Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Panda Express pulling into this storefront on 14th Street and 1st Avenue

Renovations are underway in the corner space on the SW side of 14th Street and First Avenue.

Pinch (with the help of EV Arrow) points to the work permits... where we see that a Panda Express is coming to this storefront...
This marks the latest outpost for the quick-serve Chinese restaurant chain that launched in California in 1983 ... with more than 2,000 locations today (with a handful around NYC). 

An AT&T store was here for a few months... taking over for the Vitamin Shoppe.

And as a P.S. for the SW corner... a Citi Bike docking station was installed here at the start of the year as part of the EV expansion...      
Thanks to Pinch for the Citi Bike pic!

A look inside the new Empire Cannabis Clubs on the Lower East Side

Empire Cannabis Clubs debuted back on Jan. 8 at 172 Allen St. between Stanton and Rivington. (This is the former home of Bluestockings, which moved to a new space on Suffolk Street last spring.)

This is the second location for the business billed as "NYC’s First RECREATIONAL Club." They debuted on Eighth Avenue in Chelsea last fall. As the name suggests, it's a private cannabis club — you have to become a member to purchase but browsing is free.

First, here's more about their mode of operation via their website:
We have been involved with the acquisition, cultivation, and distribution of cannabis as well as the advancement of the cannabis industry into the legal marketplace for decades, and we are happy to be utilizing our expertise to assist all New Yorkers in meeting their personal cannabis needs.

New York state law now [as of March 2021] allows the possession of up to 3 ounces of cannabis putting the days of worrying about the aggravation from law enforcement seemingly far behind us.
We are here to help, and to get started we have formed The Empire Cannabis Clubs, a concierge service dedicated to supplying the highest-end cannabis products at prices you can afford.

We have taken the blessings of the New York State Legislature allowing the transfer of cannabis without profit and have setup a membership service in which the club will acquire cannabis products for its members, and only add the cost to facilitate the acquisition and transfer of said products.
EVG contributor Stacie Joy stopped by over the weekend. Management invited her inside to take some photos and browse the THC-infused cannabis products.

Per Stacie: "This location has gummies, candies, 'flower,' tinctures, chocolates, prerolls and pens/cartridges. Budtenders were all super friendly."
Find info about memberships here.

Vegan Grill makes it signage office on St. Mark's Place

Signage is up now for Vegan Grill, a quick-serve, plant-based restaurant debuting soon at 58 St. Mark's Place between First Avenue and Second Avenue. (First reported in October.)

The business got its start in late 2019 on Castle Hill Avenue in the Bronx; this will be its third outpost after a grand opening in Williamsburg this week. You can find a menu here and some food pics on Instagram.

The Dip, which served a variety of sandwiches, opened here in late 2019...  and barely had four months in business before it shuttered during the pandemic

Thanks to Steven for the photo!

The former Tatsu Ramen space is for lease

Closed for renovations notices remain posted outside Tatsu Ramen, 167 First Ave. between 10th Street and 11th Street.

If there was any doubt about a permanent closure ... the storefront is now on the rental market, as EVG regular Upper West Sider points out. (No rental signs on the space just yet.)
The restaurant went dark earlier in the fall of 2021... the "closed for renovations" signs soon followed, though there was never activity inside the space. Still, patrons who liked their offerings — a few EVG readers said they enjoyed the vegetarian ramen — hoped for a return.

The Southern California transplant opened here in a competitive ramen market back in July 2018.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Bonus flashback: Disco Donuts edition

So here's a 1980s flashback for you... after all the comments on the post earlier today about 5 Napkin Burger closing on the SW corner of 14th Street and Third Avenue. 

As several readers noted, Disco Donut held forth here until 1985. (Photographer unknown. Photo via the NYC Nostalgia site.) 

 Travis also took Iris here for breakfast in "Taxi Driver."


Jeremiah Moss has more on this corner, including upstairs tenant Carmelita's Reception House, in this 2009 post.

Workers finish demolition of the old retail spaces along 250 E. Houston St.; now what's next?

If you've walked by 250 E. Houston St. in recent days, then you likely noticed that workers have mostly finished removing the one-level strip of storefronts.

Demoliton started in mid-November ahead of a new mixed-used building for the property here between Avenue A and Avenue B. The demolition has been a challenge/nuisance to nearby residents — especially when jack-hammering starts at 7:30 a.m. on a holiday. There have also been dust complaints, per city records

Here's a look from late last week at the now-empty lot courtesy of EVG contributor Stacie Joy...
EVG reader Jim Knapp shared this photo below of the retail spaces at the start of the demolition. The businesses in these storefronts either relocated closer to the residential building at 250 E. Houston St. (Kapri Cleaners and the FedEx Office Print & Ship Center) or closed (Dunkin'/Baskin-Robbins, Subway, Mattress Firm and China Town).
Jim also shared a time-lapse of the building demolition, which you can find on YouTube. 

