Thursday, December 31, 2015

99¢ Pizza now serving 99¢ pizza on Avenue A

The discount pizzeria had its Grand Opening last evening here at 91 Avenue A at East Sixth Street.

The pizzeria is operating out of the space that last housed Benny's to-go. Not sure what's going on with the former D-Lish Pita storefront next door. There has been some work done on that space as well.

Meantime, let us know if you try this pizza. (Seriously.) We'll also post a night-time photo of the storefront some time. It is quite bright. (Seriously.)


Here it is at night... via EVG 99¢ pizza corespondent Steven...

Previously on EV Grieve:
How about some 99¢ pizza for Avenue A

Incoming 99¢ pizza place on Avenue A will be called 99¢ Pizza

Everybody's working for The Weeknd!

As we wrap up the year, just a quick thank you to everyone here who made The Weeknd No. 1 in the East Village! Woo!

First Avenue at East Second Street.

Headline (and fashion inspiration) via

The latest PS 64 debacle: Investors sue Gregg Singer

[EVG file photo]

Developer Gregg Singer, who has spent nearly 18 years trying to convert the former P.S 64 and CHARAS/El Bohio community center into student housing, is now reportedly being sued by his investors.

The Real Deal has the scoop:

Investors in the long-stalled redevelopment of the former PS 64 in the East Village are trying to force the building’s sale, claiming their partner is bleeding them dry to line his own pockets with management fees worth $30,000 per month.

A trio of financial backers led by Los Angeles-based Onyx Asset Management is asking a judge to boot developer Gregg Singer as manager of project, alleging several conflicts of interest that have led to him “wasting and dissipating the assets” of the partnership, according to a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court Wednesday.


The asset manager said it and the other investors put almost $8 million worth of debt and equity into the project, and after paying off the defaulted mortgage the development partnership took out a $22 million bridge loan at 11 percent interest, guaranteed by Onyx.

Despite earlier reports that Singer had signed the West Village’s Ballet School as a tenant, however, progress at the site struggled, and in July the company defaulted on the loan, kicking the interest rate up to 16 percent.

Singer bought the formerly city-owned building on East 9th Street between Avenue B and Avenue C in 1998 for $3.15 million. There has been a movement to return the building to use as a cultural and community center.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Rebranded P.S. 64 up for grabs: Please welcome University House at Tompkins Square Park to the neighborhood

Deed for 'community facility use only' at the former P.S. 64 now on the market

Efforts continue to fight the dorm planned for the former PS 64 on East 9th Street

Testimony Of Councilmember Rosie Mendez regarding the former PS 64

[Updated] At the 'Save Our Community Center MARCH AND RALLY'

Landmarks Preservation Commission asks to see modified plans for former PS 64

The Landmarks Preservation Commission approves application for modifications at PS 64

'Misinformation' cited as DOB issues Stop Work Order at the former PS 64; community meeting set for Sunday afternoon

Development drama continues at the former P.S. 64, where the city approved dorm-conversion permits (again)

[Updated] The former P.S. 64 appears to be for sale

Here's the Bluestone Lane Coffee signage at 51 Astor Place

The Bluestone Lane Coffee signage is now up over at 51 Astor Place/the IBM Watson Building/Death Star ... on the Fourth Avenue side next to the front entrance...


And right next door to the incoming Chop't...

What is Bluestone Lane Coffee? There are five locations in the city. And, via their website:

Bluestone Lane offers a refined product proposition dedicated to producing the highest quality coffee and complimentary foods, delivered in an engaging way. We are focused on creating environments where customers are immersed in the experience and leave feeling like a local.

Bluestone Lane Coffee is influenced from the renowned coffee culture hub of Melbourne, Australia, where premium coffee is a way of life.

Meantime, not sure exactly where the other retail tenant, Flywheel Sports, will live in the building. According to Well + Good, the incoming Flywheel will feature a stadium-seating studio with more than 70 bikes. Plus! "[I]t will be the first to introduce a new, instructor-controlled LED lighting system."

Also, when did someone chop down these trees outside 51 Astor Place?

Previously on EV Grieve:
3 retail spaces available at 51 Astor Place (22 comments)

You can finally shop at 51 Astor Place!

3 new retail tenants for 51 Astor Place: Bluestone Lane Coffee, Chop’t and Flywheel Sports

Where to apparently live like a movie star on East 13th Street

[Image via Streeteasy]

From outside, 228 E. 13th St. between Second Avenue and Third Avenue looks like a typical neighborhood walkup...

