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Popular UES Deli Opens New Cocktail Bar in Back Room

fillmore deli

There’s something new at Fillmore Deli and it’s not a sandwich special.

On Saturday, a new bar and restaurant – Fillmore Kitchen – opened in the back room of the UES deli at 1668 Third Ave., between 93rd and 94th streets.

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While the deli will continue serving its usual fare of breakfast sandwiches, cheesesteaks and more, the back room now opens in the evening to serve creative cocktails and bites.

Fillmore Kitchen

“This is what I dreamed of my whole life,” owner Kyle Jang told East Side Feed. Jang worked in the IT industry during the 1990s, but when he lost his job during the dot com bust in 2001, he turned to what he knew. His family had long owned delis in Philadelphia, and he knew it was something he could make a living from.

After entering into several food ventures with a business partner in Midtown – including a Japanese restaurant frequented by Bernie Madoff – Jang wanted something of his own, so he and his wife opened Fillmore Deli in 2016. The pandemic was hard on business, and even after customers returned, it was mostly for breakfast and lunch. So, now he’s decided it’s time for something new.

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Jang wanted to create a comfortable space that could evoke fond memories. For him, those memories are of his uncle, a Vietmam vet who smoked a lot of cigarettes and played a lot of rock-n-roll.

A smaller deli counter remains at the front and, just past it, wood-framed glass doors open to a low-lit hall lined with tall rustic tables. The larger dining room is all about music, with framed posters, records and glass cases containing antique record players, stereos and 8-track tapes. They even have a fully equipped DJ booth, where Jang might play your favorites (if you ask). And of course, the original Fillmore poster still hangs with its Art Nouveau-style nude couple.

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In addition to the rock atmosphere, the drinks and food also nod to Jang’s Korean heritage. A bunch of their cocktails are made with soju, a Korean sweet potato wine which Fillmore also offers by the bottle and in pitchers. The Misty Rose mixes Chum-Churum Original Soju with lycee, rose, lime and maraschino cherries. The Bomb is its own entertainment, dropping a shot of Jinro Now Soju into a half glass of Stella Artois. The result is surprisingly smooth and slightly sweet. They also offer sake, bottled and draft beer and wines by the bottle, with a house red and white by the glass.

The food menu is being worked on, but they are currently serving Korean fried chicken with soy garlic, spicy and half-and-half flavor options. Jang says that, in addition to the wings, the new menu will be simple and comfortable pub food like burgers, sandwiches and fries.

Fillmore Deli is open daily from 8 a.m. and Fillmore Kitchen is open in the late afternoon. Jang says they’ll be adjusting hours according to how many people they see, but currently, hours are Sunday-Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 12 a.m., Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Saturday-Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.


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  1. t-bo February 27, 2024

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