Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A quick look inside the new restaurant coming to 171 Avenue A

Renovations continue over at 171 Avenue A between 10th Street and 11th Street.

We don't know too many details just yet about the restaurant, which will serve Szechuan cuisine and dim sum. CB3 OK'd a beer-wine license for the applicants back in July. According to the appicant's questionnaire on file at the CB3 website, the unnamed restaurant plans to be open from noon to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

EVG regular Lola Sáenz shared this interior pic from the other day...

Hopefully the new venture will fare better than the previous two establishments here. Chao Chao, a contemporary Vietnamese restaurant, closed without any notice to patrons in May 2017 after six months in business. Chao Chao evolved from Soothsayer, which opened in January 2016. Soothsayer, from the same operators, also closed without any notice to patrons at the end of September 2016.

No 171 was also the onetime home of Rat Cage Records and 171A, the illegal club-turned-rehearsal studio that produced records by Bad Brains and the "Polly Wog Stew" EP by the Beastie Boys.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Tuesday's parting shot

Chroming in the rain on Seventh Street today via Derek Berg...

From the reader mailbag: What is this on 11th Street?

An EVG reader shared these photos of a "mysterious device" that arrived on 11th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue over the weekend...

The reader asked: What is this?

Updated 2 p.m.

Thanks for the responses about this traffic data collection thing... see comments.

A final visit to the Tuck Shop, closing today after 13 years on 1st Street

Today is the last day in business for the Tuck Shop, which has been selling Australian meat and vegetable pies these past 13 years on First Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

Owner Niall Grant told me this about the closure in an email last week: "All the usual reasons can be cited but rising costs in general are behind this difficult decision. After 13 years in business I am tired of the struggle to keep a small business afloat in NYC."

Yesterday, EVG contributor Stacie Joy stopped by the shop where the mood was fairly upbeat, all things considered...

Here's part of the Tuck Shop team (from the left): Andras Castro, Lee Galdos, Pedro Arrioca, Juan Lorenzo and Grant...

Grant said that he is especially concerned about finding jobs for his longtime kitchen team. (He was helping with résumés while Stacie was there.) Arrioca, the head chef, has been at Tuck Shop from Day 1 while Lorenzo, the sous chef, has been there for nine years, and Castro, the prep cook, for seven years. (If anybody out there has a kitchen opportunity for any of them please email

[Tuck Shop employee Elvis Barlow-Smith]

Here's a longtime customer who stopped in for a last Tuck Shop meal...

Grant said that he'd love to have people could come by today to have a meal and say goodbye...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Tuck Shop is closing after 13 years on 1st Street

Fables of the East Houston Reconstruction

A milestone of sorts to note in the never, ever, ever ending East Houston Reconstruction Project ... the work moved last week from the east side and the median of the Bowery at East Houston ... to the west side of the Bowery...

Anyway, as noted off and on through the years, completion of the $52.5 million East Houston Reconstruction project is now overdue by five years. The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) started this project in June 2010, reconstructing/replacing combined sewers, trunk main, water mains, catch basins, fire hydrants, sidewalks, etc., etc., along East Houston Street, from the Bowery to the FDR Drive.

The work was initially scheduled to wrap up in 2013 (heh), but has been delayed again and again as the city reportedly ran into problems with existing underground wiring and pipes.

At last look, the estimated completion was Jan. 15, 2018, per the DDC's weekly bulletin. There doesn't appear to be any published end date at this point. The last reconstruction newsletter is from the fourth quarter of 2017. (An email to the Community Construction Liaison wasn't returned.)

And in another milestone of sorts... workers yesterday removed one of the painted storage sheds on First Street between Avenue A and First Avenue that has been here dating to 2010.

[Photo by Stacie Joy]

A few items remain ... which will have to be moved as the unrelated water main replacement hits this side of First Street...

Register to vote today at the Tompkins Square Library branch

Today is National Voter Registration Day (happy National Voter Registration Day!).

