Young and Hungry

A Sneak Peek at the New Equinox, Which Plans to Reopen Next Week

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It's been more than five months since Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray, the couple behind the mid-Atlantic minded Equinox, served a meal at their downtown restaurant. A kitchen fire in December placed the pair on the sidelines, where they've kept themselves busy with private dinners and worrying over the details of Equinox's renovation.

Their brief hiatus, however, should come to a close next week when the couple expects Equinox to pass its re-inspections and be open for business again on June 1. In preparation for the grand re-opening, Ellen Gray gave Y&H a tour of the refurbished Equinox.

Lots of photos after the jump.

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The new marble bar features two taps, a first for Equinox.

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The private dining room is now surrounded in glass, which the Grays will have etched to ensure diners', you know, privacy.

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One dining room wall is now covered in this cool, knobby granite tile.

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A close-up look at the tile.

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Here's what the wall looked like before the tile.

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People at the bar will now be able to see into the main dining room, thanks to the glass divider.

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The Grays bought wire wine racks for the private dining room to replace the pricier Amish wood racks that used to be in the space.

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Lots of wine racks for lots of wine.

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A number of Equinox employees, including maitre d' Randy Cole (pictured here futzing with the chandelier), have helped with the renovations. (Also pictured: Todd Gray.)

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This is a small room between the bar and kitchen. Compare it to this picture of the same space after the fire. (The second picture in the post.)

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Again, compare this pristine new kitchen station to the picture from last December. (Fifth shot down.)

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As part of the renovation, the  Grays shorten the pass area, to allow easier movement around the kitchen.

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This is the most important change of all: The new hood system includes a switch that, when you turn it off, it blows out the pilot light for the ovens and burners. The pilot light apparently triggered December's fire, Ellen Gray said.

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The pass includes shelves with built-in warmers to hold the plates before they're picked up by runners.

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New refrigerated drawers.

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The deep-fryer is one of the few holdovers from the old kitchen.

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The pots and pans are also holdovers.

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As are the dining room chairs. Ellen Gray says that, given their budget, she and Todd had to carefully weigh what they could afford to replace and what they could continue to use.

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The main dining room now has new, recessed light, to match the fixtures in the atrium space. "Thank God the firemen tore up the ceiling," Ellen Gray cracks.

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The re-inspections take place next week, with the restaurant opening right afterward. At least that's the Grays' hope.

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