But! Don't be fooled. Here's a new listing for the penthouse at Metropolitan Property Group:

PALATIAL PENTHOUSE apartment with a massive WRAP AROUND TERRACE and a tremendous private ROOF DECK! If you want to experience downtown Manhattan like a movie star this is the place for you! The apartment is extremely private and occupies an entire wing of the building. It's located in an immaculate Art Deco ELEVATOR building with laundry room.

Take a look...

Three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Asking rent: $7,500 per month.

Updated 1/4

Streeteasy lists the unit at 228 E. 13th St.

397-401 E. Eighth St. now with mini balconies, AC units

So 397-401 E. Eighth St. at Avenue D, where a nine-story building with 33 units, has been in the works for a long time, is starting to really look like a residential building...

We still haven't seen any information on what we're told is a rental building.

Before the start of the construction during the summer of 2014, the site sat stalled for years. There were plans for a six-story building on the property in 2006, but those plans never materialized.

Here's the rendering...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Meanwhile, before we christen Avenue D the next Greenpoint...

Stalled development site on Eighth Street and Avenue D asking $5.2 million

Long-stalled East 8th Street lot coming back as 9-story residential building — with penthouse

[The lot in February 2010]

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pre New Year's Eve balloon fun on East 4th Street

Perhaps someone is getting an early start on NYE here at 52E4 — the 15 stories of condo on the Bowery and East Fourth Street. Or maybe it's just someone's birthday. Or something else!

Photo via Derek Berg

Time for barber pole dancing on East 6th Street

Yesterday, the folks at Ace of Cuts on East Sixth Street between Avenue A and Avenue B unveiled a Disco-esque barber pole outside their shop, perhaps as a way to overtake the bear outside Josie's as the block's top attraction... (Or perhaps to test before taking this to Time's Square tomorrow night?)

EVG reader Laura Gurfein, who took above photo, also shared this video... showing the barber pole in all its glory...

Free the trees! Also, MulchFest is coming

Oh, just noting that the tree penitentiary/corral has arrived in the middle of Tompkins Square Park. Where you can deposit your tree ahead of MulchFest 2016, scheduled for TWO action-packed days: Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 9-10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

No word if anyone will be on guard duty here.

EV Grieve Etc.: Permanent protection for an LES community garden; travel like Patti Smith

[Avenue A at 9th Street via Bobby Williams]

Permanent protection for the Siempre Verde Community Garden? (The Lo-Down)

Kossar’s Bialys closer to reopening (BoweryBoogie)

The former Winnie's Bar in Chinatown looks to be getting — shocker! — an upscale makeover (DNAinfo) ... that looks suspiciously familiar (Grub Street)

A photo tour of Autre Kyo Ya, now open at 10 Stuyvesant Street (Eater)

The political past of East Fourth Street (Off the Grid)

Check out the "Essential LES Guide" (The Lo-Down)

A new pair of adult red-tailed hawks hanging around the Lower East Side (Gog in NYC)

How a Russ & Daughters manager helped fulfill his mother's last wish (DNAinfo)

Some 2015 NYC vanishings (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

Real estate horror stories from 2015 (Gothamist)

ICYMI: Bidding farewell to NYC after 2 days (heh):

I take pride in knowing that I lived in New York when it was still gritty. When you could still ride a Ferris wheel in the middle of a giant toy store. When you couldn’t walk across Forty-second Street without getting hassled by crowds of topless painted women. When the M&M’s store didn’t have a limit on the number of pounds of candy you could smuggle out in your conference’s complimentary tote bag. (The New Yorker)

What's in Patti Smith's suitcase? (BoingBoing)

New York magazine's Where-to-Eat-in-2016 list includes East Village spots Noreetuh (First Avenue), Oiji (First Avenue), Babu Ji (Avenue B) and Superiority Burger (East Ninth Street) (New York)

Diversions: The Punk Rock Fun Time Activity Book (Dangerous Minds)

RIP Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister: His friends and fans share their thoughts (BBC News) ... a collection of his best quotes (The Guardian) ... and Alex contemplates life without Lemmy (Flaming Pablum)

Mamoun's Falafel is moving on St. Mark's Place

[Photo by Steven]

Workers have been gutting the former Red & Gold Boil at 30 St. Mark's Place between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.

And a familiar name will be taking over the space: Mamoun's Falafel.

EVG correspondent Steven got confirmation yesterday that Mamoun's will be relocating here from its current location a few storefronts away at No. 22 this coming spring.

