Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wednesday's parting shot

The foggy finish to the day captured at dusk by jdx ...

Today in late-morning gloomy weather photos

A view to the south(west) this morning via Bobby Williams...

Cherche Midi space on the market for new retail development on the Bowery at East Houston

[Via Google Streetview]

There's a new retail listing for 280-282 Bowery at East Houston.

The corner space is currently home to Keith McNally's bistro Cherche Midi while No. 282 houses Yasakart Restaurant Supply.

Here are details via RKF:

• At the nexus of SoHo, NoLIta, NoHo, The East Village and Lower East Side
• Steps from four major hotels: Bowery Hotel, Public Hotel, The Ace Hotel and CitizenM
• Across from Whole Foods Market, The New Museum and the International Center for Photography
• Second Floor space can be made available
• Lower Level can be converted to selling
• An additional 1,500 SF of Lower Level space can be made available in Space B

The rent is available upon request.

And here's the rendering showing the possibilities on this southwest corner of the Bowery and Houston...

[Image via RKF]

Rumors surfaced last month that McNally would be closing his four-year-old bistro. (A rep for McNally, who also runs the Odeon, Balthazar, Minetta Tavern and Augustine in the Beekman Hotel, confirmed to Grub Street that Cherche Midi will close in early June.)

This marks the second high-profile restaurant to close on the Bowery and East Houston since last August. Daniel Boulud shut down DBGB Kitchen and Bar after eight years in the Avalon Bowery complex between First Street and Houston.

If success restaurateurs like McNally and Boulud can't make these corners work... then what? An EVG reader left this comment on the previous Cherche Midi post:

My prediction for the gentrified Bowery, chain restaurants (as in Chipotle and Shake Shack, some run of the mall shops which most New Yorkers have never heard of, and all this surrounded by high end luxury condos. This is what the lack of urban planning and unleashed developer money brings.

Jane's Exchange is not closing!

[Image via Facebook]

Back in late March, the owners of Jane's Exchange, the children's and maternity retail and consignment store on Third Street between Avenue A and Avenue B, reported that they would likely have to close when their lease was up this summer.

However, co-owner Gayle Raskin remained cautiously optimistic that they could extend a lease with new owners.

Looks like it worked out. As they posted on Facebook:

Dear Friends,


Gayle and Eva will continue their partnership through December 2018 at which time Gayle will leave and Yelena Ferrer will become Eva’s new partner beginning Jan. 1, 2019. Yelena has been a longtime consignor and we are so excited to welcome her to the fold.

We are overwhelmed by the love and support we have received from all of you. A number of you came forward with great ideas, financial and otherwise, to keep Jane’s Exchange going and it has been so appreciated. It takes a community to preserve local businesses and we value your ongoing participation in this effort.

It begins now — we need your word-of-mouth help to bring more customers to the store. Advertising is expensive as you can imagine. We will be making flyers available for online and hard-copy distribution.

We dodged the bullet this time. We are a children's and maternity store but even more than that, we are a service in the community. We are thrilled to be able to continue that service.


Eva and Gayle

Jane's Exchange is now in its 24th year in business.


Reader report: Economy Foam & Futon is leaving 8th Street for Chelsea

EVG reader EJ shared the above photo... showing that Economy Foam & Futon is leaving its home of 15 years on West 8th Street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue.

Per EJ:

They close at the end of the month. But they're moving to Chelsea, though "under new ownership." The gent there said it'll be a much smaller space, so there will be many fewer offerings. Still lotsa stuff there at a discount before the move.

Economy Foam & Futon was a Lower East Side fixture, anchoring the corner of Houston and Allen from 1937 to 2003...maybe you bought a futon there...

No Malice Palace is closed again

No Malice Palace, the bar on Third Street just west of Avenue B, has been dark of late... a sign on the gate notes that they are "closed until further notice" ...

Owner Phil Sherman died right before Thanksgiving 2016... various signs on the gate early last year noted that they would reopen, but were just "waiting on legal things to happen."

NMP remained closed until early December, when it emerged as a pop-up holiday bar called Donner and Blitzen's Reindeer Lounge. No Malice Palace returned then in January ... and was in service until at least the second weekend of April, according go to various social media posts.

According to public records at the State Liquor Authority, the No Malice Palace liquor license expired back on Jan. 31.

Google and Facebook now list the bar, which first opened in 1999, as permanently closed.

