Saturday, July 4, 2015

If you don't like construction noise, then...

From the Post today:

Sixty-two percent, or 33,533, of the complaints logged with the Department of Environmental Protection from July 1, 2014, through June 30 of this year were tied to off-hours construction or noise from equipment such as jackhammers.

Read the whole article here.

Rest assured, there isn't a fire in the hole at 98-100 Avenue A

Just to put your mind at ease this holiday. Over at 98-100 Avenue A, workers continue [and continue] to put in the foundation for Ben Shaoul's new 6-story retail-residential complex between East Sixth Street and East Seventh Street.

Readers have noted a generator running 24/7 since early May, at least. And lately there has been some smoke billowing up over the plywood.

An explanation for this arrived this past week.

Per the sign: "We are currently performing dewatering on this construction site. This is condensation (water vapor) coming up through the pipes. There is no fire, no smoke, and no reason for alarm."

So remain calm, all is well.

And for people who don't like reading the fine print…

Holiday road

St. Mark's Place and Second Avenue yesterday via Derek Berg…

Friday, July 3, 2015

Alone Again Or

A new one by Eternal Summers… called "Together or Alone" from the June release "Gold and Stone."

Progress and frustration at B&H Dairy

[B&H in happier days by Ken Goldstein via Facebook]

B&H Dairy has remained shuttered since the deadly Second Avenue gas explosion on March 26.

The 73-year-old lunch counter at 127 Second Ave. between East Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place was close to reopening several times this spring, only to encounter an unexpected setback, such as in early May when the FDNY said that B&H needed a new fire suppression system. (Safety requirements from the city have become stricter since March 26.)

This upgrade, expected to cost $28,000, has kept the small restaurant from opening these past two months. The upgrade is also looking like the major factor that could permanently close B&H.

For starters, owners Fawzy Abdelwahed and Ola Smigielsk needed approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission (the building is in the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District) to install the new fire suppression system. The LPC approval finally came through last week. And as of Wednesday, the DOB had issued the necessary permit for the job. Work starts on Monday. (The contractor needed to be first approved by the FDNY.)

Now it looks like another few weeks before B&H can possibly reopen. "Another few weeks" is something that Abdelwahed has heard all too often in recent months. Meanwhile, other nearby restaurants were able to reopen fairly quickly after the explosion.

We spoke with Abdelwahed on the phone this week. He was understandably frustrated.

"I have bills to pay. What am I going to do? Where am I going to get assistance from? I just need to open the restaurant — simple," said Abdelwahed, who estimates that his monthly costs are $30,000, which includes rent, taxes and labor costs. (B&H successfully raised $26,000 in a crowdfunding campaign back in April.)

How about the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, which promised financial assistance to residents and businesses impacted by the Second Avenue explosion?

"They promised to give people money who have been affected by the explosion, but this has never happened," he said. "I've never heard from them."

However, he expressed his gratitude to Bernadette Nation from the Small Business Services agency (a mayoral agency), who has lately been advocating on B&H's behalf along with Community Board 3 officials. And there are the B&H faithful. "We have very big support from our customers," he said. "Since being closed the only people who care about us are our customers."

While there is progress to report, B&H still has a labyrinth of red tape to navigate before reopening. For example, after the contractor finishes the work, the FDNY must approve the new system, then ConEd has to approve the building's new gas lines (already installed). Once B&H gets final approval by all involved parties, the Department of Health steps in for an inspection before the restaurant is permitted to serve food again. (B&H had an A rating before.)

And if there is another setback, what will that do to B&H's chances of reopening?

“As each day goes by, I cannot pay the rent if we are closed. Two more weeks and I cannot afford it anymore," he said. "Two more weeks and I’m done. That’s it."

For his part, Abdelwahed just wants to get back to work.

“I miss the whole operation. I miss my customers. I miss seeing them. They are my friends — I know them by name. I miss serving people every day. I miss my job every day," he said, "I get up every day and I don’t know what to do. It is a very bad feeling."

