Jon Neidich has been in a Paris-in-New-York state of mind. The Golden Age Hospitality restaurateur recently introduced Deux Chats in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, N.Y., which marks his third opening of 2022 and follows piano bar The Nines and wine bar Le Dive, both in downtown Manhattan. Le Dive and Deux Chats, developed concurrently, were inspired by Neidich’s appreciation for Parisian wining and dining. While Le Dive looked to tabac-style wine bars, Deux Chats was inspired by art nouveau French brasseries — “but distilled into a smaller form,” Neidich says.
Deux Chats inhabits a corner space in South Williamsburg that previously housed the popular cocktail bar Donna. Limitations of the space — there wasn’t an existing kitchen or back-of-house venting — led Neidich toward a raw bar concept for food. “Thinking about the art nouveau brasseries in Paris, they all have these amazing seafood programs that are part of their ethos. And so I took that and made that the foundation,” he says.
The menu, led by executive chef Nicole Gajadhar, features seafood platters with selections of oysters, shrimp and clams, as well as crudos and lobster rolls. Golden Age Hospitality beverage director Ashley Santoro curated a complimentary wine list and cocktail program, with classics like martinis given the platform to shine. “Having a great martini or a really nice stirred drink with oysters — there’s something that really goes together with that,” Neidich says. Another seafood association: cats. The bar’s name, Deux Chats, riffs on the notable Parisian brasserie Les Deux Magots.
The space, which reminded Neidich of an old European dining room, took cues from Art Deco. High ceilings in the dining room, which feature ornate arched molding, are accented by French chandeliers, and decor includes antique mirrors, velvet upholstery and glass tables. The central design piece, a hand-painted tile installation behind the bar, was inspired by Le Clown Bar in Paris. Deux Chats puts a New York spin on the aesthetic, with an art nouveau depiction of two cats set against the Williamsburg Savings Bank and a moonlit New York Skyline.
Much like its predecessor Donna, Deux Chats promises to become a beloved locale suited for all occasions. “It’s been really well received by the neighborhood, and we’ve been fortunate enough to be busy right out of the gates,” says Neidich, several days after the bar’s opening. “It feels like everybody likes it as a new addition.”