Red & Gold Boil closed after 13 months in business in early October. The previous tenant, Japadog, had a better run with 25 months in operation.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Breaking: Japadog is closing for good after tonight on St. Mark's Place

Reader report: Crab Shack in the works for former Japadog space on St. Mark's Place

Here is your Red & Gold Crab Shack! signage on St. Mark's Place

The Marshal seizes the former Red & Gold Boil on St. Mark's Place

Winter coat drive underway at Maryhouse on East 3rd Street

Via the EVG inbox...

Maryhouse (part of The Catholic Worker) is in need of blankets and winter clothing. Please bring new or gently used blankets, jackets, coats, and sweaters directly to Maryhouse located at 59 E. Third St. between 1st and 2nd Avenues. Bring your items any day of the week between 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The MáLà Project now open on 1st Avenue

The restaurant is in the soft open stages now at 122 First Ave. between East Seventh Street and St. Mark's Place.

Here's their official description via Facebook: "An upbeat and energetic Chinese restaurant, focusing on Málà Dry Pot, along with original Chinese dishes and small bites."

And their menu, via Facebook...

[Click to go big]

Nick Solares at Eater has photos and more details of the place here. (The restaurant website is here.) One note: They were approved to sell beer and wine, but the license has not yet arrived.

The previous tenant, South Brooklyn Pizza, closed in April 2014. In the fall of 2014, the owners of the International next door explored moving into the space, though those plans never materialized.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Málà Project coming soon to 1st Avenue

There won't be any skating on Extell Lake this winter : (

[Photo Monday by Michael Paul]

Early last week, a resident who lives near the dual Extell buildings under construction on East 14th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B noted the arrival of generators that are running 24/7.

The resident tried the community email address that's posted on the East 14th Street field office, but it bounced back.

Anyway, a resident spoke with a supervisor type at the site about the generators. Turns out they power pumps that keep the water levels down at the site.

Water Levels = Extell Lake!

[December 2014]

... and a photo of The Blarney Cove Cove from July 2014...

Anyway, the pumping will likely mean there won't be any skating this winter on Extell Lake, an alternative to The Ice at Stuy Town and the East River (remember?) ...

[EVG reader submitted from January]

Also, the Extell community email address still doesn't work, as we learned yesterday...

Previously on EV Grieve:
The disappearing storefronts of East 14th Street

[Updated with correction] 8-lot parcel of East 14th Street primed for new development

New 7-floor buildings for East 14th Street include 150 residential units

1st activity at 500 E. 14th St. since the demolition phase, and when the standing water froze

Community meeting tonight to address construction noise at Extell's East 14th Street development sites

Here lies the Blarney Cove

No one is taking advantage of the line-free skating at Extell Lake

A question about Extell construction noise on East 14th Street

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Flipping out over the Bowery

Shoes on a wire are a commonplace sight around here... meaning different things to different people...


Can't recall seeing this before... flippers!

EVG regular peter radley spotted these earlier today on the Bowery at Bleecker... perhaps someone from the Patagonia store at 317 Bowery got a little wacky...

The Lazy Llama Coffee Bar is in soft open mode on East 1st Street

The new cafe, serving Stumptown Coffee, is now open at 72 E. First St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue.

EVG regular @seancarlson, who shared this news, notes that the owner of coffee shop The Jolly Goat on West 47th Street is also running The Lazy Llama. (Which might explain the animal theme.)

The space here was home to Bluebird Coffee Shop until early last week.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Lazy Llama Coffee Bar is the name of the Bluebird replacement on East 1st Street

Wayland owners now eyeing Royale space for The Drift on Avenue C

The owners of The Wayland still intend on opening a neighborhood bar called The Drift on Avenue C, though now in a different location.

As we first reported in October, Robert Ceraso and Jason Mendenhall, who own The Wayland on Avenue C and East Ninth Street, had designs on part of Babel's hookah footprint across the street at 129-131 Avenue C. That's no longer in the works, and a backup plan has emerged with Royale, the sports bar with well-reviewed burgers at 157 Avenue C between East Ninth Street and East 10th Street.

Ceraso and Mendenhall, who also own Good Night Sonny on First Avenue and St. Mark's Place, will now go back in front of CB3's SLA committee next month for a new liquor license for the Royale space. (The two had previously received the OK from CB3 for a license for 129 Avenue C. A handful of Avenue C residents spoke out against this application, which you can read about at Gothamist.)

We asked Ceraso for an update on The Drift.

For starters, he said the concept, a neighborhood bar with a small Latin-influenced menu featuring fish tacos and a few other items, is remaining mostly the same.

So what happened?

