Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow, two childhood friends from the Upper East Side, opened The Meatball Shop in February on Stanton Street. The concept was simple: serve a comfort-food classic on as-you-like-it plates—stuffed in sliders or heroes, or on beds of polenta or steamed vegetables, with $3 cans of beer and ice cream sandwiches to wash them down. They dressed the room with a long communal table and vintage framed photographs, a white subway tile bar stacked with wines and whiskey, and a simple wood counter and register between the dining room and the kitchen. They imagined they were creating some combination of your grandmother's dinette set, your neighborhood tavern and your local hero spot all in one place.
But keeping the doors open Thursday through Saturday until 4 a.m., originally a play for the Lower East Side's after-after-party stumblers, endeared them also to the sous chefs of neighboring restaurants who finish their shifts just a little earlier, and so a late-night foodie mecca was born; or, rather, Foursquared.