[Photo of Fawzy and Ola from May 9 by Derek Berg]


For further reading:
Save the B&H (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

NYI featured B&H last night on its "NY1 For You" segment.

Plywood arrives for Tompkins Square Bagels build-out on 2nd Avenue

As we've been reporting, Tompkins Square Bagels is opening a second East Village location — this one at 184 Second Ave. between East 11th Street and East 12th Street.

Workers erected the plywood outside the storefront for the renovations yesterday. Owner Christopher Pugliese told us previously that he hopes to be up and running here in December.

Read our interview with Pugliese here.

East Village (temporarily) down 1 psychic

The psychic who has been psychicing from the psychic's space above Dunkin' Donuts on First Avenue at East Sixth Street has moved out of her home of 17-plus years, according to Bill the Libertarian Anarchist.

Apparently she is taking her business to Midtown.

It is not immediately clear what will become of this space. (The psychic signs remain as of this writing.) As we exclusively reported last fall, the business was for sale on Craigslist.


Meanwhile, what is your favorite psychic ability? Put us down for levitation.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Can someone lend me a $1 so that I can become a gypsy?

An unsettling sneak preview at the Quad Cinema

The Quad Cinema closed for renovations back on May 1.

EVG reader Michael Alex shared this photo showing the current state of the 43-year-old theater on East 13th Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue…

Real-estate developer Charles S. Cohen, a well-known film buff, bought the theater last summer.

"New York City has perhaps the greatest concentration of serious cinema lovers in the country," said Cohen in a statement published by Indiewire, "but for too long, these great, knowledgeable fans have had few places to see classic and important films on the big screen. The always-vital Quad Cinema will now become an even more important destination for classic films and compelling new ones – and the moviegoers who love them."

The Quad website says the theater will return in the fall.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Now playing at the Quad Cinema: Closed for Renovations

Bikes, By George! is gone

George Philbert has closed up his bike shop at 193 E. Fourth St. just east of Avenue A.

He removed his sign on Sunday…

[Photo by Greg Masters]

He has said that a rent hike forced him out. One reader said that Philbert, who has been repairing bikes around the city since 1970, will look for a new shop once he returns from a vacation.

The listing at Bond says that a restaurant is OK for the space. The asking rent is $3,750 for 340 square feet.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Rent hike will force Bikes, By George! to close on East 4th Street

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Report of a fire on Stuyvesant Street

[Photo by Brian Polay]

The FDNY is on the scene now on Stuyvesant Street between Second Avenue/East 10th Street and Third Avenue...

There are reports of smoke... and firefighters breaking glass.

Updated 9 p.m.

Via Della Pace opening a pizzeria on St. Mark's Place tonight

EVG correspondent Steven notes that the owners of Via Della Pace on East Seventh Street are opening a pizzeria offshoot at 130 St. Mark's Place starting tonight.

We don't have all the details just yet. The space near Avenue A had been home since late 2013 to Falanghina Pizza Bar, which wasn't ever all that crowded.

Screen gems: Christo and Dora's 1st summer offspring enjoys hanging out

EVG reader John Coakley shared these photos... one of Christo and Dora's recent offspring — identified as Fledgling #1 — stopping by for a visit the other day at the Ageloff Towers...

...keeping the east-facing windows down (won't anyone think about the the cats?) might be a good idea.

Turns out that Fledgling #1 has a thing for window screens, as Goggla notes at Gog in NYC here. And Two Hawks NYC has video of Fledgling #1 in action.

On East 9th Street Dusty Buttons is closing after 125% rent hike: 'Saying goodbye will hurt like hell'

A reported rent hike forced Cafe Pick Me Up out of its 20-year home at 145 Avenue A at the end of May.

Meanwhile, landlord Icon Realty apparently hasn't been renewing leases for the small shops that make up the East Ninth Street storefronts. Just two remain open… and one of them, the vintage boutique Dusty Buttons, has just put up a store closing sign.

