Sunday, March 26, 2017

Week in Grieview

[Photo on 1st Avenue yesterday by Derek Berg]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

Angelica Kitchen closing on April 7; friends raising money to pay off expenses (Friday, 52 comments)

Che Cafe bringing empanada pockets to Seventh Street (Wednesday)

Mimi's Hummus closes on 14th Street (Wednesday)

4 St. Mark's Place prepped for renovations, expansion (Tuesday)

Jason Wang's Biang! closes after 15 months on Second Avenue (Tuesday)

The landmarked Father’s Heart Ministry comes back into view on 11th Street (Friday)

First sign of Fat Cat Kitchen on 14th Street (Monday)

Tableside Italian Cook Shoppe now open on Sixth Street (Saturday)

Out and About with Jennifer Brodsky (Wednesday)

Rock club E.Vil is coming to the East Village (Tuesday)

Retail space in the former Amato Opera House seeking to the tune of $35k monthly (Monday)

There are pigeons trapped inside the former P.S. 64 on Ninth Street (Monday)

Lions BeerStore has closed; Wall 88 Restaurant up next (Tuesday ... Thursday)

Black Market will be going by Sister Midnight on Avenue A (Monday)

A new all-you-can-eat sushi option on Second Avenue (Thursday)

Pizza-master Gino Sorbillo marks his arrival on the Bowery (Wednesday)

Make a bid on 64 Second Ave. (Monday)

Is this studio the East Village at its best? (Thursday)

Spring Spa signage blooms on Fifth Street (Monday)

The randomly placed piano in Tompkins Square Park is no longer randomly there (Monday)

A sign for Nobody Is Perfect on Fourth Street (Friday) outside the Second Avenue F stop ... mural by @pyramidoracle...

...and an EVG readers shared these photos of a new piece via @colp_one outside Spiegel on Second Street at First Avenue...


Follow EVG on Instragram or Twitter

Report: Maria Hrynenko looking to sell 2nd Avenue properties destroyed in deadly gas explosion

[Photo from yesterday]

On the 2-year anniversary of the deadly Second Avenue gas explosion, the Post is reporting that landlord Maria Hrynenko "is poised" to sell her now-empty lots at 119 and 121 Second Ave., which could jeopardize the settlements of the victims.

Maria Hrynenko, 57, appears ready to cash out on her valuable Second Avenue properties before the criminal case against her goes to trial and as the civil actions wend their way through the courts...

Hrynenko could rake in at least $12 million, based on the sale price of a neighboring lot, if she sells both her parcels.

Authorities have said that siphoned gas at 121 Second Ave. is to blame for the explosion, which killed Moises Ismael Locón Yac and Nicholas Figueroa, and injured two dozen other people. A 21-year-old student visiting from Berkeley during spring break lost an eye and fractured his larynx. Two firefighters also suffered serious injuries.

In February 2016, the DA charged Hrynenko and her son, Michael Hrynenko Jr., with involuntary manslaughter ... as well as contractor Dilber Kukic and an unlicensed plumber, Athanasios Ioannidis. (A fifth person, Andrew Trombettas, faces charges for supplying his license to Ioannidis.) All pleaded not guilty.

More than two dozen lawsuits have been filed against Hrynenko, her companies — MAH Realty and Kiev Realty — the city, Con Edison and other defendants.

Lawyers for the victims say it would be virtually impossible to stop a sale — as long as it’s for market value and not to a straw buyer — and that the potential $12 million-plus windfall could be difficult to locate.

“Let’s say she sells the property and takes the cash and stashes it away in the Canary Islands, there’s no way for us to recoup that,” said Marius Wesser, a lawyer for Machendra Chongbang. The Nepalese immigrant was a chef at Sushi Park and was badly injured when he was blown into the basement.

According to the Post, a broker working with Hrynenko recently contacted the new owner of the lot at 123 Second Ave., who paid $6 million for the property. The broker reportedly said they had a buyer interested in purchasing all three lots.

However, the owner, Ezra Wibowo, declined the offer.

“For him, it’s a long-term investment. He’s not in a rush to build or develop,” the source said.