On this occasion, all 216 of the city’s library branches will have voter registration drives.

Locally, the Tompkins Square Library branch at 331 E. 10th St. between Avenue A and Avenue B will have a voter registration table available from 3:30-5 p.m. to get you ready to vote on Nov. 6.

Meanwhile, enjoy this vintage photo of Bette Davis...

Handsome Dan's has closed on 1st Avenue

Last week, a 50-percent-off sale sign arrived outside Handsome Dan's Snocone & Candy Stand on First Avenue between 11th Street and 12th Street.

This was positioned as a moving sale to an EVG reader.

On Sunday, however, a "going out of business" sale sign appeared...

Everything was for sale — tables, art work, pillows, Tupperware. Sunday was to be their last day in business. There isn't any mention of a closure or move on the Handsome Dan's website or social-media properties. (Updated: Owner Daniel Levin confirmed the closure in a Facebook message.)

This outpost of the Williamsburg-based shop selling old-time candy and vintage sodas opened here in the spring of 2014. Last fall, the shop added a cafe serving breakfast burritos, wraps and other items to expand their offerings.

Before Handsome Dan's, the retail space housed A-1 Music for 26 years until January 2014.

Thanks to Lola Sáenz for the photos!

Report: Ben Shaoul sells Liberty Toye/Bloom 62 on Avenue B for $85 million

[EVG photo from April]

Ben Shaoul's deal to sell his residential conversion at 62 Avenue B at Fifth Street is apparently official.

The Real Deal reported last evening that Bronx-based investor Martin Shapiro bought Shaoul’s Liberty Toye/Bloom 62 apartment building for $85 million. Shapiro plans to keep it as rentals.

This officially ends Shaoul's nearly seven tumultuous years owning the former Cabrini Nursing Center, which shut down in June 2012. The 240-bed center — sponsored by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus — provided health care for low-income elderly residents in the East Village. Shaoul reportedly paid $25 million for the property and closed down Cabrini.

Apartments at the new Bloom 62 — "the right place to plant your roots" — arrived in the spring of 2013, with prices topping out at $7,600 for a four-bedroom apartment. Despite the upgrades, some people thought that the units still looked like nursing home rooms, though with better lighting.

Under Shaoul's watch, the rental building gained a reputation for its rooftop DJ parties that annoyed neighbors. Shaoul finally cracked down on the ragers in the summer of 2015.

Shaoul attempted to sell the building several times — $72 million in 2014 ... and $80 million in 2015.

Last November, Shaoul decided to go condo with the property, renaming the building Liberty Toye, and renting a sales office from convicted felon Steve Croman.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: Local politicians reach out to Ben Shaoul as re-sale of the Cabrini Nursing Center seems likely

More details on Cabrini's closing announcement

A look at the 'Hip young crowd planting roots at Bloom 62'

Have you heard the rooftop parties at Ben Shaoul's Bloom 62? (52 comments)

Ben Shaoul looks to make a whole lot of money converting nursing home into high-end housing

More details on Ben Shaoul's condo conversion Liberty Toye, where you can buy with bitcoins

Sales underway for Ben Shaoul's Liberty Toye — at the 'crossroads that cradled the Culture of Cool'

Monday, September 24, 2018

Monday's parting shot

The view downtown this evening via Bobby Williams...

Mid-afternoon grill master

First Avenue near First Street via Stacie Joy...

The 9th Precinct's monthly Community Council Meeting is tomorrow (Tuesday!) night

The 9th Precinct's Community Council meetings take place on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.

However, in observation of Yom Kippur last Tuesday night, the 9th Precinct rescheduled the meeting to tomorrow (Tuesday!) night at the station house, 321 E. Fifth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

This is an opportunity for residents to address any concerns and ask 9th Precinct officials for their input on recent crime statistics. (Find the PDF of the most recent crime stats here.)

The meeting will also provide an opportunity to meet the 9th Precinct's newish CO — Capt. John L. O’Connell.

