‘A Lot Of Our Previous Customers Are Coming Back’: The Malt House, On Preparing For Lower Manhattan’s Post-Vaccine Summer
Like every restaurant in the city, The Malt House redesigned its interior to accommodate for Covid safety regulations. Luckily, they had the space for it; the bar and restaurant at 9 Maiden Lane spans three floors and has a normal capacity of 300. So even with the 50% capacity limit still in place, the manager Alan Ngo can fit 150 comfortably and safely.
“We completely changed our restaurant layout, obviously, with the tables and everything,” Ngo told the Downtown Alliance.
The six-year-old bar is an offshoot of the older location of the Greenwich Village Malt House. For this spring’s indoor and outdoor dining, the Lower Manhattan location has created a whole new menu, with some standouts such as Buttermilk Chicken Bites (Southern-style fried chicken, cilantro jalapeno, aioli) and Wisconsin Cheese Curds (white cheddar, panko fried with marinara).
They’ve also got a new cocktail menu perfect for the warmer weather: aside from locally brewed standbys such as Pizza Rat Pilsner, highlights include the already-popular concoctions Sunshine in Provence (Beefeater gin, lavender, white grape juice, sparkling prosecco) and Purple Hills (Watermelon Absolut, berry compote, basil, vanilla, agave). And if you really want to get after it, try the bottomless brunch on the weekends: $25 gets you 90 minutes of unlimited mimosas, bloody marys, sangria and more. Once a staple of Sunday mornings, endless brunch drink options are dwindling in the neighborhood.
“There’s not that many bottomless brunch places left in Lower Manhattan anymore,” Ngo said.
The Malt House is currently taking advantage of the state’s loosened restrictions on bar seating and hopes that the neighborhood will bounce back as the city’s slated reopening approaches. “We’ve noticed a lot of our previous customers are coming back,” he said. “It’s encouraging. As the weather turns, more people are getting vaccinated. You’re starting to see a little bit of a younger crowd moving into the neighborhood as well.”
photos: Sophie Fjello-Jensen