner, but by email, he was told his concessions had to go by Nov. 16.” Because Biba “thrived off its backyard patio,” it was unable to survive.