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Cash only: Knitting Factory to open bank-themed restaurant

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The owners of Williamsburg music venue the Knitting Factory are opening a bank-themed restaurant next door on Metropolitan Avenue. The eatery, dubbed “Federal,” is set to have a 20th-century art deco feel and feature a gold-and-green color scheme, a small vault, and fake security-deposit boxes, according to management. There is no contradiction in putting on punk-rock shows in one building while diners next door chow down in JPMorgan Chase style, manager Bob Reiter said.

“We do not see them as dichotomies, but as complements,” Reiter said. “Our goal has always been to put on great live music and to be tastemakers, and we are going to continue to do that.”

The company used to run another Knitting Factory in Los Angeles, and settled on the finance theme when it opened one of its two restaurants there in a former bank.

The Knitting Factory has had a long and storied history as a home for experimental music in New York. The club opened in 1987 in Manhattan. Artists including Sonic Youth, John Zorn, and Gil Scott Heron have all played there. The venue moved to Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg in 2009.

The 47-seat restaurant will not have a greenback-themed menu, Reiter said. It is set to serve up typical American pub fare, including hamburgers, hot dogs, and mussels. Food from Federal is planned to be sold at shows in the Knitting Factory.

The restaurant will join the much-ballyhooed Momofuku Milk Bar and the fancy barbecue spot Fette Sau on Metropolitan. The Knitting Factory’s owners aren’t sweating the competition, Reiter said.

“We are excited to be a part of a great two blocks of eateries,” he said.

The company is aiming for a May 1 opening date.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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