CH Projects is building itself a clubhouse and everyone’s invited. The hospitality group has commenced a six-month retooling of Neighborhood in the East Village and is embarking on another new project nearby on Ninth Avenue where its corporate office is located. Until recently, Coffee & Tea Collective occupied the front retail area, but moved to J Street. In its place will be an eatery and bar with a whopper of a name — J & Tony’s Discount Cured Meats and Negroni Warehouse — which will be paired with a satellite cafe location from Modern Times Coffee called the Invigatorium.
This alternate activation for the space stems from the brain of CH Projects’ bar director Anthony Schmidt, who is building J & Tony’s as a hub for research and development and as a hangout spot for the industry. Bringing together the culture of Italian aperitivo mixed with a little New Jersey flavor, J & Tony’s will feature a small 10-seat bar and an amaro-centric list of drinks made with hand-cut ice.
The ‘J’ in J & Tony’s represents culinary director Jason McLeod, who will be developing a menu of light snacks and sandwiches made with cold cuts, cheese, housemade pickles, and cured meats that will be created at Born & Raised’s kitchen. Rather than operate late into the night, it will mainly focus on the daytime hours before local bar and restaurant workers head off to their evening shifts; McLeod says everything should be up and running within two to three months.
Cozied up next to J & Tony’s, the Invigatorium will offer a similar menu to the Modern Times cafe at The Lomaland Fermentorium, its Point Loma brewery and roastery. A full range of coffee drinks and pour-overs will be served, including speciality creations from their baristas, as well as vegan pastries. CEO/founder Jacob McKean says that the partnership with CH Projects was spurred by their on-going relationship; in addition to pouring a lot of the Modern Times’ beer at all its establishments, the hospitality group exclusively features the brewery’s coffee.