The Story of Grey Dog
One of life’s pleasures is to have the opportunity to stand back and see that you have created something meaningful. To be able to watch so many others enjoy, find comfort in, & treasure your creation is truly special.
Our journey starts back in 1996, on a quiet West Village street called Carmine. Two brothers, Dave & Pete, made a bold decision. Without any business experience, or any real plan, or anything resembling a thought beyond getting through the day, we opened a restaurant. What we had lacked in experience we made up for with spirit & creativity. We did not want to be businessmen. We were artists. Our little shop at 33 Carmine St. was to be our canvas. We set out with a simple mission – Create a place where people would want to be. We named it after our dogs, Moose & Goose Lane.
As we struggled to find our way something wonderful was happening. Our neighbors embraced us. Those neighbors became friends. Those friends became family. A community was born. As we celebrated our first year we found that our tables & chairs were rarely empty, and those old brick walls constantly echoed with laughter. It felt as if the restaurant gods had smiled upon us & waved a magic wand over our tiny little shop. These were indeed happy days.
Each new year greeted us with a challenge. Each passing year left us with a battle scar & some valuable lessons learned. One year became two, and two years became ten. In that tenth year we opened up a second Grey Dog on University Place. Our vision was much clearer & our family much larger. We hoped that we could capture that same magic on a new street. It didn’t take long to see that we would.
Three more years had passed when we found ourselves wandering through Chelsea on a mission to find that perfect space . A place where you could hear the big city sounds of the avenue, but a place far enough from those sounds where the friendly feel of a neighborhood existed. We opened the third Grey Dog on West Sixteenth Street.
In Autumn of 2011 our hearts were broken. We were forced to leave our original home on Carmine Street. The greed of a few would wreck what so many for so long had called home. On a crisp October evening our neighbors gathered for toasts, hugs, song, & tears as we closed our doors for the last time. Flowers & cards lined our sidewalk as if a beloved family member had passed. 33 Carmine Street will aways be considered holy ground to us. Within its weathered brick walls is where our lives began. Everything we have and hold dear to our souls was created there.
Grey Dog Mulberry was created days after our departure from Carmine St. We were fortunate to find a home for our displaced crew without missing a beat. We were thrilled to be able to call one of New Yorks most beautiful and historical streets our new home. Using the same tables and chairs that had seen so many special moments in the West Village we set out to create something special in Nolita.
…and another few years went by.
We would on occasion find ourselves back on Carmine St. Sometimes to see an old friend and sometimes just to reflect. The heartbreak of leaving had not yet healed, but it still felt like home. Perhaps the stars were aligned for us or possibly the art of life wished to come full circle. In the summer of 2013 we were given the chance to come home. On the corner of Carmine & Bedford, just a few steps south of where our adventure began, we would be able to return.
The same friends that called Grey Dog home for so many years came back on our first day. They come back everyday.
Early each morning you will still find Pete & Dave brewing that first pot of coffee and greeting our crew with a hug and hand shake, as we have since 1996.
We thank New York City for having us. We thank our friends and neighbors for supporting us. We thank the wonderful crew that works so hard for us. We thank our parents for protecting us. And we thank our wives and daughters for taking care of us. We love what we do.