[Photo via Bayou]

Aside from announcing sales and thanking customers, the proprietors offer a sarcastic kudos to the landlord.

"And thank you Icon Realty Management for making all of this possible! Hope your investments pay off! Coming soon, the NEW East Village!"

Dusty Buttons owner Amanda Loureiro told us that Icon served her a 30-day notice to vacate her shop last Friday.

She also shared a letter that she plans on posting to the store's Facebook page (edited a bit for length):

The first time I heard from Icon Realty we were asked to vacate for an undisclosed amount of time to allow for repairs to the building, and also offered a new lease with an unaffordable 125 percent increase for our less than 300-square-foot store. Then with no more conversation came the 30-day notice to vacate. I knew this day would come, that energy was swirling about for months. Icon bought our building last year, since then we have been looking for affordable East Village store front with no luck.

We opened Dusty Buttons six years ago in October. We moved once from across the street. My husband and I both live in the East Village. He moved here in his early 20s in 1982. I ran away to NYC at 17 in 1992 to live with a boyfriend for a while, attracted to the creative energy and a feeling of anything could be possible for a odd young girl from a small New England town. The boyfriend and I broke up and I begrudgingly moved home, with a feeling that I would return one day...

It was 2009 when I returned, very different from 1992. But that energy was still here and we found an affordable rent for Dusty Buttons. I met amazing like-minded creative people, became part of a neighborhood ... and adored being part of a community.

My husband and I are considering moving the store and ourselves to Philadelphia. The rents are lower and a creative energy feels full and strong. We may change our store a bit, more antiques ... maybe even a name change to 'Dusty and Buttons' a bit more of a duo like Tango and Cash or Hall and Oates!

July 29 is probably our last day as we have to be out by the 31st. There will be a sale, not a crazy one because we adore our inventory and want to bring it with us, but still a pretty good one! Come by and say farewell. I can't promise to not be tearful because this little shop was my baby, and saying goodbye will hurt like hell.

Icon Realty bought the building at 145 Avenue A for $10.1 million in April 2014, according to public records.

More about the 10-story building taking the place of the former BP station at 24 2nd Ave.

[EVG photo from December]

At long last reps for the developer filed the new building plans for what's coming next to the former BP station on Second Avenue at East First Street.

The Deal Deal reported back in the fall that a new development with 50,000 square feet of condominiums and 7,000 square feet of retail is on the way.

New York Yimby had a few more details on Tuesday about the property that AORE Capital paid $32 million for last July. Per NYY: "The 10-story development will have 52,700 square feet of residential space and 6,000 square feet of retail spread between the cellar and first floor. There will be just 31 apartments, which works out to impressively sized units of 1,700 square feet a piece."


Apartments will begin on the second floor, with four to five units per floor through the sixth story. The seventh and eighth floors will host two duplexes, and the ninth and tenth floors will hold one penthouse duplex with a private roof deck. Amenities include a shared terrace and recreation space on the second floor, and a fitness room, storage and bike storage in the cellar.

NYY also found a rendering for the project, though it may be out of date as it only shows eight and not 10 floors.

This marks the third new building of late on Second Avenue between East Second Street and East Houston, joining Jupiter 21 and Ben Shaoul's East Luxe.

Previously on EV Grieve:
RUMOR: Gas station going, boutique hotel coming on Second Avenue? (31 comments)

BP station on 2nd Avenue closes this month

The 2nd Avenue BP station has closed

Report: 50,000 square feet of condos coming to the former 2nd Avenue BP station

Permits filed to demolish former 2nd Avenue BP station

Get a taste of Taste Wine on 3rd Avenue starting tonight

[EVG photo from June 13]

Back in December we noted that a new wine shop was in the works for 50 Third Ave. near East 10th Street.

Gary Landsman, the proprietor of the incoming Taste Wine, told us that they're having a soft opening tonight… ahead of the shop's regular hours (11 a.m. - 11 p.m.) that start tomorrow. Landsman said that the official grand opening is a few weeks off yet.

