As NYC tourism creaks back to peak levels like an old wooden roller coaster, so, too, do the number of hotel restaurants and bars opening around town. Martini destination Daintree at Manhattan’s Hotel Hendricks, Bar Blondeau across the East River on the sixth floor of the Wythe, speakeasy concept UnPublished at the Pod Times Square and Bar Chrystie downtown at the Public are just a few that have opened in the past year.
On Wednesday, March 13, GG Tokyo at the Park South Hotel joins this resurgence. It follows the October opening of Sweetbriar on the ground floor of the same address. Both restaurants are backed by Thrst Group [sic] hospitality with executive chef Bryce Shuman (previously of Eleven Madison Park and Betony) at the helm.
Its moniker is a nod to Golden Gai in Shinjuku, which Shuman has visited.
“Golden Gai is that tiny little area of about six blocks in Shinjuku, full of bars and restaurants and, you know, there's all these like tight little passageways leading everything together. And it has this really cool feel to it,” Shuman says. “We wanted to sort of emulate that, and create a little bar and restaurant that’s fun and exciting and lives in that spirit.”
Shuman consulted with a friend and alum (who cannot be named due to his present position, according to reps) of one of NYC’s best sushi restaurants, to build the menu.
“A friend of mine from Shuko definitely put a lot of input into the menu and offered a lot of his knowledge and expertise in Japanese cooking,” Shuman says.
“I leaned pretty heavily on my buddy for menu advice here, and really let him take the helm because of his knowledge,” Shuman says. “As a chef, sometimes you know when to lead and when to follow. And when somebody has as much knowledge as he does, you just know when to listen”
GG Tokyo’s opening menu includes small plates like pork gyoza, agedashi tofu and karaage, large plates like miso-maple salmon and okonomiyaki, sushi and sashimi. Cocktails, beer, wine and sake are also available.
Like Sweetbriar, GG Tokyo is on the hotel’s ground floor. The space spans 1,000 square feet across exposed brick walls, long banquettes and a sharp, 16-seat bar that’s illuminated from beneath. The dining room seats 26 with room for 20 in a lounge area. Plans for events and live music are in the works.
GG Tokyo is located at 120 East 28th Street and will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30pm to 11pm.