The building that housed NMP, 197 E. Third St., is also on the sales market for the second time in three years.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

CB3 to hear City Council report 'Planning for Retail Diversity'

Tomorrow (Wednesday) night, CB3's Economic Development Committee will hear a City Council report titled "Planning for Retail Diversity: Supporting NYC’s Neighborhood Businesses."

Brian Paul, the author of the City Council report, is presenting. CB3 hopes to support actions from this report. (You can find a PDF of "Planning for Retail Diversity" here.)

The meeting is open to the public... it starts at 6:30 p.m. (Wednesday, April 25) in the University Settlement at Houston Street Center (273 Bowery).

Rally for the Small Business Jobs Survival Act tomorrow at City Hall

As Jeremiah Moss wrote:

The Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA) is the best way we currently have to slow down the loss of our small businesses and the scourge of high-rent blight that is killing our streetscapes.

Recently, City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriquez reintroduced the SBJSA. Corey Johnson, the new speaker of the City Council, has pledged to give the bill a public hearing, and we hope it will go up for a vote and pass in full force.

Find more background here. The rally starts tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10 a.m. at City Hall.

Rue St. Denis is closing after 25 years of selling vintage clothing and accessories on Avenue B

[Photo by EVG reader Brucie]

Several EVG readers shared the news that Rue St. Denis, the vintage clothing and accessories shop, is closing on Avenue B between 10th Street and 11th Street.

The boutique, which sells unworn vintage collections that span multiple decades, opened here in 1993. (The shop debuted on the Upper West Side in 1990.)

Founder Jean-Paul Buthier and his partner Riccardo Bonechi are closing the store for a change of pace, not because of rising rents or declining sales, as The New York Times reported. (The article from the Times notes how popular Rue St. Denis is for the costume designers of the film and television industry.)

No word yet on an official closing date... for now, there are sales...

Pop-up theater in the former Pork Pie Hatters on 9th Street

[Photo by Steven]

Out of the Box Theatrics is starting its 2018 season with a production of Adam Rapp's "Nocture," staged inside the former Pork Pie Hatters on Ninth Street between Avenue A and First Avenue.

Previews start tonight ... with a short run through May 6. Find tickets here.

Here's more about the company via their website:

Since its 2015 inception, Out of the Box Theatrics (OOTB) has been committed to hiring a diverse company of actors, regardless of gender, race, creed, ethnicity, or disability. We are dedicated to producing new and classic works while challenging audiences to experience work outside of their expectations with a fresh perspective in site-specific locations.

roviding accessible and individualized experiences to many different ages, ethnicities, disabilities, gender and sexual identifications of all kinds. By offering performances that speak to both experiences they are confronted with as well as perspective beyond their own backyard, OOTB serves enthusiastic patrons of culture and art and underserved communities equally.

H/T Veronica!

Cafe in the works for 2 St. Mark's Place, previously Ayios and St. Mark's Ale House

[Photo yesterday by Steven]

CB3 hasn't listed the dates yet for its committee meetings in May. However, one eager applicant has posted notice of a new liquor license application for 2 St. Mark's Place.

The applicant is called 2 St Mark's Cafe LLC ... and is eyeing the former home of Ayios Greek Rotisserie at 2 St. Mark's Place at Third Avenue/Cooper Square. That restaurant closed at the end of 2017 after 16 months in business. Previously, the address was the St. Mark's Ale House, which had a 21-year run until July 2016. (And once upon a time it was the second location of the Five Spot Cafe.)

No other information is available just yet about the applicant. The CB3-SLA committee is May 14, per the flyer.

[Updated] Proposed addition for 827-831 Broadway is back in front of the LPC today

A revised proposal to add a (slightly smaller) four-story glass addition to the landmarked buildings at 827-831 Broadway between 12th Street and 13th Street returns to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) this morning.

Back in January, LPC commissioners told the design team to return with a revised proposal, as Curbed reported. (Find a PDF of the new proposal here.)

Last November, the LPC voted to landmark the circa-1866 cast-iron buildings where artists Willem and Elaine de Kooning and Paul Jenkins, among others, lived and worked. That decision spared the address from demolition. As previously reported, Quality Capital and Caerus Group bought the parcel in 2015 for $60 million.

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) campaigned for more than 18 months to help preserve these buildings. Read more about their efforts here.