Protection for pedestrians arrives at 75 1st Ave.

It appears that workers will be ready to kick the tires and light the fires again at 75 First Ave., where the site of an incoming condoplex has been dormant since January.

This past Friday, a crew finished erecting a more substantial sidewalk bridge here between Fourth Street and Fifth Street...

On Jan. 12, the city served up a full stop work order on the site. The DOB complaint noted "no protection for pedestrians."

Here's what the construction looked like at the time of the stop work order...

Sales had already commenced here in August 2017 for the 8-floor, 22-unit condoplex. The four units on the market are asking between $1.79 million and $2.25 million.

The foundation work dates back to October 2016.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Developer: A shorter building in the works now for 75 First Avenue

High-rise for 75 First Avenue back in play

Long-stalled First Avenue site now has a brand-new rendering

Report: Long-dormant 1st Avenue development site changes hands

Plywood report and the future of 75 1st Ave. (Spoiler: condos)

Sales underway for Rite Aid-adjacent condoplex on 1st Avenue

Goodbye to Cucina Di Pesce

In case you missed the post from Friday afternoon... Cucina di Pesce, the unpretentious seafood-focused Italian restaurant on Fourth Street between Second Avenue and the Bowery, closed after service last evening.

Cucina Di Pesce had been open for 32 years, though the building was recently sold and the rent was increased.

This is how New York magazine described the place:

Cucina di Pesce is the type of unpretentious, comfortably lived-in Italian restaurant that ruled New York before Mario Batali and his ilk turned the town upside-down. But if Cucina's ambience feels a bit dated, its flavors are absolutely contemporary. This is one of the best places in the city to get good Italian food on a budget.

There were a lot of reader comments about this closure spread out over this site, Instagram and Facebook.

A quick sampling:

That neon sign, two blocks away from their window, was a nighttime touchstone for my kids when they were little. Fish!


Very sad. This was one of the first restaurants I discovered when I moved to NYC 30 years ago.


When it opened we little babies thought it the most expensive restaurant in the world. And that it was going to ruin the neighborhood! Then we discovered the free happy hour mussels and pasta. Kept many of us alive for most of the 90s. Very sad.

Meet Noodles unveiled at new-look 50 3rd Ave.

The plywood is down outside 50 Third Avenue ... providing a view of the new restaurant opening here this fall: Meet Noodles...

[Photo via EVG reader Laura]

This appears to be the second Meet Noodles, which also has an outpost on Eighth Avenue in Sunset Park.

Here's more about them via the Meet Noodles website:

Savory Chongqing noodle is called XiaoMian in Chinese, is a popular spicy and numbing noodle originated from Chongqing and popular in the whole country.

"Xiao Mian" in Chinese, which means "little noodles" in English. The term "Chongqing noodles" is typified by a variety of spicy noodle dishes that originated and exist in Chongqing, China, which are collectively referred to as xiao mian. Xiao mian is also prepared in other areas of the world, such as the United Kingdom and areas of Australia and the United States.

50 Third Avenue was previously the Renew & Relax Spa.

H/T to EVG reader Laura!

Brick Lane Curry House is now open on 2nd Avenue

A few days after the big awning reveal... Brick Lane Curry House is now up and running at 79 Second Ave. between Fourth Street and Fifth Street... they relocated here last month from one block to the north.

Homeware brand Burkelman opening flagship store on the Bowery

Burkleman, a home and lifestyle brand currently based up in Cold Spring, is opening its flagship store at 332 Bowery between Bond and Great Jones later this fall.

The coming-soon signage arrived last Thursday.

Kevin Burke and David Kimelman started the high-end home-design shop in 2014 as an online-only business, before opening an outpost in a Cold Spring storefront in 2015. You can read more about them here.

The retail space was previously Intermix, who left the Bowery last fall after four-plus years at No. 332.