As for what's next, there's a filing with the DOB for a 6-story mixed-use residential building, as we reported on Jan. 3 ... (click on the image for more detail) ...
However, sources tell us that this was just a preliminary filing to allow for the demolition ... and that the plans for the building will actually be closer to the size/scope of the adjacent 13-floor residences at 250 E. Houston St., the former Red Square that opened in 1989

For now, not much will likely happen on the empty plots. 

Revisit this EVG post from 2016 for a photo of this property before Red Square arrived in the late 1980s.

5 Napkin Burger closes on 3rd Avenue and 14th Street

After nearly 10 years on the SW corner of 14th Street and Third Avenue, 5 Napkin Burger has closed... signage on the front door points would-be patrons to other locations of the chainlet...
The burger joint opened here in February 2012... and in the summer of 2019, downsized the space, which became 5 Napkin Burger Express for two years ... which became Tamam Falafel, which closed at the end of 2021. (Both 5 Napkin and Tamam Falafel share the same ownership.)

This space was previously home to Robin Raj Discount Health & Beauty Aids (that seems like a long time ago!). 

There will be some speculation about the future of this high-profile corner with single-story structures — seemingly ripe for development. Not sure what kind of air rights there might be with the newer 21-floor 110 Third Ave. on one side and NYU's 17-floor Palladium Hall on the other.

Thanks to all the EVG readers who shared this news!

Updated: Flashback to the 1980s and Disco Donut here

All-new 15 Avenue A REVEALED; Roberta's outpost slated for the retail space

Late last week, workers removed the scaffolding and construction netting from the under-renovation 15 Avenue A... here's a look at the taller building now between First Street and Second Street...
As previously reported, the currently vacant building received a vertical extension with two new floors, moving from four to six... with five residential units (likely condos) in the making.

The new retail tenant is expected to be a wine bar-restaurant from Bushwick-based pizzeria Roberta's. (First reported in September 2019.)

Community Board 3 approved a beer-wine location for the ground floor back in September. The minutes from that meeting show that this Roberta's will have 12 tables and 44 seats with one 12-foot L-shaped bar with four seats. Hours of operation were listed as 11 a.m. to midnight, with "Italian food (pizza, pasta, and salumi) prepared in a full kitchen, serving food during all hours of operation, no televisions, and ambient recorded background music."

The retail space at 15 Avenue A was previously the Family Dental Center, which moved down to Essex Street in 2017. The building changed hands in early 2018 for $4.3 million, per public records. Z+G Property Group is the landlord.

Healthy Choice set to debut today on Avenue A and Sixth Street

Healthy Choice, the deli-market that we've been writing about in recent months, is scheduled to open today on the SW corner of Avenue A and Sixth Street. 

EVG contributor Stacie Joy got a look inside over the weekend...
As you can see, there's a variety of breakfast options, sandwiches, burgers and other items on the menu (click on the image for more detail) ...
Management was still determining the hours of operation. Will update when those are set. 

This is the first retail tenant for the corner space since Benny's Burritos closed here on Nov. 29, 2014.

Roosting soon on 14th Street: Wingstop makes it signage official

Signage is up for Wingstop in the renovated storefronts along 428 E. 14th St. between First Avenue and Avenue A. (Previously reported in September here.) 

Wingstop, the aviation-themed chain specializing in chicken wings, joins the European Wax Center and Gorillas, the on-demand grocery delivery startup, in these mall-like retail spaces. 

No. 428 has been undergoing a gut renovation ... the previous retail tenants were, in part, victims of the L-train work along this corridor

Coddiwomple debuts on 1st Ave.

An outpost of Coddiwomple is now open at 213 First Ave. between 12th Street and 13th Street. (They debuted this past weekend with a sandwich giveaway). 

This is the third location (following the Upper East Side and Hell's Kitchen) for the brand with the tagline: "Travel By Sandwich™️ Internationally inspired sandwiches made with local ingredients." 

Sandwiches include the Roman Holiday (prosciutto, mozzarella, pesto, fresh tomatoes, arugula and balsamic vinaigrette on ciabatta) and the Savannah Smash (chicken salad — pulled breast with secret mayo dressing — and avocados on warm baguette). Find their menu here

The EV location will have a dine-in option, per the Coddiwomple Instagram account.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Monday's parting shot

Photo in Tompkins Square Park today by Derek Berg...

Best wishes to Chef Ronny at Nón Lá Vietnamese Kitchen

Regulars of Nón Lá Vietnamese Kitchen at 128 E. Fourth St. may have noticed a missing presence this year at the restaurant between First Avenue and Second Avenue. 

