The first time I came to the Beatrice Inn under your purview, I had dinner on what I remembered to be the dance floor. How have you been able to change people's perception of this place, from a boozy nightspot to an actual dining destination, especially when so many other chefs couldn't?
Angie Mar: When I took over that restaurant, I had no experience as an executive chef. I had been April Bloomfield's sous chef at the Spotted Pig, which is not the same thing. All I knew is, I didn't want the job. I didn't want the Beatrice. It had just gotten the worst review of 2013 in the New York Times. I thought that if I took that job, it would be career suicide. The Times had just told the world you should never go eat there. So I thought taking it over was a totally bad move. It had the club stigma too. To take that over was really risky, but at the same time, I always love an underdog. I was talking to [famed NYC butcher] Pat LaFrieda about it. And I was like, "This job keeps coming up, it's been two months, they keep asking me to take it, everyone is telling me, 'You're crazy.'" He's like, "Yeah, of course, you'd be totally nuts to take that job. But if you can bring it back from the dead, that's going to make your career -- why wouldn’t you take it?" So, I took the job. The first two years I spent revamping it and making it a place that I was really proud to put my name on. And then, for the past year, it's been about working on buying it and making it truly mine.
So, you wanted to buy it?
Mar: Well, again, it's one of those things. I wasn't looking to buy it, but the opportunity presented itself. So who else do you call but Pat LaFrieda?
You called him again?!
Mar: I called him again and asked, "Is this crazy?" And he was like, "Yes, this is crazy, but everyone thought you were crazy to take the job, so if you buy it, you're just doubling down on crazy. Buy the damn restaurant, Angela." I started working on it the next day.