A new multi-restaurant venue in Tribeca will bring food from chef JJ Johnson, an Insta-famous sushi chef, and a renowned London mixologist under one roof — all fueled by money from Mastercard in the New York dining scene’s ongoing #sponcon restaurant trend.
This Thursday, the financial services company is opening Priceless, named for one of Mastercard’s tag lines and hosting chefs and mixologists from around the world on a rotating basis. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Lexus, the luxury car brand, also recently opened a restaurant here that similarly hosts chefs from all over, a venture operated by none other than Danny Meyer.
As for Mastercard, Priceless was created in partnership with ad agency Spring Studios; the venue, including a rooftop, will be housed within the Spring offices at 6 St Johns Lane.
Priceless opens August 1, with chef Johnson in charge of small plates on a rooftop terrace dubbed Global Market. Prices are fixed for now; at the rooftop, diners can get three dishes and one drink for $60. Only cash or Mastercards will be accepted as payment, and reservations can only be made by Mastercard holders.
Inside, three internationally popular and quirky restaurants and bars will have their own space. See the menus in full below.
There will be a 12-seat sushi counter helmed by chef Takayoshi Watanabe, who in Japan has become known for his theatrical use of a long, 70-centimeter blade and has quite a big social media following. His popular sushi spot Teruzushi closed temporarily in Japan as the chef brought his whole staff to NYC, according to a statement. Here he’ll serve a 15-course tasting with spear squid with uni, striped beakfish, and an unagi burger for $395.
Priceless will also serve a tasting menu inspired by various African cuisines at its own version of the Rock, a Zanzibar dining destination that sits on a small rock in the Indian Ocean. Dishes like Swahili carpaccio and red snapper appear on the six-course menu, which goes for $135.
And finally, replica of the London bar Lyaness, which comes from the team behind 2018’s “World’s Best Bar” Dandelyan, will round out the venue. Drinks will come from famed mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana, and the space itself is supposed to mirror the London bar’s decor. Two cocktails will go for $50, and bar snacks will range from oysters and a wagyu beef hot dog to a fancy caviar option.
Mastercard really wants diners to know they’re not in a regular restaurant: Each part of the restaurant will have an over-the-top sensory element. Lyaness will have a view of the River Thames projected on the window at Lyaness, while the sound of the ocean will play out loud at the Rock. Photos show a fake beach-like boardwalk surrounded by sand leading up to the Rock’s entrance, and the dining room’s windows will have the ocean projected on them. At the sushi counter, the sound of chef Watanabe’s sword blades will be played.
The company follows a trend started by BMW in 2016, which opened a co-working space that included space for chef-driven restaurants. Meyer’s Lexus restaurant followed, where luxury cars are as much a part of dinner as the food. Now, financial companies are getting in the mix.
Mastercard will swing Priceless open Thursday at 6 p.m. It’ll be open Tuesday to Saturday until midnight.