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updating] Explosion on 2nd Avenue and East 7th Street

How displaced residents are faring after the 2nd Avenue gas explosion

Living out of a suitcase 6 months after the 2nd Avenue explosion

Moving on — and feeling lucky — after the 2nd Avenue explosion

A family continues to feel the loss on 2nd Avenue

Updated: 2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'

Former residents talk about landlord Maria Hrynenko: 'it was clear she wanted to get rid of anyone with a rent-regulated apartment'

Report: 123 2nd Ave. is for sale

Selling 123 Second Ave.

And read our interviews with longtime residents of 45 E. Seventh St. Mildred Guy and Diane McLean.

How The New York Times is improving its home delivery

By including Free All Digital Access on any device and fresh-baked rolls.

Spotted on 11th Street near Avenue C this morning.


Second Street at Avenue A. And good morning.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday's parting shot

Marking the 106th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire today... Photo on Sixth Street by Derek Berg...


Today in photos of squirrels carb loading in Tompkins Square Park

Photo by Bobby Williams...

The squirrel collection grows

Aureus Contemporary hosting a temporary exhibit on 7th Street

Aureus Contemporary is hosting a group show on weekends through April at 116 E. Seventh St. between Avenue A and First Avenue...

The show is titled Bish Bash Bosh.

Thanks to Drew Bushong for the photos earlier this week!

Tableside Italian Cook Shoppe now open on 6th Street

The Italian restaurant had its grand opening last evening at 345 E. Sixth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue...

Until earlier this month, the space was Edward and Neal's Fish Bar. Owner Shane Cover, who runs Upstate around the corner on First Avenue, told us:

"I needed to switch it up. I was never able to be there as much as I should. Running fresh fish places took all of my time. Also I thought the prices were too high. I have not raised Upstate's prices since we opened [in 2011]. So Edwin and Neal's had to compete with a fish place right around the corner with better price points."

Anthony DeGrezia, whose family owns several Italian restaurants, is managing Tableside. You can find their menu here.

Tableside is open 5-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; to midnight on Friday-Saturday; and 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Thanks to Vinny & O for the photos!

Previously on EV Grieve:
Edwin and Neal's Fish Bar gives way to Tableside on 6th Street

Rise of the 'Empire' — Arturo Vega retrospective through April 20 at the Howl! Happening space

The "Empire: An Arturo Vega Retrospective" debuted this past Thursday at the Howl! Happening space on First Street.

Here's more about it via the Howl! website:

This ambitious survey runs through April 20 and will include guest lectures, performances and a panel discussion exploring Arturo Vega’s broader impact on popular culture while contextualizing his work as a visual artist.

Howl! Happening was established to honor Vega, his life and work, and his support for East Village artists, and we are particularly proud to be the second stop for the late Mexican-born artist’s U.S. museum retrospective. The exhibition features photography, collage and a number of iconic canvases from the artist’s Supermarket and Silver Dollar series (begun in the 70s); his Flags and so-called “word paintings” from Insults; and other series produced during the 80s, 90s and aughts. Of special note is his last major work, Life isn’t tragic, love is just being ignored, a mural commissioned in 2013 that hung on the corner of Prince and Elizabeth streets.

Escaping the repressive violence of an authoritarian regime under Mexico’s “perfect dictatorship” in the late 60s, Arturo Vega made his way to New York City to study English, philosophy and photography at the New School for Social Research in the early 70s.

While working on his first painting series of supermarket signs, he befriended members of the Ramones. Designing the Ramones’ ubiquitous logo based on the Great Seal of the United States, painting backdrops for their stage, and creating a lighting scheme loosely adapted from Albert Speer’s Lichtdom to enhance their effect, Vega created visual imagery that defined the transgressive aesthetic of punk rock by co-opting and questioning symbols of power.

You can check out the Howl! site for dates and times for the panels (there are two tomorrow).

Howl! Happening: An Arturo Vega Project is at 6 E. First St. between the Bowery and Second Avenue. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.

Vega died in June 2013. He was 65.

Friday, March 24, 2017


East Fourth Street today via Derek Berg... which was reminiscent of a scene on Avenue A many posts ago...