Cabin NYC unveiled on 4th Street

The exterior is shaping up over at 205 E. Fourth St., where signage for Cabin NYC arrived this past week here between Avenue A and Avenue B. (H/T EVG reader Alexis for the photo!)

Don't know too much about Cabin (not to be confused with Kabin or Cabin Down Below) just yet... but they are ready with a website and social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook). The same message is on all these properties: "Lower East Side's newest gem... COMING SOON!"

Back in May, CB3 voted to deny their liquor license "because the applicant would not agree to make as conditions the signed notarized stipulations," such as hours of operation, per the official minutes from that meeting.

Dorian Gray Tap & Grill closed here back in July after eight-plus years in business.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sunday's parting shot

A look into Tompkins Square Park this afternoon via EVG reader Deryn Nannery...

Video remains

A scene in Tompkins Square Park today via Derek Berg...

Week in Grieview

Stories posted on EVG this past week included...

Questions and concerns as the sanitation department begins using 10th Street to park garbage trucks (Tuesday)

After 32 years on 4th Street, Cucina di Pesce will close after service on Sunday (Friday)

Remembering Hurricane Maria 1 year later (Thursday)

The East River Park Track appears to be back in action (Tuesday)

Nightmare scenario for residents who learn that 14th Street and Avenue A will be the main staging area for the L-train reconstruction (Monday) ... Town Hall provides a few more details on the 24/7 construction at 14th and A (Tuesday)

Tuck Shop is closing after 13 years on 1st Street (Wednesday)

This week's NY See strip (Friday)

A flyer about protected bike lanes on 12th Street and 13th Street ahead of the L-train shutdown (Thursday)

'The Image Is a Seed' — Celebrating the work of Syeus Mottel on 2nd Avenue (Wednesday)

City Council committees vote down spot zoning for proposed hotel next to the Merchant's House (Thursday)

Report: Collision on 2nd Avenue at 9th Street leaves 69-year-old man in critical condition (Friday)

A look at the boutique office building replacing the St. Denis on 11th and Broadway (Tuesday)

Classic films at 7: Ciao for Now Presents 'Third Thursdays' this fall (Wednesday)

Here's your Marshalls signage on East Houston (Friday)

Sauce Pizzeria opens (Thursday)

[A moment on 5th Street via Derek Berg]

Brick Lane Curry House announces itself with fiery red awning at new 2nd Avenue location (Friday)

Whatever happened to... Sammy's Halal? (Monday)

Pumpkins spotting (Thursday)

Getting 511 E. 5th St. ready for new grilled pizza venture from Emmy Squared's owners (Monday)

Convicted felon Steve Croman featured on CNBC's 'American Greed' (Monday)


Follow EVG on Instragram or Twitter

This old house

Been meaning to note this recent feature at 6sqft (h/t Bayou!) written by Andrew Berman, the executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

Berman takes us on a fun history lesson while searching for the oldest house in the West and East Village.

We'll cut right to the rather surprising answer — 44 Stuyvesant St. ... at 10th Street across from the St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery.

It was built in 1795 for Nicholas William Stuyvesant.

Per Berman:

The house has all the signature elements of a Federal-era (1790-1835) home, including a sloped roof, double dormers, and Flemish bond brickwork (bricks laid in alternating short and long configurations). There are a few more modern updates, including an artist’s studio window inserted in the early 20th century (more on that here) and a doorway of more recent vintage.

But while this house, unlike some of its competitors, does not have a fancy name or title attached to it, it is, in fact, the oldest house in the Village. But that’s not its only distinction; it’s also the oldest building in Manhattan still used as a residence. And it’s one of a very small number of 18th-century structures which survive in Manhattan – an exclusive list that includes Upper Manhattan’s Dyckman Farmhouse and Morris Jumel Mansion, both of which are now museums and no longer functioning residences.

Read the full article here.

Avenue A and 7th Street now during the Tompkins Square Greenmarket

Stannard Farm, a regular presence on Avenue A and Seventh Street on Sundays dating to 1998, abruptly pulled out of GrowNYC's Greenmarket program the week of Sept. 9.

