They opened early in 2009. And we had a spirited (and friendly!) exchange on EV Grieve with Rachel Zoe Insler, Bespoke's owner, about ideal retail and the continued transformation of the neighborhood. (You can read her comments here.)
In April 2009, in Time Out's Eat Out Awards, the magazine's critics bestowed the Best Sweet Revenge award upon Bespoke Chocolates. Why?
As if the seven levels of city-permit hell weren’t enough, chocolatier and former Union Square Cafe pastry staffer Rachel Zoe Insler also had to navigate the wilds of don’t-ruin-my-neighborhood blogosphere resentment before she even opened the doors of her unassuming bonbon shop. Insler placated the haters with patience and warmth — and won over everyone else with her pretzel-covered sea-salted caramels, cardamom-scented Turkish coffee truffles and the rest of her handmade sweets. 6 Extra Pl at E 1st St (212-260-7103)
Meanwhile, the Tashkent by Cheyenne showroom just around the corner of Extra Place shops closed several months ago.
As we've noted many times, developer AvalonBay has big plans for Extra Place — "a slice of the Left Bank, a pedestrian mall lined with interesting boutiques and cafes."
Perhaps when chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud opens his commissary with a possible retail space, Extra Place will finally get that jolt of life. So what gives here? Is Extra Place too far off the beaten path as EV Grieve reader Lisa suggested Saturday? Or, despite the luxurification of the Bowery, perhaps the neighborhood isn't ready for upscale retail? Or maybe it's the ghosts of the Bowery's past?
Previously on EV Grieve:
Bespoke Chocolates bids farewell from Extra Place
Extra Place gets its first tenant...And it's dessert (shocker!)
The Chocolate Wars (well, not at all, but we needed something that sounds CONTROVERSIAL)