Previously on EV Grieve:
More about Taste Wine, coming soon to 50 Third Ave.

Pushcart Coffee has opened on 3rd Avenue

As we first reported last week, Pushcart Coffee was opening a new location on Third Avenue at East 12th Street... in NYU's Third North dorm retail property. As you can see from the tweet above, Pushcart is now up and running...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Pushcart Coffee opening an East Village outpost (18 comments)

Another sign of the new Moonstruck Eatery on Avenue A

The conversion of the former Ethos Meze East Village continues at 167 Avenue A between East 10th Street and East 11th Street … the owners of Moonstruck Diner were said to be opening another diner concept here… we await to hear more about what this will entail… and we remain hopeful…

That's it for Unidentified Flying Chickens on 3rd Avenue

The East Village outpost of the Jackson Heights-based Korean fried chicken restaurant at 60 Third Ave. had been closed all of June for a ceiling repair, according to a note on the door.

It seemed unlikely that UFC would actually reopen, given that the address here between East 10th Street and East 11th Street will be home soon to another location of Blockheads, the San Francisco-style Mexican restaurant from the folks who launched Benny's Burritos.

To little surprise then, workers have stripped off the signage from the restaurant this week and packed up the interior. No word just yet when the Blockheads will arrive. UFC opened on Third Avenue last July… and they lasted much longer than the previous tenant. Apr├Ęs closed after just three weeks.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Out and About in the East Village

In this weekly feature, East Village-based photographer James Maher provides us with a quick snapshot of someone who lives and/or works in the East Village.

By James Maher
Name: Nelson Vercher
Occupation: Hairstylist
Location: 9th Street Community Garden, 9th Street and Avenue C
Time: 3 p.m. on Monday, June 29

I’ve lived in the neighborhood since 1996. I’m originally from Chicago but moved to New York from San Francisco. I moved New Year's Day. I partied on New Year’s Eve and then got on a plane to New York the next day.

I first moved to 9th Street between B and C. I remember coming from the airport and passing 7th Street between C and D. From the moment I got here to this day, it has been my favorite street in the whole city. It’s lined with gorgeous trees. It’s a little gem.

The neighborhood was cool; it was what I knew. Everyone said don’t go to Avenue D, which I eventually moved to. It was actually in some ways cooler in a sense. It had a creative energy. But then you’d definitely see people on heroin in the middle of the street passing out during the day.

I think my first desire to live in New York was — and this is probably very gay and very typical, but it is what it is — seeing Diana Ross in Central Park. I saw her live concert on cable with my mom as a teenager. It was outside and in Central Park and at the time I was a huge Diana Ross fan. I saw so many different races of people together and hanging out. I was like, ‘I have to be around that.’ I didn’t know what it was and how I was going to get there but it stuck in my head.

I’m a hairstylist. I’ve been doing it for a long time. I starting doing it in Chicago when I was a little boy. When I was probably 19 or 20, I was still assisting but getting toward the end. My roommate at the time, who is still my best friend, went to New York and this was during the Malcolm McLaren "Deep in Vogue" time. He came back and the stories I got, and he came back with a boyfriend. It was then that I started pushing for it at work. I asked if they could transfer me to New York. I knew that was my ticket out. I had barely been out of Chicago once. I had only been on a plane once.

I then had to move to California as an interlude, but the focus was to come here. When I got here I started working in 5th Avenue salons. That was kind of the entryway to it all. I wanted to work on photo shoots and I so started assisting super well-known hairdressers that were doing all those things: W, Harper’s Bazaar — all that ‘90s high-end amazing stuff. I was new to New York so I was doing a few days a week in the salon as a stylist, then assisting these amazing guys. It was definitely a hustle because it’s hard to maintain a clientele on 5th Avenue, and then to go into an assisting role and becoming basically somebody’s bitch. The trade off was that I got to travel the world from Milan to Paris and do fashion shows and be around supermodels of the 1990s. It was awesome because the editorial world is so different than the salon world. It’s a different high.

