Le District at Brookfield Place preps for l’opening: PHOTOS

Designers hope to create French comfort food “destination”
By Claire Moses | March 05, 2015 04:51PM

With snow wreaking havoc on the streets of New York and construction workers scrambling to put the finishing touches on Le District — a 30,000-square-foot French comfort food restaurant at Brookfield Place — it’s hard to believe that just 20 short days from now, visitors could be enjoying a glass of Merlot along with their steak frites at the Lower Manhattan joint.

Maybe, they’ll even sit outside.

Le District, which could be thought of as the French Eataly, is slated to open at the end of March at the Brookfield Property Partners megaproject.

“French is quintessentially New York,” said Lionel Ohayon of experiental design firm ICRAVE, who designed Le District’s space. “And I know that sounds crazy.”  The point of Le District, he said, is to “contextualize Battery Park,” giving locals an opportunity to grab groceries, enjoy a glass of wine or go all-out with a French feast.

When The Real Deal stopped by for tour on Thursday afternoon, construction workers were putting up the “Le District” letters, compressors were already running and the project’s architect and director were scurrying about, discussing what still needed to get done.

Laurent Vasseur, director of operations at Le District on behalf of restaurant development company HPH, said he looked at markets throughout Europe for inspiration. Le Disctrict will offer treats from far-flung former French colonies such as Mali, Canada and even New Orleans.