"The 129 space started to get complicated. The Babel operators decided that they didn’t want to give up the space anymore after we got our approval and the bar and building had some issues," Ceraso said. "We felt like it was all going in a way we weren’t happy with and something was telling us to give up the space."

After that initial disappointment, Ceraso learned that Royale, whose owners also run Cafecito at 185 Avenue C, was for sale.

"And that space just seemed perfect for The Drift," he said. "We can do the same thing we wanted to do inside but also have that amazing yard to utilize. The only change in the concept will be to further the planned daytime offerings — breakfast all afternoon, with aquas frescas, juices and cafe con leche, and take advantage of the backyard seating."

Ceraso and The Drift will appear before CB3 on Jan. 11. (You can read the PDF of their questionnaire at the CB3 website here.)

Ahead of that meeting, Ceraso said he'll be planning a neighborhood Q&A session in case there are any concerns about the outdoor space. (And no word just yet when Royale might close.)

The SLA meeting is Jan. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the CB3 office, 59 E. Fourth St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Wayland owners catching a Drift on Avenue C

Report: Developer Douglas Steiner lands $130 million loan for EV condo construction

As the condofication of the former Mary Help of Christians property along Avenue A between East 11th Street and East 12th Street continues, the Commercial Observer reports that developer Douglas Steiner has landed a $130 million construction loan from Bank of America Merrill Lynch for the project.

As you probably know, a mixed-use building with ground-floor retail and 82 market-rate condos is in the works. The residences were originally going to include 158 rental units, with 22 of them designated as affordable under the Department of Housing Preservation and Development's Inclusionary Housing Program. However, that changed back in February.

Steiner, who lives in the East Village, told the Commercial Observer that luxury condos hereabouts are "not the oxymoron people might have thought it was 15 to 20 years ago."

"We've seen a huge pent up demand for luxury services in the East Village, and only a few have been done," he said, referencing The Jefferson, an 82-unit luxury condo property at 211 East 13th Street.

Steiner bought the property in 2012 for $41 million. During the summer of 2013, workers demolished the church, school and rectory.

Previously on EV Grieve:
New residential complex at former Mary Help of Christians lot may include rooftop swimming pool

Meet your new neighbor on Avenue A

Permits filed to demolish Mary Help of Christians church, school and rectory

Preservationists call for archeological review of former cemetery at Mary Help of Christians site

The 'senseless shocking self-destruction' of Mary Help of Christians

Residences rising from the former Mary Help of Christians lot will now be market-rate condos

Ongoing construction at condoplex on Avenue A enters the swimming pool phase

Columbia Care brands its marijuana dispensary on East 14th Street

The branding for Columbia Care has arrived at 212 E. 14th St. just east of Third Avenue.

Columbia Care is one of the five companies selected to run medical marijuana dispensaries in New York

Looks like a low-key entrance ... (not sure if anyone was expecting some kind of marijuana symbol or something...)

As DNAinfo previously reported, the medical conditions approved for marijuana prescriptions are limited to cancer, HIV/AIDS, ALS, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, among several others. In addition, the NYC dispensaries will only sell 30-day supplies of marijuana in the form of oils, pills or tinctures.

212 E. 14th St. received a full gut renovation with an additional floor. The last business at the address was the Super Saving Store, which closed in June 2011.

Previously on EV Grieve:
New East 14th Street retail space already gone to pot

Expanded Clinton Street Baking Company opens on New Year's Day

Pancake-line-waiting hotspot Clinton Street Baking Company is ready to unveil its expanded restaurant on East Houston and Clinton Street.

BoweryBoogie reports that CSBC will unveil the new space on Friday (aka New Year's Day).

The current dining room will be reconfigured to accommodate takeout and coffee, with some limited seating options, BoweryBoogie noted.

The corner space was previously home to Min's Market.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Clinton Street Baking Company expansion underway

I have a bad feeling about this

Passing this along for fans of stunt burgers, "Star Wars" and indigestion ... you just have through Thursday night (New Year's Eve!) to order The Force at The Grayson (RIP Bar Akuda) at 16 First Ave.

The Force Burger ($19.95) is an off-the-menu special with: two beef patties, mac & cheese, pulled pork, bacon, cheddar and American cheeses, onion rings, mushrooms, jalapenos, a sunny-side egg and waffle fries with bacon Thousand Island and barbecue ranch sauces.

The burger arrives with two souvenir lightsabers.

Then you wait for the force to awake. (Or erupt.)

Monday, December 28, 2015

NYC braces for a 'snow event'


Let's check out the advisory...