Updated 2 p.m.

The LPC rejected the plans, per the GVSHP...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: 14-story building planned for 827 Broadway

An appeal to landmark these buildings on Broadway

There's a proposed addition for the recently landmarked 827-831 Broadway

Report: LPC rejects glassy addition for landmarked 827-831 Broadway

Monday, April 23, 2018

A discussion on nightlife and retail diversity with NYC Commissioner Julie Menin tomorrow night

Julie Menin, commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, is the guest at a community discussion and Q&A tomorrow night on the Lower East Side.

As the flyer shows, she'll be discussing a variety of topics, including retail-diversity concerns and quality-of-life issues. Menin also oversees the recently named senior executive director of the Office of Nightlife (aka Night Mayor), which is billed as another point of conversation.

Attendees need to RSVP here by 1 p.m. tomorrow.

The meeting, sponsored by several local block associations and community groups, starts at 6:30 p.m. at Hotel Indigo, 172 Ludlow St. between Houston and Stanton in the third-floor conference room.

Former East Village Cheese space for rent on 7th Street

A for rent sign now hangs in the front window at the former East Village Cheese, officially bringing an end to the shop's two-plus years at 80 E. Seventh St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

EV Cheese quietly closed in early December. On Dec. 21, co-owner Lobsang Tsultrim was spotted at the storefront along with a Remove All My Junk truck. Before some of the perishable items had been discarded, the aroma of ripe cheese had been noticeable in the adjacent storefront.

Earlier this month, an EVG reader spotted workers hauling trash bags from the building's basement. The reader said that the smell of cheese — possibly from the content of the bags — was noticeable coming up from the sidewalk cellar doors...

[Reader photo from early April]

East Village Cheese moved here from Third Avenue in September 2015.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Neighbor: East Village Cheese, closed now for 2 weeks, is starting to smell

The nonpayment of rent notice has arrived at East Village Cheese

Concern for East Village Cheese Shop

[Updated] Will this be the week that Joe and Pat's opens?

Joe and Pat's is looking ready for pizza action here at 168 First Ave. between 10th Street and 11th Street.

Workers on-site told several different EVG readers that they are aiming to open this coming week, with one employee saying Thursday. (Another reader called the Staten Island location and got an "opening this week" message too.)

The family-owned pizzeria got its start on Staten Island in 1960.

Their transformation of the former Lanza's space started in earnest last May. (The coming soon sign arrived in April 2017.) Casey Pappalardo, one of the pizzeria's owners, originally told the Staten Island Advance they'd be open within six months, but he didn't sound so convincing. "That's if all goes well — there's always some setbacks."

[Photo April 19 by Steven]

Anyway, it will likely have been worth the wait. The Daily Meal named Joe and Pat's one of the best 10 pizzas in the country last year. And here's Grub Street on the place:

Joe & Pat’s is the king of Staten Island pizza. Its pies are the ultimate version of one of the borough’s dominant styles: thin-crust, vodka-sauced bar pie. Open since 1960, it doesn’t look like much, but the pizza is magnificent. The dough is pounded so it doesn’t get airy, resulting in a crust that’s disappearingly thin and extra crunchy. The vodka sauce is sweet and smooth; pepperoni, curled up in crisp cups, makes the perfect foil. But it’s tantalizing just with mozzarella, which, unlike in a traditional New York slice joint, doesn’t fuse with the sauce; the fresh cheese is applied more sparingly, so the islands of cheese remain distinct and creamy.

Updated 4/24
They will now open on Monday, per Eater.

Plywood arrives at Webster Hall

OK, so it's not much... but the plywood arrived this past week at the eastern entrance of the former Webster Hall on 11th Street.

As previously reported, the new owners of the landmarked building, Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment, along with AEG-backed The Bowery Presents, filed permits in December for interior demolition and structural work to renovate the facility and make it ADA compliant. The city approved those permits last month.

There hadn't been much, if any, sign of activity here between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue... except for the placement of the approved work permits...

... and that whole marquee-almost-falling-down thing.

Some reports suggest that the new concert venue won't be ready until 2020. Billboard reported that there may be a name change here too.

Webster Hall closed last Aug. 10. Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment and The Bowery Presents bought the building from the Ballinger family for $35 million last spring.

