Jerry's Cafe, the legendary SoHo diner that closed last year, will reopen at 90 Chambers St. in early September, according to owner Jerry Joseph.
Mr. Joseph said he's in the process of interviewing chefs for the new Jerry's, which will reopen with many of the same menu items and homey décor that earned a loyal SoHo following for 20 years. That includes red leather booths, neon-blue "Jerry's" sign, and much-loved french fries.
"We will attempt to recreate what we had for 20 years over in SoHo," he said.
The 1,400 square-foot restaurant seats 75 people, and is slightly smaller than the old location. Unlike the old Jerry's, this time around Mr. Joseph has joined with two partners: former Jerry's manager Toi Tracy, who is known for once performing the Heimlich maneuver on Mira Sorvino's baby when the actress dined at the restaurant, and Dutch art dealer Frits de Knegt.
The space is the site of Mr. Joseph's recently closed fast food joint, YourAsian. The pan-Asian spot "just didn't work," Mr. Joseph said. "We weren't able to succeed and so we went back to our roots."
Mr. Joseph, who closed his Prince Street diner when the rent skyrocketed, said he looked uptown and downtown for a new Jerry's location, but found most rents were beyond his budget. Here in Tribeca, he has a "very good lease," he said. "It's a lease that will allow us to build a family business."
Mr. Joseph, who opened Jerry's when SoHo was still known as "Hell's Hundred Acres," said he had high hopes for development on gritty Chambers Street, currently occupied by discount stores and fast food chains like Dunkin Donuts. He also touted the location's heavy foot traffic.
"It has a great cross-section of people," he said. "There are a lot of people who respond to what Jerry's does. That's been lacking here."
The area will soon see an influx of new restaurants, including a new bistro by restauranteur Frederick Lesort on the ground floor of the new Smyth Tribeca hotel this winter. A new Indian restaurant, Jhankar Restaurant, also recently opened next door to at 94 Chambers St.
A retail real estate broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman, Faith Hope Consolo, said Jerry's will fill a niche for the area—which is filled with TriBeCa families, World Trade Center tourists, politicians from City Hall, and advertising and publishing office workers.
"That neighborhood doesn't have anything like Jerry's," she said. "It's a great fit for the neighborhood."