1 min

House/Maison opens in former Old Vic mansion

Restaurant/café brings new life to north Village in time for Pride

House/Maison co-owner Maria Gisondi (bottom right) says the venerable Victorian mansion will soon serve fine food all day and parties at night. Credit: Rob Salerno

Carpenters and contractors have been working away for weeks at the Church and Gloucester mansion that formerly housed the Old Vic restaurant to get it ready for a relaunch under new ownership and a pair of new names and menus: House and Maison.

The new restaurants at 580 Church St, a joint venture of Maria Gisondi, Lisa Greenberg and downtown restaurant mogul Renda Abdo (who’s also involved with Smith, 7 West and Wish), will serve homestyle seasonal food with a French kick. House will be a full-service restaurant on the south side of the mansion, and Maison will be a new café on the north side. The two will be connected inside and share the building’s sprawling, sun-drenched front patio.

Gisondi says the new restaurant will live up to the party vibe of previous restaurants on the site, with late-night parties on the second floor.

“A lot of events are already booked there for Pride,” she says.

“Le Youth’s going to be there,” she says, demurring from announcing other guests. Le Youth is scheduled to perform June 28.

Gisondi anticipates that the new eateries’ take-out menus will be popular. Maison will have French sandwiches ready to go, and adjacent to House will be a chicken-wing venture called The Coop. But that’s not all you can take home.

“Everything’s for sale, right down to tables, plates,” Gisondi says. “You want a light fixture, you can have it. You want a bar boy or bar girl, you can have them, and they’ll serve drinks at your table all night.”

House opened June 7, with Maison to follow sometime before Pride.

When the two new ventures open, the number of vacant storefronts on Church Street will shrink to five, plus three above- or below-ground offices, and three that are under renovation.