As we first reported back in June, Christopher Pugliese, the owner of Tompkins Square Bagels on Avenue A, is opening a second East Village location.
However, in recent months, we hadn't seen much, if any, activity at the former Open Pantry space at 184 Second Ave. between East 11th Street and East 12th Street — the soon-to-be home of his second shop. (His other store remains at 165 Avenue A.)
Then this sign arrived at the Second Avenue storefront on Wednesday...
[Photo by Shawn Chittle]
We asked Pugliese for an update on the renovation.
Turns out that the Department of Buildings (DOB) has been behind the delays, he said.
"The killer is, the DOB approved all of our major alterations very quickly," he said. "They came back to us with a list of about 12 minor objections and asked us to make adjustments. Little things like 'move this staircase six inches to the right,' or 'put the skylight here instead of there.' That has been dragging on for months."
He had hoped to be open for business by now.
"The whole thing is very frustrating. I signed my lease in June. I don't have money to spare on rent for an empty space. My landlord was nice enough to give me two more free months when I came to him and told him what was going on. That's unheard of in this town," Pugliese said. "We are hoping to get final approval this month, work for three to four months on the build out and open in time for spring.
"But I will beat the Second Avenue subway — that's for sure."
Previously on EV Grieve:
After 40-plus years, Open Pantry looks to be closing on 2nd Avenue
Rumor: Tompkins Square Bagels possibly opening a 2nd East Village location on 2nd Avenue
A 2nd Tompkins Square Bagels confirmed for former Open Pantry space on 2nd Avenue
Tompkins Square Bagels makes it official on 2nd Avenue