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LA's Gjelina Is Finally Opening in Manhattan
Gjelina Group is looking for staff for the Bond Street location
In 2016, the team behind LA’s Gjelina in Venice made plans to open in Manhattan: It seems like a lifetime ago. Six years later, the restaurant at 45 Bond Street is on track to open late summer, according to its Instagram account — and Gjelina Group is looking for a head chef, sous chef, general manager, and several other positions for the new location.
Gjelina is LA-casual aspirational dining: open all day, the kind of place that people who care about the value of their real estate most definitely want in their neighborhood. With a menu that includes extremely simple dishes like mixed citrus or grilled broccolini — the quality of which you can only find in California — it satisfies the non-carb requirements and then some. There’s also room to go in other directions: If you’re craving pizza. Or charcuterie with pickles. Or a salad with sprouts. There are those things, as well as more traditional California-inspired plates of ethically-sourced meat dishes, like a pasture-raised half chicken with black kale and red harissa. It’s also a great spot to spend a stretch people watching.
Fran Camaj started Gjelina in 2008, then Travis Lett came on board as a chef-baker-partner, along with business partner Shelley Armistead. In addition to Gjelina and the Gjusta Bakery, the group includes Gjelina Take Away, Gjusta Goods, Gjusta Grocer, and Gjusta Flower Shop. Lett broke from Gjelina Group in 2019.
Since the team secured the Manhattan location, they’ve hit a number of delays that one would expect in building a multi-level restaurant and bakery, though the delays seem to have ballooned as a result of the pandemic and partner changes, both with Lett and behind the scenes — including the split with April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman of The Spotted Pig.
Over the course of this long process, the restaurant has also faced pretty fierce resistance from the community board that denied its liquor license, among other things.
Stay tuned for updates on the opening throughout the season.