[Photo in 2015 by Derek Berg]

Have a good day

Here's "Everyday," a bouncy little number by the Glasgow-based Sacred Paws, who released their first full-length record earlier this year.

City getting desperate to remove remaining snow

Please hold your booing until the end of the post.

St. Mark's Place today.

Angelica Kitchen closing on April 7; friends raising money to pay off expenses

[Photo of Leslie McEachern from 2016 by James Maher]

After 40-plus years of serving vegetarian cuisine in the East Village, Angelica Kitchen is closing its doors after service on April 7.

Owner Leslie McEachern confirmed the news yesterday, saying in a statement that "Making the numbers work week in and week out is just not viable for us anymore."

In September 2014, the restaurant on 12th Street near Second Avenue launched a public awareness campaign to help keep its doors open.

Earlier in 2014, McEachern signed a new 5-year-lease for $21,000-plus a month. As Gothamist pointed out, that rent "doesn't include additional expenses including utilities, taxes, insurance, payroll, etc."

Angelica made some other changes then, including updating "its menu to include iced and hot coffee, as well as natural wines, and brought in an ATM to accommodate an increasingly cashless culture," per Eater.

[EVG photo from 2015]

The restaurant first opened in 1976.

In an interview for EVG in January 2016 for EVG, McEachern talked about how she got involved with Angelica.

I had started a small business representing certain natural foods, but I was going to different health-food stores around the country and trade shows and demonstrating their products. One day in 1981, I was at Greenberg’s. It was a very old school natural food store on First Avenue, between Seventh and St. Mark's Place. I was in there doing a miso demonstration and handing out samples and Frank Simons, the guy who had just bought Angelica Kitchen, walked in. I didn’t know him at the time but I had been a fan of Angelica. He and I caught each other’s eyes, to say it mildly. We got engaged and I moved from the mountains of North Carolina to New York to be with him. That was what got me here – falling in love and doing the right turn so many of us know about.

Angelica was at 42 St. Marks Place at that time. It was a small place and we had very few seats, so we had an open policy about seating. People came in and sat in any empty chair in the restaurant, whether it was a two top or a four top, so lots of connections were made that way. That was very fun. It was very community spirited. Organic wasn’t as much of an issue at that time but there were a lot of products available. That became my mission once I was in charge of the restaurant after Frank died. I really believed in the small, independent organic farmer as stewards of the land, so I was able to get on my soapbox through having Angelica Kitchen and really support the farmers.

She moved to the current location at 300 E. 12th St. in 1987.

[Reader-submitted photo]

Meanwhile, a group calling themselves Friends of Angelica Kitchen have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help pay off remaining expenses.

Sadly, as a result of increased rent and operating costs combined with reduced patronage, the restaurant has been operating at a loss for over two years. Having poured all of her personal resources into the business in an attempt to sustain it, that effort has failed and she's now deeply in debt. Leslie feels a commitment to avoid having her difficulties adversely affect local farmers and small independent businesses, some of whom have been with Angelica Kitchen since the beginning.

Our goal for this fundraiser is $245,000.00. Unfortunately, nothing can be done to resuscitate Angelica Kitchen, but Leslie has many significant financial issues to deal with and would be grateful if Angelica could close with a clean slate, without financially damaging the small businesses who stood by her, some for 40 years.

Details here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Angelica Kitchen is latest East Village restaurant in danger of closing (35 comments)

More about Angelica Kitchen's uncertain future

Out and About in the East Village with Leslie McEachern

The landmarked Father’s Heart Ministry comes back into view on 11th Street

Workers yesterday removed the sidewalk bridge and scaffolding from outside the Father’s Heart Ministry Center on 11th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B... marking the near-completetion of the landmarked building's roof replacement...

The roof work is part of a capital improvement project for Father’s Heart Ministry Center, which provides a variety of services, from classes to meal services for the homeless, the elderly and working poor.

The neon tubes for the familiar Jesus Saves cross on the church were removed during the construction... the neon will be returning soon, church officials say...