The New York City Department of Sanitation has issued an agency preparedness ‘snow alert’ for Monday, December 28 at 8 p.m. A snow alert is not a weather forecast, but indicates the potential of a snow event. Calling a snow alert allows DSNY to begin to prepare for a possible response by loading salt spreaders, attaching plows (if necessary), preparing tire chains and notifying other city agencies and supplementary personnel as needed.

DSNY is coordinating with the Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Transportation on snow clearing protocol in accordance with each agency’s written snow plan. All relevant city agencies have been notified of the snow alert. DSNY will continue to monitor forecasts and will provide updates as the snow event approaches.

Please remain vigilant.

The city's 1st free wi-fi kiosk is now outside a Starbucks near you

Sure, it may not look like much now, but soon this shrouded installation, which arrived this morning, will be a gigabit Wi-Fi access point/hub/thing outside the Starbucks on Third Avenue and East 15th Street.

We'll cut-n-paste some from The Verge for the background:

First announced in November 2014, the hubs are designed as an update to the standard phone booth, using upgraded infrastructure to provide gigabit Wi-Fi access points.


The full network will install more than 7,500 public hubs throughout the city, each replacing a pre-existing phone booth. Once completed, the hubs will also include USB device charging ports, touchscreen web browsing, and two 55-inch advertising displays. The city estimates that ads served by the new hubs will generate more than $500 million in revenue over the next 12 years.

And this LinkNYC kiosk is the first one that workers have installed. As Gothamist notes, "the city has pledged to build 7,500 of the hubs in place of old pay phone booths over the next 8 years, with 3,500 of them coming in the next four years, and 499 more of them over the next 6 months."

LinkNYC will be testing this one for the next few weeks before you will be able to use the free Wi-Fi, charge your smartphone or have the government track your every move even easier.

Landlord Greed stickers on St. Mark's Place

Someone has placed Landlord Greed stickers on the long-empty storefronts at 37 St. Mark's Place and Second Avenue...

Some of the spaces have been without retail tenants since late 2011. Back in the fall, workers removed the for rent signs and papered the windows, given the impression that someone had leased the space. Guess not yet.

Thanks to EVG contributor Steven for the photos!

Previously on EV Grieve:
Timi's Gelateria Classica™ facing eviction on St. Mark's Place

[Updated] Baoguette Cafe still looks rather closed

A few more details about renting the former 7-Eleven space on St. Mark's Place

After nearly 4 years empty, 37 St. Mark's Place may be getting new retail tenants

[Updated] New life for the Nevada Smiths space on 3rd Avenue

Although the Coors Light neon remains illuminated in the windows, Nevada Smiths has not been open since The Marshal paid a visit back in September.

I expected to either see some for rent signs up this fall ... or the football/soccer mainstay at 100 Third Ave. to reopen its doors.

Neither of those scenarios ever played out, though.

However, there is a new proprietor in line to take over the three-level space between East 12th Street and East 13th Street. An entity going by Food For Third LLC is on CB3's SLA committee meeting docket in January for a new liquor license. The notice with the application includes Bruce Caulfield's name as the applicant. CB3 hasn't posted the questionnaire online just yet, so there aren't many other details about the new operation, and whether soccer will remain the main draw.

As for Caulfield, since 2003 he (with two business partners) has run the train-themed Tracks Raw Bar & Grill in the LIRR level at Penn Station. He's also a partner in Harp Raw Bar & Grill on Third Avenue near Grand Central.

According to a feature on Caulfield in Crain's from November 2014, he dropped out of Hunter College 40-plus years ago to start running an outdoor newsstand where he worked the graveyard shift on East 53rd Street. He later operated a newsstand inside the Daily News Building on 42nd Street.

The revamped Nevada Smiths opened here in April 2013. The new space, which reportedly cost $3 million to outfit, included 20 Plasma TVs and two life-size projection screens.

Nevada Smiths was previously down the block at 74 Third Ave., a location that closed in November 2011. The buildings at No. 74-76, as well as an adjacent parking lot, were eventually demolished to make way for the luxury residential building (The Nathaniel) that now houses the Westside Market.

The SLA meeting is Jan. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the CB3 office, 59 E. Fourth St. between Second Avenue and the Bowery.

Updated 5 p.m.

This applicant is no longer on the January docket.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Nevada Smiths is closed, and here's what's next

Those persistent rumors about 74-76 Third Avenue and the future of Nevada Smiths

The East Village will lose a parking lot and gain an apartment building

Here then, where Nevada Smiths once stood

The Marshal seizes Nevada Smiths on 3rd Avenue

[3rd Avenue and East 12th Street circa 2011]