12/19/2012 01:43:00 PM

Bricola Wine Bar in Hell's Kitchen Expands to Neighboring Space

It's true that we did just say that tiny bars and restaurants were a trend in 2012, but one Hell's Kitchen venue found that its style was cramped by the limited number of stools. Bricola, an Italian Wine bar from the folks behind Aria in the West Village, has taken over the neighboring shop next door, adding a new bathroom, a communal table with about 16 seats and an expanded kitchen. "We can see more and more of these little wine bars all over New York City," says bartender Cyril Dimitroff. "It's small, it's really cozy, people love it, but it's really crowded." Despite the tight squeeze, Dimitroff promised that he "always finds a seat for someone," but once the adjacent barber shop was looking to move out, it was time to grow, albeit slightly.

In fact, the entire bar is operating out of the barbershop space right now. The owners have papered up Bricola the original and are gussying it up. There will be new soundproofing on the ceiling and more room in the kitchen, along with a few other cosmetic changes. Although part of the draw is the size, the extra elbow room will be appreciated. The space is still small, and the idea is to create a venue that still feels like it's a hidden secret. ""We hope to last. We didn't spend all this money on design to only stay open for a few years - that's why we try to be moderate, and low key - no website," says chef and owner Roberto Passon. "If you find us, good for you" (370 West 51st St.; 646-678-5763).

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