Find more details about the renovations at their crowdfunding page. And you can read my interview with Carol Vedral, co-founder and executive director of Father's Heart, here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Renovation work starting at the landmarked Father's Heart Ministry on 11th Street

A sign for Nobody Is Perfect on 4th Street

It has been a busy week of restaurant-related news ... and so I didn't get a chance to note the recent arrival of the Nobody Is Perfect signage at 235 E. Fourth St.

This will be the second new restaurant on this block between Avenue A and Avenue B via Mario Carta, the proprietor of Pardon My French at 103 Avenue B. Chouchou, serving Moroccan cuisine, opened earlier this month. (David Pegoli is the chef for the restaurants.)

Haven't heard about an opening date just yet for Nobody Is Perfect, which will offer a variety of tapas, or a closing time, which was a point of contention for neighbors who spoke out against the license application during the CB3-SLA committee meeting last September. (DNAinfo has a recap here.)

Nobody Is Perfect will be the fifth restaurant to try this address in the past 10 years. B4 closed last June after nearly three years in business ... and previously Piccola Positano, Tonda and E.U. have all come and gone.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Team behind Avenue B's Pardon My French eyeing 2 spaces on 4th Street

Marking the anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City on March 25, 1911, was the largest industrial disaster in the city's history ... causing the death of 146 garment workers (mostly young women) who either died from the fire or jumped to their deaths. Many of the victims lived on the Lower East Side.

Today also marks the 13th anniversary of Street Pictures organizing volunteers to "inscribe in chalk the names and ages of the Triangle dead in front of their former homes."

The Triangle Waist Company was located on the northwest corner of Greene Street and Washington Place just east of Washington Square Park.

Find more information at The Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition.

[Photo from 2016 by Christine Champagne]

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sculptures making their point at Cooper Union

Workers continue to erect representations of John Hejduk's pair of architectural structures based in Prague, "the House of the Suicide" and "the House of the Mother of the Suicide." (Read more about these here.)

Hejduk, a Cooper Union graduate, was the founding dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at Cooper Union.

This is part of a month-long exhibit that starts next Wednesday.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Celebrating the work of John Hejduk at Cooper Union

Come Together with Other Music (and others) this Sunday at MoMA PS1

Other Music is back ... at least for one day. Here's part of an email we received the other day...

It’s been too long since we last hung out together in a record-filled room talking about music, but we'll have that chance at an exciting event happening here on Sunday, March 26! Other Music has been collaborating with our friends at MoMA PS1, organizing a record fair and festival in the Long Island City museum that will be celebrating vinyl culture and the interconnecting music communities of NYC and beyond.

It’s been quite an undertaking, but we've put together a huge record market featuring over 60 of our favorite labels from around the world selling music, merchandise and much more. Add to this so many other inspirational people, with live performances inside MoMA PS1's VW Dome, thought-provoking panels and workshops, film, and plenty of other surprises.

Find all the details at the MoMa site here. Tickets are $15 for the day, which includes the panels, performances and film, the NYC premiere of "A Life in Waves," which follows the life and innovations of composer and electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani.

Other Music closed last June on Fourth Street after 20 years in business. Other Music's owners cited rising rents and the changing face of the music industry as reasons behind the closure. The storefront remains on the market.

Is this studio the East Village at its best?

Just a quick look at a new listing for a studio on Fifth Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.

It's a short, simple description:

East Village At Its Best* This Apartment is located between Ave A & B. Its a perfect size to divide into a separate bedroom and living room. It also features exposed brick, hardwood floors, high ceilings and other cute detail.

And here we are...

Not sure how this qualifies the neighborhood at its best ... You can find more photos at the listing. And the best has an asking rent of $2,000 monthly. The unit is available starting May 1.

A look at Wall 88's menu

As noted on Tuesday, Lions BeerStore has closed on the northeast corner of Second Avenue and Sixth Street.

Its replacement, Wall 88 Restaurant, is already open for business. Vinny & O shared this photo showing the menu... featuring a variety of pub-type fare...

[Click on image for a better view]

... including starters, salads, burgers. The entrees look reasonably priced (depending on the portions, etc.), with plates starting at $12 (for the "house special" pasta or fish & chips). The priciest item is $26 (beer can chicken!), and that serves two people.

