40 LOVE

SERVING UP CONVERSATIONS WITH THE LACOSTE FAMILY

Nick and Natalie – Anton’s NYC

Chef Nick Anderer and General Manager Natalie Johnson give Lacoste fans a peek into their restaurant. Anton's is a nostalgic New York café and wine bar located in the West Village, NYC.


What inspired you to start Anton’s?

Nick & Natalie: At its core, Anton’s is a humble, neighborhood restaurant inspired by the city of its birth. Natalie and I set out to create the type of place where both New Yorkers and visitors alike could gather and share in common comforts - good wine, soulful food and genuine hospitality.. We drew tremendous inspiration from the smaller, uncontrived spots that nourish us more regularly - old bars & wine stores, delis & butcher shops, our families’ home kitchens. We wanted to create something timeless-yet-fresh, while building community by nourishing people according to how we need and want to be taken care of today. A huge part of what we do at Anton's is inspired by the old, worn taverns, bars and neighborhood cafés that Nick and I love to frequent on our days off.


With a long history in the restaurant/hospitality industry, what separates you from other New York restaurants?

Nick & Natalie: Our commitment to building, sustaining, and growing our team (what we call our "Anton's family"). Our primary goal is to take care of each other first, so that collectively we can take care of Anton’s, and, from there, our surrounding community. We aspire to grow steadily and thoughtfully, so that we can create consistent, long-term opportunities for all the excellent people on our team. After many years working in this industry, we’ve learned that a restaurant cannot limit itself to one kind of experience. A good restaurant is a living, breathing organism that must adapt with its ever-changing surroundings. Everything from our menu offerings to our service-style goes through palpable daily changes.

Nick&Natalie


Tell us about how the pandemic has affected your restaurant. Do you feel that more locals have been visiting rather than tourists?

Nick: Anton’s is a year old, and one of the fascinating things about restaurants is that they never settle into a groove until their second year. The first year is all about learning and adapting. Well, to put it plainly, we’ve had a hell of a first year. We’ve built street sheds, dismantled street sheds, and put them back together. We’ve assembled our dream team, sadly dismantled that team, and put them back together to form an even stronger Anton’s family. The pandemic has brought us closer not only to our restaurant family but also to a core group of locals who decided to stick it out in New York, some old regulars and many new ones. It’s those people, the stubborn, NYC loyalists, that will carry us through to the other side of this.


What do you love about Lacoste?

Natalie: My first Lacoste piece was a hand-me-down from my Grandfather's closet - an oversized lemon-y custard yellow classic men's collared t-shirt. I've always had a tomboyish style, and I remember admiring - coveting! - Lacoste from a young age. The first Lacoste item of my own was another classic men's T-shirt, in that iconic croc green. My Dad allowed me to pick one souvenir while we were on a Father-Daughter trip abroad, and I'd had my sights set on that for quite some time. It's a timeless, fun, sporty label with well-constructed pieces.


Nick: I really appreciate the confidence and simplicity of the Lacoste designs. It’s everyday wear that can adapt to both dressy and casual outfits. This winter especially, these pieces have boosted my outdoor service game...to be able to layer in some quilted, button up shirts without weighing me down all night long has kept me comfortable through some pretty chilly services.