April 3, 2012 | Short Order
Denton brothers split. Jason keeps ‘ino Empire. Joe starts fresh in Australia.
Jason Denton, the ambitious partner now in six New York City ventures, had split with brother Joe who’s off soon to start fresh in Australia. With three ‘inotecas, the restaurant Corsino in the Meat Packing district, Betto in Williamsburg and the new David Rockwell designed Indie Food & Wine inside the Elinor Bunin Film Center on 65th Street at Lincoln Center, Jason Denton says he’s paused for breath. “I’m tightening things up. To stay on top of it all.” Indie is a sandwich, salad, pastry breakfast spot by day. Now by night, Rockwell has designed a rolling bar cart that breaks out at 5 pm. “Lights go down. Music comes up. We serve a wine bar cuisine.”
In the meantime, brother Joe says he has sold his stake to Jason and will be following his Australian wife and son to the Gold Coast where he is excited about starting fresh in Brisbane. I was surprised to find Joe, dapper in a fedora, waiting tables a few weeks ago at King Restaurant on the edge of Soho, apparently marking time until his departure for Australia.
“I bought him out,” Jason says. “I love him to death. His family is already over there. I’m really excited for him.”
Idaho-born Jason landed in the Apple 18 years ago via Seattle and San Francisco where he worked the bar in his Uncle Harry Denton’s legendary Starlight Room. Remember him in the early days in Lupa? In 1988 he opened tiny ‘ino in the West Village with his wife and brother Joe came from California to join them as a partner. They moved on together to ‘inoteca on Stanton and Ludlow when the Lower East Side still had a “raw feel,” he says. A 65 seat spot in Tribeca, “a first step out of Italian,” he talked about as he was launching Betto apparently fell through.
Sounds to me like there's more to this story than either is saying.
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