Lions BeerStore — part retail shop, part restaurant — opened in November 2015. Apparently the Lions BeerStore owners are partners in the new venture, though someone else is involved in the day-to-day operations.

A new all-you-can-eat sushi option on 2nd Avenue

The signage is up for Oishi Village Sushi at 199 Second Ave. between 12th Street and 13th Street...

The owner of this all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant also operates Oishi Bay Sushi Restaurant on 29th Street at Second Avenue. (If anyone has eaten there, then feel free to chime in here in the comments about the food.)

According to Oishi Village Sushi's application for a beer-wine license (they were OK'd last August), they plan to be open from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, and 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays.

The previous tenant here was Tease, the hair salon that moved around the corner to 13th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

It was windy today

Out and About in the East Village

In this ongoing 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: Jennifer Brodsky
Occupation: Founder, perNYC
Location: 13th Street and Avenue B
Date: 8 pm on Monday, March 20

I moved to the neighborhood a few years ago. I lived on the Upper East Side for a bit. I lived by Union Square and in Bushwick too. I feel like what differentiates those neighborhoods to me are the stoops. By Union Square, there are no stoops. On the Upper East Side, there are stoops, but they don’t have the same feel. No one sits out there. It’s a lot of glitz and glamour. No one has the time of day for anyone.

In Bushwick, there weren’t really stoops, but you had these front porches. The area that I lived in had families who would barbecue and have a bunch of lawn chairs just sitting out there for them. Here you have the best kind of stoops. People are outside not just with family, but also alone, with friends and with strangers. It's where some of my favorite encounters happen. Like outside Raul's Candy Store, while he and his friends play dominos in the summer. We catch up and talk about how everyone is doing.

I love the architecture here. My building was built in 1910. I recently went to the map shop on Fourth Street [between 2nd Avenue and the Bowery]. I asked the lady if she had a map with what my block looked like. She pulled out one from 1876 and it was still divvied out the same way that it is now. With my apartment building, there is a tenement house in the front, but then you go through and there is a courtyard and a back building.

Other neighborhoods have square buildings. Here you have triangles, hexagons and circles. I keep an open mind, because you never know what you can find. For instance, what lies beneath the many layers of paint on my door — for now, I've found it’s a free upper-body workout to pull open that door.

Recently, on St. Patrick’s Day, I headed over to Casey Rubber Stamps, which is a great East Village staple. It’s a really small store full of rubber stamps. There’s something so fun about them. I remember when I babysat for a kid when I was younger — this little boy went crazy happy with his new stamp collection that he stamped all over the walls. So when I walked into the store, I had this flashback of that scene of stamps all over the wall.

I founded, host and produce a podcast called perNYC. Each podcast episode explores a unique NYC creation, such as a NYC event, music, production, business, store, restaurant, photography, videography, movement, merchandise, fitness, art, establishment, and more, as per the creator.

You get to hear first-hand all the details around each creation. You could think that it takes a certain type of personality, a certain type of person, or certain traits to be a creator, especially in New York, where there is so much going on and someone is trying to pound you down, while someone else is trying to keep you up. But everyone is so different.

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

Che Cafe bringing empanada pockets to 7th Street

[EVG photo from last fall]

Che Cafe expects to open on April 1 at 86 E. Seventh St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

This venture comes via Mark Merker, who started Harry's and Benny's Burritos in 1987.

Now my interests are focusing on street foods. Every culture in the world has a similar item that is closely related to the Empanada. I came up with Chechenitas (empanada pouch). A small, easy to eat on the go item.

I love the many different tastes from all cultures around and thought to borrow from each the essence of flavor that I love. Only issue I had with them is that there wasn't enough food inside the bread. I felt it overpowered the ingredients.

Che Cafe launched last summer, and was a regular at the LIC Flea & Food (and later last year at the Rockaway Brewery).

A post shared by Che Cafe (@che_cafe_nyc) on

The Che Cafe website notes an April 1 opening... for "an evening of a free tasting."

The small space was home until last fall to Abraço, who moved across Seventh Street.

Thanks to Vinny & O for the tip!