At one point it became time for me to do my own thing, so I stopped assisting. It was a hard transition. Eventually I got an agent and started going, but I also had a lot of help. So I moved into entertainment and music and things like that. It was actually really liberating in a way. I’m a huge music fan as well.

It was interesting seeing Avenue C start changing. That was definitely a turning point in the 2000s. You started seeing the type of girls who would never come down here running around with halter dresses and bad highlights. You know, I’m not completely against gentrification. I do think that it’s a good thing to be able to have decent restaurants and healthier options and things like that, but what I’m not about is seeing people who have raised families here for generations being kicked out and spoiled kids who have no real appreciation of the neighborhood coming in. Avenue D is definitely the last avenue to change but it is changing.

I feel like Alphabet City has a uniqueness in New York. It’s a little organic and a little hippie and bohemian, but more and more money is moving down here. This is one of the areas in New York that you really get that in a concentrated zone and that’s why I have such a hard time even thinking about leaving. The idea of going to a different neighborhood doesn’t really appeal to me. I’ve always been a fan of thinking that poor and rich people should be forced to live together. I think that makes a difference.

Everyone has their own idea of what success is and I definitely don’t need everything, but just to be comfortable and to be able to do nice things for yourself and to help the people you love a little bit and to be able to retire decently is an awesome thing to do. But success to me — and I don’t care how much money I have — doesn’t mean living on the Upper East Side on 5th Avenue. That doesn’t connect to me, but I find that it can be very ‘New York,’ because New York is a place of ambition. People come here to be successful. That’s what the bottom line is.

I would hope to think that there was still some of it left, but that crazy artist doesn’t want to come here like that anymore. I don’t think it resonates that way. My nephew is a brilliant artist who lives in Minnesota — good looking, young, sexy. He’s up on stuff and he’s not even thinking ‘I want to come to New York.’ When I was his age, I was like, ‘There’s no place I can be but New York. I need to get there to do my thing.’

Has New York let me down? Yes. Has it surprised me? Yes. Am I happy? Yes. Let me down? Of course it has. New York is full of disappointments and rejection. But has it let me down in the grand scheme of things? No. You’ve just got to get your hustle on here and come back tougher. I’m a stronger person because of New York. It made me a better person, for sure. I’m a smarter person, a better person, even a healthier person. New York has done that. So all in all, through the good, the bad, the ugly, the failures, the successes, the ups and the downs, New York has been first rate. I can’t complain.

James Maher is a fine art and studio photographer based in the East Village. Find his website here.

Report: Court gives NYU OK for $6 billion expansion

From the Daily News:

"The state's highest court on Tuesday gave its legal blessing to New York University's entire $6 billion expansion plan.

"In a unanimous ruling, the Court of Appeals rejected a last-ditch appeal by opponents of the expansion, led by Manhattan Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, who claimed the City Council wrongly allowed parkland to be used for the project."

NYU's expansion plan includes the construction of four new buildings and 1.9 million square feet of new space over the next two decades.

Read the Daily News piece here. The Times has more here. Curbed has a succinct recap here.

ANd finally, here is a link to the court's decision here (PDF!)

The Dry Dock Playground is closed for reconstruction

[Photo in Tompkins Square Park from Saturday]

With the basketball courts still under renovation at Tompkins Square Park, an EVG reader headed over to Dry Dock on East 10th Street and Avenue D to shoot some baskets... only to discover that the Dry Dock Playground is closed for reconstruction too (the pool is open though) ...

Signs point to a Spring 2016 completion date...

Construction apparently started in the spring. Per the NYC Parks site: "This project will reconstruct the play equipment, security lighting, and miscellaneous site work at Dry Dock Playground." The price tag is at nearly $1.5 million.

As for Tompkins, we haven't heard about a new completion date. But it does appear that workers are making progress.

Demolition underway at 127 Avenue D

The demolition of the former Sergio Deli Superette on Avenue D near East Ninth Street has started.