A look at the fire-damaged 218 E. 9th St. and Yakiniku West

[Photos from yesterday morning]

In case you missed this news from Saturday afternoon... when a two-alarm fire broke out at 218 E. Ninth St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.

FDNY officials told reporters that the blaze likely started behind a refrigerator in a second-floor apartment.

A fire official said the building is now "unlivable." The building houses Yakiniku West restaurant on the first floor and three apartments

No word on when (or if) Yakiniku West, the restaurant specializing in cook-it-yourself Japanese BBQ, might reopen. There weren't any messages on the restaurant's Facebook page or website. Calls to the restaurant go unanswered.

CBS 2 reported that 25 units with 106 firefighters had the fire under control in about 90 minutes. Nearby residents on the block applauded the FDNY's efforts, containing the fire and keeping it from spreading to the parking garage next door. No injuries were reported.

[Photo Saturday by Steven]

The force is apparently no longer with Suffolk Arms

It appears that Suffolk Arms, the cocktail lounge on Houston at Suffolk, will not be reopening after all.

After being closed during the first part of April without any explanation, a sign appeared on the front door noting a temporary closure for "renovations and mechanical upgrades."

Over the weekend, co-owner Giuseppe González, a "Star Wars" fan, left a cryptic, Yoda-esque message on social media...

"Closed, Suffolk Arms now is. See you again, we will." (That lone message also greets visitors to the bar's website.)

Suffolk Arms opened in February 2016.

H/T Vinny & O

Previously on EV Grieve:
Suffolk Arms now closed for renovations and 'mechanical upgrades'

ICYMI: MoMa officials not really into MoMaCha's name on the Bowery

ICYMI 1 — MoMaCha, a café and gallery, opened in late March at 314 Bowery between Bleecker and Houston.

ICYMI 2 — In a trademark lawsuit filed last week, MoMa officials claim that people are already being confused into thinking their museum is connected with the cafe, as Reuters first reported. There isn't any connection between MoMa and MoMaCha.

According to Hyperallergic:

“I don’t understand what MoMA wants from us,” the café’s co-owner, artist Eric Cahan.” Do they want us not to exist? They don’t own the word ‘cha,’ it means tea; they don’t own the word ‘more.’ To me it’s a little confusing. They can have Richard Prince in their collection, but I can’t use Helvetica? It doesn’t make any sense.”

And now, your Slurp Shop signage

The restaurant is taking shape over at 112 First Ave. between Sixth Street and Seventh Street... the sign is up ...

And since the last look at the spot, the Hunan Slurp Shop launched a website (touting that it's "New York's Best Rice Noodle Restaurant") with a few more details and interior shots.

Our mission is to bring the best Hunan flavor from Southwest China to New York City. We call our Chinese Hunan province rice noodle "Mifen", incorporating seasonal and local flavors into dishes.

And one of the interior renderings ...

No word on an opening date. Their posted hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday; until 11 p.m. on Saturday-Sunday.

The storefront was previously a Ricky's, which closed in April 2016.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Hunan Slurp Shop coming to former Ricky's space on 1st Avenue

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sunday's parting shot

The LUNGS parade in Tompkins Square Park today ... photo by Steven...

Week in Grieview

[Photo on 2nd Avenue by Derek Berg]

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

Fire at 218 E. Ninth St. (Saturday)

East Village super charged in heroin overdose of tenant (Thursday)

The past and future of the Merchant's House Museum (Monday)

Props for the Skateboard Gardener of 7th Street (Wednesday)

The latest I Am a Rent-Stabilized Tenant (Friday)

1 month to the Dance Parade and DanceFest (Thursday)

The Donut Pub opening an outpost on Astor Place (Friday)

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival set for Tompkins Square Park on Aug. 26 (Thursday)

LPC chair to step down (Friday)

New restaurant plans for 304 E. 6th St. and 117 Avenue A (Monday)

Construction watch: 3 E. 3rd St. (Tuesday)

Zen Yai Pho Shop now open on 6th Street (Wednesday)

Chickpea has closed on 14th Street (Friday)

Report: Original Fuku is closing on 1st Avenue (Thursday)

Kita the Wonder Dog of East 10th Street is waiting for spring (Thursday)

Bakeri closing at the end of the month on 6th Street (Monday)

Champion Coffee opens on 14th Street (Monday)

[Photo Friday by Pinch]

There's now a public squash court on the Lower East Side (Wednesday)

A look at "Boom For Real," Basquiat's life pre-fame (Wednesday)

Corner watch: 32 Avenue C (Wednesday)

Suffolk Arms now closed for renovations and "mechanical upgrades" (Monday)

A townhouse in a penthouse on 9th Street (Tuesday)

New building permits filed for former St. Denis Hotel property (Tuesday)

What it costs to rent the former Subway (sandwich shop) on 1st Avenue (Friday)

Former El Maguey y La Tuna space for rent on East Houston (Tuesday)

.... and the secret ingredient to the sawdust on the floor at McSorley's?


