Artist Jamian Juliano-Villani opens ultra hip, probably illegal restaurant

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By Dan Sears

Jamian Juliano-Villani is opening a restaurant — in all likelihood, very briefly.

The hot artist’s buzzy gallery, O’Flaherty’s, is bursting into the hospitality biz and welcoming guests to what she’s calling The Cafe at the Avenue A spot for the first time on Thursday night at 7pm.

But arty insiders think they spot a small but crucial flaw in the plan. “It’s f***ing illlegal,” noted one, “So it won’t last long.”

In a press release about the doomed boîte, New York magazine fav Juliano-Villani — ever the provocateur — challenged the paint-spattered cognoscenti, writing: “Can you imagine friends and chicken tenders?”

It adds, “We were told we could never get this restaurant legal. We can’t. It doesn’t matter. Taste our food before you hurt yourself.”

It goes on, artistically one suspects, “The symbol on our t-shirts means ‘break through boundaries’ and is not in any way related to pedophilia.”

Jamian Juliano-Villani
A promo picture posted on her Instagram suggests the menu will be largely junk food.

Jamian Juliano-Villani
Juliano-Villani has works in the Whitney and the Guggenheim.

The eatery’s opening (and, let’s be honest, probably closing) night will double as the opening of a show featuring works by Cory Arcangel, Merlin Carpenter, Sven Sachsalber, Catherine Murphy, George Segal, Josh Smith, and Brandon Ndife.

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New Jersey native Juliano-Villani, who has work in the collections of the Whitney and the Guggenheim, founded the artist-run gallery in 2021 with pals Billy Grant and Ruby Zarsky, telling New York at the time (somewhat ironically, given the new venture) that one of its credos is that: “Taste is out the door.”

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