Plans call for a 7-story mixed-use building ... the approved permits show 11 dwelling units with a commercial space on the ground floor.

BuzzBuzzHome previously reported that the developer is H Holding Group, whose projects include four luxury townhouses on Degraw Street in Boerum Hill.

And here's a rendering of the all-new 127 Avenue D via the H Holding Group website...

Aw, former neighbor Wacky Wok appears in this rendering...

Previously on EV Grieve:
On Avenue D, Sergio Deli Superette will yield to a 7-story building

Boutique 67 ready for sales on Avenue C

[Rendering via Vinbaytel]

Six of the 8 units at the new building at 67 Avenue C are now on the market. Oh, and the residences have a name — Boutique 67.

The units range in price from $825,000 for a one-bedroom unit to $1.85 million for the penthouse, according to Streeteasy.

Here's the listing for the penthouse via Douglas Elliman:

Residence PHB is a beautiful, loft-like, duplex 1bd/2ba home with a large, private terrace offering abundance of light and open city views to the East.

Each apartment is outfitted with open, custom designed German kitchens and vanities, Caesarstone countertops, extra wide with a beautiful light wash hardwood flooring, 8 foot tall interior doors, 10 foot ceilings, top of the line stainless steel appliances by Bosch, Summit and GE, contemporary fuacets, washer / dryer, as well as central air and heat.

Boutique 67 is the latest addition to Alphabet City and the East Village. This exciting boutique development will offer 8 spectacular residences ranging from one to three bedrooms, including two Penthouse units with private roof rights.

Living in the East Village is to submerge yourself in this vibrant neighborhood, full of art galleries, boutiques, award-winning restaurants and nightlife. The uniqueness of the area has kept its long standing charm and continues to attract visitors who love to explore all the wonderful diversity.

Anticipated completion late Summer/Early fall 2015.

The rendering doesn't show a retail space... the real-life No. 67 has a for rent ad on the plywood for a storefront.

The condos rose from part of the former Kingdom Hall that was owned by the Jehovah's Witnesses at 67 Avenue C between East Fourth Street and East Fifth Street. We first heard about the sale back in August 2009.

Previously on EV Grieve:
First sign of the new 7-floor condo rising above the Jehovah's Witnesses on Avenue C

Maybe 67 Avenue C will eventually look like this random building some day

Condos rising on Avenue C will feature 'surreal views'

Looking at 67 Avenue C, where the condo views are spectacular and surreal

Sexyflow ready to let loose on Avenue A

An EVG reader tells us that the Sexyflow sign went up this past weekend in the retail space at Icon Realty's 205 Avenue A. From the looks of it, the reader believes that the hair salon will be opening soon here between East 12th Street and East 13th Street.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Icon Realty bringing Sexyflow to Avenue A

Happy Birthday Debbie Harry

[Cover photo from 1979 via Facebook]

The singer-songwriter-actress-Blondie lead singer turns 70 today.

On Saturday night, Blondie opened for Morrissey at the Garden, and drew high marks. Per the Voice: "Blondie’s sound has become (and will continue to be) the soundtrack to generations of fans’ lives. Last night’s performance at Madison Square Garden was a reminder of why Debbie Harry and her band continue to keep their audience enthralled after all these years."

On Friday night, Harry was at 292 Gallery on East Third Street to hear Romy Ashby read from her new novel "Stink."

(I do not know what she did last Thursday night.)

Now back to the music with "Rifle Range" from 1977...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

From the lost and found: These legs

Did you lose your legs and cowboy boots?

If so, then EVG reader Christine Champagne found them on East Ninth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue. (Let me know first though if there is a reward.)

Updated 3:12 p.m.

Continuing on with the most important story of the day... the legs have moved, according to EVG Mannequin Correspondent Steven...

About Superiority Burger

[Photo via William Klayer]

Superiority Burger opened last Thursday at 430 E. Ninth St. between Avenue A and First Avenue. And the place has been getting a lot of press/hype for its veggie burgers and other assorted menu items and music selection.