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Police searching for MAGA-hat-wearing suspect involved in Union Square assault

The NYPD is looking for a suspect (in the video above wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat) who reportedly shoved a man onto the 4 train tracks at Union Square Friday evening around 8.

According to The Daily Mail, the suspect, a black male, got into a verbal altercation on a 4 train with the victim, who is Hispanic. "Police say the black male made several remarks disparaging the Hispanic man's ethnicity, and the altercation spilled out onto the platform at Union Square." Police say the suspect punched the victim several times before pushing him to the tracks.

Several people waiting on the platform helped the man get off the tracks. The victim was treated for cuts to his head.

The suspect reportedly fled on an L train.

Anyone with information that could help in the investigation is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). You may also submit tips online.

April 22

On the occasion of this Earth Day, someone apparently decided it was time to toss the holiday/Christmas tree ... as spotted by EVG regular Pinch this morning on First Avenue between Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.

Happy Earth Day!

Today in posts about cake smells at bus stops

To promote the new season of "Chef’s Table: Pastry," Netflix created a Smell-O-Vision ad of sorts at two NYC bus stops, including 14th Street near Second Avenue.

I read about it on Eater back on Monday, but only just remembered to look at (and smell) the bus stop.

Every five minutes, the ads release a sweet smell, per Eater. There is definitely an odor — not unpleasant ... reminiscent of, say, super sugary breakfast cereal.

Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi is featured in the series... so you can apparently go to Milk Bar around the corner on 13th Street for your fix.

The ad — and sugary scent — will continue here through May 6.


Spotted in Tompkins Square Park.

Perhaps we'll see one of these soon...

Saturday, April 21, 2018

[Updated] Report of a fire on 9th Street

The FDNY is on the scene at 218 E. Ninth St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue... it's the building directly to the west of the parking garage.

Witnesses at the scene report hearing an explosion...

Will update when more details are available...


NOTORIOUS shared this a little before 4 p.m.:

Around 3:30 pm there was a loud explosion outside that sounded like a violent car crash. The FDNY arrived almost instantly and shut down the street. The fire appears to be in 218 East 9th, the building with Yakiniku West. It's been 25 minutes since the fire started and it's still going strong. More FDNY are pulling up now.

Steven took these photos of the FDNY's response...

EVG reader jba shared these photos showing some of the damage to No. 218...

... and another view via Aaron Wilson...

CBS 2's Reena Roy has a report...

Yakiniku West restaurant on the first floor and three apartments above were damaged, officials said. Five adults and one child were displaced.

“They were confronted with a heavy smoke condition upon arrival on the first floor,” one fire official told CBS2’s Reena Roy. “We had 25 units operating here with 106 firefighters. There was a lot of overhauling, a lot of walls and ceilings were taken down, too. There’s a lot of damage right now.”

The fire reportedly started behind a refrigerator on the second floor and quickly spread. There weren't any reports of injuries.

An Earth Day Spring Awakening to celebrate the neighborhood's community gardens

In honor of Earth Day tomorrow, Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens (LUNGS) is once again hosting a Spring Awakening in celebration of the neighborhood's many community gardens.

Here are details via the LUNGS website:

Please join us on EARTH DAY, Sunday, April 22 as we parade and party to welcome the Spring and celebrate the opening of our community gardens!

Spring Awakening is a touch of Mardi Gras, a taste of charivari, we will be making music, making soap, making mudballs, swapping seeds and dancing around the Maypole. A joyous Let’s celebrate the season and honoring Mother Earth.

Beginning at 11:30 am we will parade from garden to garden around the neighborhood, visiting 27 gardens.

We will arrive at El Jardin del Paraiso, on E.4th St at Sunday, April 22 at 2 pm. There we will have music, dance refreshments, games, workshops and fun.