Wednesday, October 3, 2012
We've been interested in learning about who was taking over the former Life Cafe corner space on Avenue B at East 10th Street. As mentioned on Monday, an applicant going by Yardbird LLC is on the October CB3/SLA docket for a wine-beer license. (9th Street Espresso is expanding into the other half of the storefront.)
Nialls Fallon, one of the partners in the new venture, sent me an email on Monday night. "We will be opening a cafe and wine bar in the coming months," said Fallon, who's still working with his business partner Gareth Maccubbin on refining the concept.
Both partners live in the East Village (Maccubbin directly across the street) and both have restaurant experience at two buzzy Mulberry Street eateries. Fallon was the general manager at Torrisi while Maccubbin held the same position at Torrisi spinoff Parm next door. Both resigned from their respective GM positions to work on this new project.
I mentioned that a lot of people were curious about the space's future, given that things around here have a knack for turning into either Subways/7-Elevens/Starbucks or bro-tastic bars. Plus, for some people, Life Cafe had been a regular spot for many years.
"We decided on the space for two reasons, the first being we didn't want to see the 7-Eleven-Starbucks scenario you mentioned happen there. Second, we wanted to be in an iconic space that carried on some form of community identity and East Village-ness," Fallon said. "I am excited to create something new and make sure that the corner remains owned and operated by locals."
Oh, and are they really opening a place called Yardbird next door to a newish bar called Blackbird?
"Yardbird is a reference to being on the corner of Charlie Parker Place, and was named before Lakeside turned into Blackbird," Fallon said. "Nonetheless, 'bird' will not be included in the name of the space."
Previously on EV Grieve:
After 30 years, Life Cafe closes — 'until further notice' — in the East Village