We’ve got good news and bad news. The good news? A 24-hour diner–slash–music venue is set to open near the Morgan L stop next month. The bad news? It’ll be run by a 48-year-old guy who, according to reports, was known for wrestling college kids in a kiddie pool full of Jell-O inside his former East Village restaurant.
Chang Han, restaurateur and self-described “professional party guy” plans to open Amancay’s Diner at 2 Knickerbocker Avenue next month, a 24-hour diner and music venue, where there’ll be live music, reggae and Puerto Rican nights and open mics every night, DNAinfo reports. For food, there’ll be “Bushwick-ified” versions of burgers, tacos, soup and salads made with from scratch with organic ingredients. Sounds good, right?
It wouldn’t be Bushwick, however if there weren’t a gimmick involved. Han’s is this: In the back of Amancay’s, there’ll be a table surrounded by a red leather booth that’s solely for playing Spin the Bottle, presumably with Han, who “recalled playing the kissing game with four college students every Monday at his closed East Village restaurant Gama.” Han also said he used to “get drunk with a lot of girls” at St. Mark’s Market, the grocery and deli he owned for 10 years (which, sure, isn’t shocking for the restaurant industry), and also allegedly wrestled with 21-year-olds at Gama, about which he says, “I was getting my ass kicked.”
Han’s affinity for young women was such that a friend even illustrated a logo for him—an owl with a top hat and the phrase “Sexy enough for Chang”—which will be painted on a wall at Amancay’s Diner and printed on tank tops.
Although we can’t seem to find any reports that back up Han’s claims about himself, DNAinfo did link to the above Facebook photo, in which Chang Han can be seen wrestling in a kiddie pool full of Jell-O with a young woman, surrounded by onlookers. However, none of Gama’s former Yelp reviewers claimed to have been witness to anything of the sort. And when Grub Street reported on Gama’s opening in 2006, the only descriptor of Han was “bearded, ponytailed bon vivant.”
So, sure, go to Amancay’s Diner. Party with the dude, and hell, you’ll probably have a great time. And then, let us know what you find out. We’ll be busy doing literally anything else.
UPDATE: Music booker Ric Leichtung gave us even sadder news, via email:
something cool to add to your about the perv mansion on 2 knickerbocker– it used to be Living Bread Deli, which was a makeshift concert venue AdHoc used to throw shows at :'(
Follow Rebecca Jennings on Twitter @rebexxxxa.