Hasbeens & Willbees Brings the Finer Things to Upstate New York / by VOCAL

A Unique Restaurant and Antique Dealer Based in the Andes

Hasbeens & Willbees, the much talked about Catskills pop-up restaurant on the serious come-up, is set for another creative burst with the launch of a series of auction events, showcasing the owners’ most treasured findings from overlooked corners of the world. 

Kai Kuhne, former independent fashion designer and leading member of the design group AsFour, and John Mollett, former fine arts representative at the Jan Krugier Gallery, recently partnered to open the Hasbeens & Willbees restaurant in Andes, NY. “Wanting to keep connected to our careers and the worlds we love, we’ve incorporated our experiences and knowledge into a fresh new concept,” said Kuhne, “representing the new luxury and a fair market for the finer things in life.”

The new Hasbeens and Willbees concept embraces a lifestyle of luxury that cherishes the art, design, furniture and fashion of the past, while showcasing the genius and beautiful products of today.

As a preview for their auction house to open in New York City in the Spring of 2014, the Hasbeens & Willbees soft launch will take place at their Catskills restaurant. This new avenue is about giving some of the old freaks a place to shine, and provide a venue of exposure for a younger generation. It references old furniture and art, as well as showcasing wonderful new products. The Hasbeens & Willbees private label soap and olive oil will also be available in the store.

Kuhne and Mollet have been around the world selecting and amassing items for the auction house that is opening in the Spring of next year. “The shopping has been a blast! But now it’s time to get selling and develop a track record so that we can get some great consignments as well,” says Mollet. “We’ve decided to first do a little preview maquette of the auction concept up at our restaurant in the Catskills to get the ball rolling. For the auction we plan to have a few days of preview dinners where guests are surrounded by the auction items, while using the culinary objects on the table during their meal.”

While the auction items will be the focus of the events, the cuisine at Hasbeens & Willbees is something quite special in itself; simple yet refined. Each dish is inspired by inherited recipes from Mollet’s grandmother from New England, thus bringing something fresh and unique to the region. Their crab cake, for example, rivals that to be found anywhere in the state, filled with Jumbo Lump crab freshly picked from the Maryland fish markets and overnighted to the kitchen. Hasbeens & Willbees is an inspiring example of how farm-to-table doesn't have to be rustic.

The main auction event is sure to be active and filled with lively characters. The events will highlight guest chefs, projection screens, topless game show-style girls, a tuxedo-clad auctioneer, live performances, and an early Westwood style fashion show. It’s set to be a Friday night not to be missed.