Ronny Nguyen, who runs Nón Lá with his son Tommy, was rushed to the hospital on Christmas Eve. Here's more from a recent Instagram post:
After experiencing some pain in his side, he spent 11 days at Staten Island University Hospital with a team of doctors and his family by his side. He's now home and on the road to recovery.
There's a GoFundMe to help with medical expenses here

Thankfully, his health is improving.
Chef Ronny's recovery has been going well, and he's slowly getting back to his old self. You might even see him pop in and out of the restaurant if you're in the East Village!
Nón Lá is open for takeout/delivery from noon to 9:30 p.m. You can find their menu here. ... The number: (917) 388-3321. 

For your convenience: NYC Convenience coming soon to 13th Street

A new convenience store is in the works for 236 E. 13th St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue. 

Thanks to EVG readers Mark Cox for the top pic... and Hubs for this photo...
Presumably, this is your standard deli-market (it has some gift-shop vibes too, eh?).

As Hubs noted, the storefront takes over for the longtime real-estate office... and the market-deli explosion here continues... 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Sunday's parting shot

We've lost the lights on the bottom half of the Tompkins Square Park holiday tree ... kinda back where we started last month

Photo by Steven...

A collision on the FDR at 10th Street

EVG reader Michael Kramer shared these photos from this afternoon... where he came across the aftermath of a collision on the southbound FDR at 10th Street that caused this vehicle to overturn ...
The Citizen app reported that two people in the vehicle were transorted to the hospital... no word on their condition...

Monday night movie classics coming to the Village East by Angelika

The Village East by Angelika is launching a monthly "iconic classics" series on Monday nights at the theater on 12th Street and Second Avenue.

Up first: "2001: A Space Oddessy" in 70mm ... in the large Jaffe Art auditorium ... showing two times tomorrow night: 7 and 10:15.

Upcoming films include "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (Feb. 14), the Spencer Tracy and Ingrid Bergman version of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (March 14) and "The Wizard of Oz" (April 11).

Find tickets and showtimes at this link

Week in Grieview

Posts this past week included (with a photo of a large mulch mound in Tompkins Square Park by Steven) ...

 • Fire destroys Essex Card Shop on Avenue A (Monday) ... Scenes from the fire at 47 Avenue A (Monday) ... Information about a crowdfunding campaign to help the fire-damaged Essex Card Shop (Tuesday) ... Assessing the fire damage at Essex Card Shop (Thursday

• Exit9 reopens on Avenue A after fire next door (Thursday) ... Downtown Yarns hopes to reopen in a week (Thursday)

• The March Hare is closing so the owners can focus on health and family (Friday)

• Man shot and killed in shooting inside the Lillian Wald Houses Saturday (Saturday

• Sunny's Florist closed until early March (Monday

• Lights out: Bulb Concepts has closed on 7th Street (Wednesday

• Key Food is no longer open 24/7 (Wednesday

• Gallery Watch checks out a new show at The Hole on Walker Street (Saturday

• A call to revamp ABC Playground at P.S. 20 on Houston and Essex (Wednesday

• Irving Farm New York is opening an outpost on 10th Street (Monday

• Solving the Great Santa Claus Mystery of Tompkins Square Park (Wednesday

• City finally repairing 6th Street sinkhole (Friday

• Another day, another smoke shop reveal in the East Village (Wednesday

• Signage alert on the SW corner of Avenue A and 6th Street (Friday

• Chip, chip hooray! Video highlights from MulchFest 2022 (Tuesday

• LES Convenience is coming soon for your convenience on Avenue A (Monday

• Abandoned curbside dining structures attracting more attention on the NE corner of 6th and A (Monday)

As a follow-up to this Friday evening parting shot, in which two local college students tried to remove a Pete Davidson/Rowing Blazers wheatpaste ad on St. Mark's Place...  they shared a photo from their dorm room with Lola Sáenz showing how they fared...
Follow EVG on Instagram or Twitter for more frequent updates and pics. 

The grocery cart garden is pretty mulch done for the season

The grocery cart garden on Fourth Street near the Bowery is bedded down now for the winter season.

The cart did come out of hibernation yesterday with a message (via Instagram) for its fans 😍:
Despite the weather, the cart is feeling cozy after getting a new lining and a fresh layer of evergreen mulch courtesy of NYC Parks. Don’t be scared to sniff if you pass by. Be well and see you in the spring...
This plot arrived here in the summer of 2020... check out our previous posts here.

Hole lotta love: Checking in on the just-repaired 6th Street sinkhole

Here's a look at the now-former tree-pit sinkhole outside 338 E. Sixth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

As noted on Friday, city crews finally filled in the four-plus-month-old hole...
The sinkhole formed during the drenching rains from Tropical Storm Ida on Sept. 1.