There are just a handful of items on the menu, and Grub Street takes a look at them here. Eater also has nearly a minute-by-minute update on new menu items and other Superiority-related news here. Eater critics Robert Sietsema and Ryan Sutton along with writer-photographer Nick Solares weigh in here.

Anyone else try it???

As of right now, they are only open Thursday to Monday 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Updated 12:19
Gothamist notes that local residents have glued rocks to the wooden benches near Superiority to keep Superiority-goers from sitting on the tree guards...

Previously on EV Grieve:
What the cluck? Chickens in the works for former vegetarian hotspot Dirt Candy on East 9th Street

Rumor: Vegetarian sandwich shop in the works for former Dirt Candy space

[Updated] Veggie burgers confirmed for former Dirt Candy space on East 9th Street

Construction watch: 397-401 E. Eighth St.

Time to check in again at 397-401 E. Eighth St. at Avenue D, where a nine-story building with 33 units — and a penthouse! — is getting … larger.

A little early for any kind of pricing info on the apartments here.

Before the start of the construction last summer, the site sat stalled for years. There were plans for a six-story building on the property in 2006, but those plans never materialized.

And, as we've posted once before, this is how the address looked in 1923...

[Via NYPL]

Previously on EV Grieve:
Meanwhile, before we christen Avenue D the next Greenpoint...

Stalled development site on Eighth Street and Avenue D asking $5.2 million

Long-stalled East 8th Street lot coming back as 9-story residential building — with penthouse

Avant Garden signage now up on East 7th Street

The sign has arrived at 130 E. Seventh St. … where Team Ravi DeRossi (Death & Co., Cienfuegos, Proletariat, etc.) is opening an upscale vegan restaurant here just west of Avenue A.

DeRossi told Eater more about the project last month:

DeRossi says that this is something he's been wanting to do for 10 or 20 years, but finding a good vegan chef has always been the "biggest obstacle." Now, however, he's found that chef in Andrew D'Ambrosi, who currently runs the kitchen at DeRossi's Carroll Gardens seafood restaurant, Bergen Hill.

The way he tells it, D'Ambrosi put a hen of the woods mushroom dish on the menu that DeRossi, who "always hated mushrooms," loved. That dish turned out to be vegan, and so from there DeRossi had the chef begin experimenting with other vegan dishes, offering them as specials at Bergen Hill. Two years later, they've pulled together a list of about 20 that will make up Avant Garden's vegan menu. Those include things like charred onion with chimichurri and seasoned breadcrumbs, and roasted carrots with orange, honey, pumpkin seeds and quinoa, as well as that hen of the woods dish.

In addition to Avant Garden, DeRossi is launching a nonprofit, BEAST (Benefits to End Animal Suffering Today), which will host regular fundraisers for animal rights organizations, per Eater.

No word on an official opening date just yet.

As we first reported on May 5, Avant Garden takes over the storefront from Gingersnap's Organic, who decamped to the West Village in January.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Veggie friendly Avant Garden in the works for former Gingersnap's space on East 7th Street

PYT bringing its offbeat burger creations to the Bowery

The coming soon sign appeared last week at 334 Bowery for PYT, the first NYC outpost of the Philadelphia burger place known for some pretty wacky creations.

A rep for Gia Trattoria confirmed to us that the Italian restaurant has closed. While PYT will open in the weeks ahead, the adjacent space will continue to be home to the now larger SRO pizza speakeasy.

As for PYT, well they peddle speciality stunt burgers with deep-fried "Philly Cheese Steak" Hot Pockets for buns … or Chicken Bacon Eggo Sliders… the Cocoa Krispies Chicken Burger … hey, it's your colon. Check out their menu here.

Perhaps PYT will stem the tide of restaurants here, with Forcella, Espoleta and Gia Trattoria coming and going fairly quickly since last November.

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updated] Giving 334 Bowery another go with pizza