Mimi's Hummus closes on 14th Street

The outpost of Mimi's Hummus at 245 E. 14th St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue shut down on Monday.

A sign posted to the front door thanks patrons for their support...

Mimi's opened here in October 2015. The original Mimi's in Ditmas Park remains open ... as does the location in the Urbanspace Vanderbilt near Grand Central.

The quick-serve restaurant serves "some of the city's best hummus and shakshuka" (per Eater). Not sure why they couldn't make it in this spot.

The small space was previously home for eight months to the $1 pizza/BBQ combo of Wicked Wolfe BBQ.

H/T EVG reader Jimmy

Pizza-master Gino Sorbillo marks his arrival on the Bowery

As noted back in January, a pizzeria is coming to 334 Bowery between Bond and Great Jones... and the signage for Sorbillo arrived on Monday...

Acclaimed pizza-master and globe-trotting food personality Gino Sorbillo is the Sorbillo behind this venture. His shop, La Pizzeria Sorbillo, is considered by some to be best and most famous pizza hub in Naples, according to this feature on Vice.

You can see his Neapolitan pizzas via Instagram...

A post shared by Gino Sorbillo (@sorbillo) on

This has been a tough spot for restaurants. Perhaps Sorbillo can reverse the streak of quick openings and closings.

PYT — "Home of America's Craaaziest Burgers" — imploded here after just three months in business in early 2016.

The space was home to Forcella Bowery for nearly three years until November 2014 … only to be replaced in December 2014 by the tapas-friendly Espoleta, which closed six months later to make way for Gia Trattoria. They quickly closed. Then PYT arrived in October 2015.

Previously on EV Grieve:
A step back in time on the Bowery

E.Vil is coming to the East Village

We are not like the others... #rockandroll #deathtodisco #newyorkcity

A post shared by EVIL NYC (@e_vilnyc) on

Earlier this month, I noticed a new account following me on Instagram ... for EVIL NYC, a "Rock & Roll Club Opening 4/17" in the East Village. (I sent them a DM asking for their address — no response. Just the "seen.")

Anyway, Page Six had more details yesterday about this E.Vil, which is reportedly inspired by CBGB and Max's Kansas City. Turns out it's a new venture from, among other partners, club owner Richie Akiva, whose credits include 1OAK, Butter and Up&Down

Per Page Six:

• Leo DiCaprio will have a new watering hole to meet models.

• Akiva’s partnered with Jue Lan Club’s Stratis Morfogen on E.Vil, “short for East Village and pronounced evil,” an insider said.

• The spot will open near 1970s-themed VNYL nightclub on Third Avenue in April.

• “It’s where you go to hear Aerosmith, the Clash, Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, ’80s/’90s rock, the Cult,” the insider said.

Feel free to guess where E.Vil might live near VNYL, which is in the former Nevada Smiths space on Third Avenue between 12th Street and 13th Street.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

'Twin Peaks' prequel 'Fire Walk With Me' playing tomorrow night at the Village East

David Lynch's "Twin Peaks" prequel (and epilogue) is getting another look in theaters (in 35mm) for its 25th anniversary. "Fire Walk With Me" plays tomorrow night at 7 at the Village East, Second Avenue and 12th Street. (Ticket info here.)

Lynch made the film to fill in the gaps and to answer questions that his ABC series didn't address. Aside from some of the original cast members, David Bowie, Chris Isaak, Harry Dean Stanton and Kiefer Sutherland, among many others, drop by.

Lynch has filmed new episodes of "Twin Peaks" that will debut on Showtime this May 21.

LinkNYC continues eastern march

[Reader photo from this morning]

A few EVG readers noted that the pay phones on Sixth Street at First Avenue have been removed... with the telltale LinkNYC placeholder now at the site.

The kiosks continue to make their way to the east, having colonized Third Avenue and Second Avenue...

I think this this the furthest east that I've seen a kiosk... and certainly not the last. The city is reportedly expected to have 7,500 kiosks in place, each replacing a pre-existing phone booth, over the next seven years.

4 St. Mark's Place prepped for renovations, expansion

[Photo yesterday by Steven]

Workers have put up scaffolding and construction netting outside the landmarked 4 St. Mark's Place.

