Friday, July 12, 2013
[Photo by Blue Glass]
After learning that the former Something Sweet space on First Avenue is for rent, Tompkins Square Bagels owner Christopher Pugliese has expressed interest in opening a fish market here at the corner of East 11th Street.
"I wish I had some fancy elaborate business plan to lay out, but basically I just want to sell fish on First Avenue," he said.
But this isn't exactly some whim. Pugliese has been thinking about such an idea for awhile. He explored a fish/cheese/meat market concept for the former Diablo Royale Este next door to his shop on Avenue A... though that plan didn't work with the landlord, who wants to keep a liquor license on the premises. (Pugliese said any market concept would remain alcohol free.)
"I think it would be great because right now people have to walk all the way to Whole Foods to get a halfway decent piece of fish," he said. "When they do this, they probably buy other goods there too instead of spending money at Commodities, Russo's or Veniero's. Best case scenario, this corner of First Avenue turns into a kind of food shopping hub."
Previous ideas for a fishmonger in the neighborhood were fairly well-received.
However, Pugliese has been met with some resistance.
"Some of my friends I've told think it's nuts to try this and even the landlord of the space made it a point to tell me, 'Listen kid, nobody in the East Village cooks,'" Pugliese said. "I think they're wrong. I think this is yet another hole in the neighborhood that needs to be filled."
And this hasn't been the first time people weren't into his ideas.
"I may not get this space. I had the idea for [Tompkins Square Bagels] for many years before I actually got it opened. I had to see a lot of landlords. If a fish market doesn't happen here, then I'll just keep trying."
Previously on EV Grieve:
Tompkins Square Bagels turns 1