For the past two Sundays, the prime corner space was being used for Greenmarket information...

[Photo by Steven from Sept. 16]

A Greenmarket rep said that they are waiting for confirmation on a new producer/vendor for that space.

You can find a list of the other Tompkins Square Greenmarket farmers here.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Stannard Farm pulls out of the Greenmarket; 20-plus year veterans of Tompkins Square Park

Saturday, September 22, 2018


The Post picked up on my garbage-trucks-on-10th-Street story... and with the classic headline: "This is why the East Village smells so disgusting."

They spoke with an upset neighbor:

“This is a neighborhood, not a city parking lot,” said outraged East Village condo owner, Michele Matthewman, 50. “I don’t pay the property tax I do to walk out my door to this putrid smell. It’s offensive.”

“We weren’t given any kind of heads up. Nothing,” griped Matthewman, who started a petition to get rid of the trucks that already has 100 signatures. “It’s insanity and it’s just not acceptable.”

Previously on EV Grieve:
Questions and concerns as the sanitation department begins using 10th Street to park garbage trucks

'Punk' talk tomorrow night at Cooper Union with Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain

Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain will read from and talk about their book "Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk" tomorrow (Sunday!) night at Cooper Union.

It starts at 6 p.m. in Cooper Union’s Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Square at Seventh Street. It's a free event, though the organizers are asking you to RSVP via email —

Friday, September 21, 2018

'Low' life

"Go Low" is the second single taken from the new Film School album "Bright To Death" out this fall.

After 32 years on 4th Street, Cucina di Pesce will close after service on Sunday

We've heard rumors in recent weeks that Cucina di Pesce, the unpretentious seafood-focused Italian restaurant on Fourth Street between Second Avenue and the Bowery, would be closing this month.

The owners made the official announcement today on Facebook:

It is with great regret that Cucina di Pesce will be closing its doors.

We would like to thank all of our customers for their support. It has been an honor to be part of the East Village community for the last 32 years, as we continue to keep close the memories and friendships established here.

A special acknowledgement to all our current and previous employees, as well as our friends at New York Theatre Workshop.

Our final day is this Sunday, September 23.

As we understand it, the building has a new owner, and there is a rent increase. (Public records show that an LLC bought the property for $6.8 million in a closing last month.)

Owner Mehenni Zebentout, who also has Nomad around the corner on Second Avenue, consolidated Cucina di Pesce — which was at 87-89 Fourth St. — in 2016 after the landlord next door asked $8,000 for the space.

EVG Etc.: Hearing for the Small Business Jobs Survival Act; $100K jewelry heist on the Bowery

[Photo on 2nd Avenue via Derek Berg]

The Small Business Jobs Survival Act to get City Council hearing next month (Crain's)

For $155 a month, L train passengers can take an ultra-lux alternative that offers free WiFi and a breakfast bar (VICE)

There was a $100,000 jewel heist on the Bowery (The Lo-Down)

Praise for Mayanoki on Sixth Street (The New Yorker)

History of the Ottendorfer Branch of the New York Public Library on Second Avenue (Off the Grid)

Emmy Squared on First Avenue at Fifth Street now open for lunch on Fridays (Instagram)

New exhibitions at the Swiss Institute on Second Avenue and St. Mark's (Official site)

Joey Skaggs on pranks becoming art (Artsy)

Citi Bike looking for a larger storage space in Stuy Town (Town & Village)

Tamara Jenkins's first film in a decade stars Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti as an aging couple living in the East Village who are desperate for a child. The dramedy screens as part of the Main Slate section of the 56th New York Film Festival on Oct. 1 and 3. (Official site) And the trailer...

Grant Shaffer's NY See

Here's this week's NY See, East Village-based illustrator Grant Shaffer's comic series — an observational sketch diary of things that he sees and hears around the neighborhood.