As reported this past December, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) signed off on renovations and an expansion for the Hamilton-Holly House (aka 4 St. Mark's Place), built in 1831 and sold to Alexander Hamilton’s son two years later.

The LPC nixed the additional floor, and a few other items. As it looks now, the expansion in the rear of the building will double the number of residential units from three to six.

Here's more about what will be taking place via New York Yimby, reporting on the LPC meeting last December:

On the front of the structure, a largely new entryway would be installed, the gate at the stoop would be removed, new windows would be installed, and the grand curved balcony would be reconstructed at the first floor. The secondary stair from the ground to the first floor would be removed and a new small gate put in its place at ground level, an additional window would be added to the basement level, an existing basement door would be replaced with a window, an agree under the front steps would be reopened, and signage would be installed. The existing fire escapes would remain. The façade would also receive an overall restoration.

The building changed hands for $10 million last spring.

Eastern Consolidated is currently listing two retail spaces here between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.

Until February 2016, 4 St. Mark's Place housed Trash & Vaudeville for 41 years. The store just celebrated its one-year anniversary at 96 E. Seventh St.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Exclusive: After 40 years, punk rock mainstay Trash and Vaudeville is leaving St. Mark's Place

4 St. Mark's Place is for sale

More residential units and a 5th-floor addition in the works for landmarked 4 St. Mark's Place

Jason Wang's Biang! closes after 15 months on 2nd Avenue

[EVG photo from December 2015]

Biang! — the sit-down Chinese restaurant via Xi'an Famous Foods owner Jason Wang — has closed at 157 Second Ave.

EVG reader Brian P. shared this notice from yesterday at the restaurant between Ninth Street and 10th Street...

The well-regarded restaurant opened here in December 2015. (And it always seemed crowded.) The sign notes that most of the dishes are available at the original Biang! location in Flushing... as well as the Xi'an Famous Foods at 81 St. Mark's Place near First Avenue.

Wang and his father David Shi started the business in a small food stall in Flushing. There are now nearly a dozen locations of Xi’an Famous Foods in NYC. They also opened Dumpling Spot in Chinatown last month.

The previous tenant at 157 Second Ave., Wylie Dufresne's bistro Alder, closed after two-and-a-half years at the end of August 2015.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Jason Wang bringing Xi'an Famous Foods offshoot Biang! to the former Alder space on 2nd Avenue

Lions BeerStore has closed; Wall 88 Restaurant up next

Lions BeerStore has closed on the northeast corner of Second Avenue and Sixth Street.

According to the Lions BeerStore Facebook page, the shop is "closing and moving locations."

Here's more via a Facebook message from yesterday:

"This exciting journey (and lease) have come to an end. We, wholeheartedly THANK YOU for your support, patronage and loyalty as we grew into one of the classiest beer bars in the city. It has been a pleasure to serve new and exotic beers to aficionados and neophytes alike. We hope you had a unique experience each time you came, and that your beer palate is even more distinguished than ever. Stay tuned for information about our new spot."

Operated by a father-son team who hail from Greece, Lions BeerStore was part retail shop, part restaurant. They opened in November 2015. (Not sure how their lease was up after 16 months in business.)

Meanwhile, not only did Lions BeerStore announce their closure yesterday ... a new restaurant also marked their arrival in the space ... here's Wall 88 Restaurant...

Vinny & O, who shared there photos, hears that the new restaurant (we don't know yet what they will be serving) will be open as soon as today...

As we understand it, the original owners, who want to spend more time in Greece, are partners in the new venture.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The randomly placed piano in Tompkins Square Park is no longer randomly there

After 10 days and one snowstorm, the abandoned piano that someone dragged into (or pushed into) Tompkins Square Park was wheeled away earlier today from where it was stationed by the Park entrance on Avenue B and Ninth Street...a reader shared the above photo ...

EVG Missing Piano Correspondent Steven followed up later... spotting some possible piano fragments in the Park...

Later, Steven spotted this piano rack by the Tompkins Square Library branch on 10th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B... where the trail went cold...