There is nothing temporary about this over-the-top dining shed.
A ritzy West Village “supper club” called 4 Charles Prime Rib has taken full advantage of the city’s pandemic program allowing streetside dining huts, furnishing its enclosure with richly upholstered booths, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, floral wallpaper and hard woods — the most luxe shed in the Big Apple.
Gold-framed paintings of dogs and landscapes decorate the walls, and the exterior is tastefully adorned with shrubbery and lanterns. Translucent glass windows render the outside world a blur, allowing diners to eat away from the prying eyes of the hoi polloi.
“With crystal chandeliers, plush leather seating and paintings lining dark wood walls, this late-night dining winks at a lost era,” its website boasts.
“It was more than probably what was reasonable,” owner Brendan Sodikoff admitted, refusing to say how much he spent on the shed.
“Part of what we wanted to do was build something that could be an example of what they could be — incredibly clean and well-kept and an addition to the neighborhood,” he said.
4 Charles opened in 2016 and is one of several high-end spots from the San Diego-born restaurateur. Reservations are hard to come by and those who do manage to score one can expect to drop serious cash. A pound of Alaskan crab legs and claws will set you back $176, while the house’s signature bone-in prime rib is $145. You can wash that down with a $2,440 bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild from Bordeaux. A wagyu cheeseburger with thick cut bacon runs $44.
Sodikoff said the structure was built in full compliance with city regulations and that he would like to see it become a permanent addition to the neighbourhood.
The city is currently working on streamlining a permanent outdoor dining program which would be administered by the Department of Transportation.
“If you just sit outside — which I do sometimes — and just kind of watch how people interact with the restaurant there are a lot of positive interactions,” he said.
Others however, have pushed back saying even nice sheds like Sodikoff’s had to go.
“Some of these shacks might be very well executed, but we can’t make law based on the exceptions, and the fact is that the vast majority are magnets for rodents, the homeless, and generally not very well kept,” said Queens councilwoman Vickie Paladino. “The simple fact remains that the street is for public use. Other businesses that share a block with these restaurants have the right to have the streets around their business available for customer parking and deliveries.”