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Gitano NYC brings a tropical oasis to SoHo

A tropical oasis is now open for business in SoHo.

The 30-foot coconut palms rising above the vacant lot at Canal and Varick streets (and piquing the curiosity of all passers-by) made their big debut last week with the opening of a new seasonal restaurant and mezcal bar. Gitano NYC is the American outpost of the original jungle-themed lounge in vacation destination Tulum, Mexico. The name "Gitano" means "gyspy" in Spanish.

Business partners James Gardner and Melissa Perlman offer a taste of Tulum's natural beauty in a 24,000-square-foot tropical garden with the downtown Manhattan skyline as a background.

Gitano NYC accommodates as many as 450 people on the grounds, under a central black matte Bedouin tent, on twin dining decks and in an uncovered outdoor lounge. The restaurant also features a 40-foot reflecting pool, a cafe featuring coffee from Intelligentsia, a resortwear boutique, an educational urban farm, oversize disco ball and a "meditation labyrinth."

Helmed by Bodega Negra alum Yvan Lemoine, the kitchen will rotate menus throughout the summer, based on collaborations with famous chefs like Noma co-founder Mads Refslund. Mezcal cocktails, such as the Gitano margarita and Jungle Fever (chili, lime, cilantro), will be a constant. There's a huge, open oven on the premises too, so expect some wood-fired Mexican fare.

Hours so far are: lunch Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; sunset cocktails and dinner Sunday through Wednesday, 5 to 11 p.m.; sunset cocktails and dinner Thursday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to midnight; and weekend brunch 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Take a first look inside, as captured in photos of last week's preview party:

The central bar is located under a tent

The Bedouin tent, custom made in Canada, is
Photo Credit: BFA / Samantha Nandez

The Bedouin tent, custom made in Canada, is made with a matte black material. It adds a gypsy vibe to the space.

Banquet tables seat big groups

You'll find them on the twin dining decks
Photo Credit: BFA / Samantha Nandez

You'll find them on the twin dining decks flanking the central bar.

The wooden furniture is pretty beach-y

Hanging above the tables are market lights.
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Toth

Hanging above the tables are market lights.

Rattan furniture screams "tropical"

And candles set the mood late at night.
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Toth

And candles set the mood late at night.

Hundreds of tropical plants offer shade

As well as ambiance, and privacy.
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Toth

As well as ambiance, and privacy.

There's music

But no DJs and dancing, per a neighborhood
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Toth

But no DJs and dancing, per a neighborhood requirement.

There's a big wood-fired oven on the premises

You can watch your food being prepared.
Photo Credit: BFA / Samantha Nandez

You can watch your food being prepared.

The final menu will likely include tacos

The ones served at the preview party were
Photo Credit: BFA / Samantha Nandez

The ones served at the preview party were loaded with pork belly carnitas, purple cabbage and salsa verde.

Many of the drinks will feature mezcal

The smoky Mexican spirit made from the agave
Photo Credit: BFA / Samantha Nandez

The smoky Mexican spirit made from the agave plant is related to tequila.

Co-owner James Gardner may be wandering around

According to Vogue, the restaurateur (pictured) used to
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Toth

According to Vogue, the restaurateur (pictured) used to work for Goldman Sachs, then became a digital fashion pioneer for brands like Marc Jacobs.

Expect to spot celebs, too

Actress Chloë Sevigny made an appearance at the
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Andrew Toth

Actress Chloë Sevigny made an appearance at the Thursday night preview, sporting an all-black ensemble.

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