Friday, October 22, 2021

Carve your enthusiasm

Some photos from a recent pumpkin-carving extravaganza at the Parkside Lounge on Houston at Attorney ... pics by Stacie Joy...

Like a 'Dream'


New Order is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of their first album, Movement

On this occasion today, the band released this video of "Dreams Never End" — Movement's lead track — from their concert (Nov. 18, 1981) at the Ukrainian National Home on Second Avenue between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street.

(We've posted the full show before, like here.)

HONK NYC! returns to the streets and community gardens

HONK NY!, the activist and community-based street bands, is back in action this week... Today (Friday!), HONK is hosting a Horns to the Sky! program in Tompkins Square Park from 4-6:30 p.m.

And tomorrow afternoon (Saturday!), HONK bands will be in the East Village ... along the Open Street of Avenue B and in various community gardens. This link provides the details. 

Report: Police shoot at man threatening people with a knife on Houston and the Bowery

According to published reports, police shot at a man threatening people with knives during the morning rush (8:45) along the Bowery at Houston. 

Media accounts described the suspect as an "emotionally disturbed man." 

Per PIX11: "According to police, the officer fired one round but missed the man." 

Starting around 8:40 a.m., the unhinged man cut a bizarre path from outside the Butcher's Daughter, a cafe on Kenmare St., to the Bowery and then to the corner of Elizabeth and Grand Sts., cops said. He allegedly threatened to stab people along the way. 
Cops found the man at the corner of Houston St. and Bowery. Officers first shot the man with a Taser, but it didn't work, police said. A cop from the 9th Precinct fired off one shot as officers tried to subdue the man, but no one was hit.
The suspect was taken into custody without further incident. 

EVG reader Robert Miner, who shared these photos, reports that the Bowery is closed from Houston to Bleecker ... other parts of Houston are also said to be currently closed to traffic... 
Updated 10:46 a.m.:

And a report via CBS 2...


Stromboli is back open

Stromboli Pizza, sidelined since early August with a building-related gas issue, reopened yesterday on First Avenue at St. Mark's Place. (Thanks to everyone who shared this news via email!) 

As previously noted, we were told that there was a gas-line issue with the building at 83 St. Mark's Place/135 First Ave. The gas issue impacts the building's residents as well, sources said. 

Steven shared these photos, including of Joseph, Stromboli's owner...
Dan & John's next door has also been closed these past two-plus months. The wing shop has not yet reopened.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Thursday's parting shots

A moment on First Avenue and Ninth Street... thanks to Grant Shaffer for the pics...

Barnyard Cheese Shop is closing for good tomorrow

Photos yesterday by Stacie Joy

Tomorrow is the last day in business for Barnyard Cheese Shop at 168 Avenue B between 10th Street and 11th Street. 

Owner Beatriz Gutierrez confirmed the news (H/T Elsie) to EVG contributor Stacie Joy. 

Gutierrez said Victor, her longtime cook, suffered a loss during the pandemic — his brother died. Victor wants and needs to return home to be with his family in Mexico.
Gutierrez said that she has repeatedly tried to find kitchen staff but can't, so she is forced to close Barnyard. She stressed that this is not a lack-of-business issue — it's wholly staffing-related. 

She has a lease on the space until the end of November and may do some catering here. Gutierrez also said she may hold on to the storefront for another venture in the future, though she isn't sure right at this moment.
Barnyard, which offers cheeses, cured meats, salads and delicious specialty sandwiches, first opened in 2008 on Ninth Street and Avenue C ... moving to its current location in late 2016.
Her companion shop next door, Brix Wines, will remain open. 

Previously on EV Grieve

Dark jazz: Rue-B closes, leaving Avenue B

Photo yesterday by Stacie Joy

Rue-B, the bar and live music venue specializing in jazz at 188 Avenue B, has closed after nearly 23 years in business here between 11th Street and 12th Street. (H/T Lilly!)

Mike Camacho, who has owned the spot for the past five years, made the announcement in a video clip posted on Instagram

He said that they will be reopening at a location TBD at a later date. 

While he didn't name a specific reason for the closure, Rue-B's Instagram page states: "We apologize after almost 23 yrs we were forced to close down. Thank U East Village NYC 4 for allowing us to serve you spirits & live Jazz. With Love Rue-B." 

You can watch Camacho's farewell and thank you to patrons below...

Reader report: Cheap-eats fave Papaya Dog looks done on 14th Street

Several EVG readers noted that Papaya Dog has been dark recently on the northwest corner of 14th Street and First Avenue ... and yesterday, KT spotted a worker cleaning out the space. He confirmed that the closure is permanent. (All pics here by KT.)

Later yesterday, some furniture and other PD items were placed on the curb...
A look inside shows that many of the fixtures have been removed...
Papaya Dog seems as if it was here forever. However, Manhattan Sideways listed its opening in 2005. 

There's a Papaya Dog still in business on Sixth Avenue (and on Fulton Street?), though other quick-serve hot dog joints have dwindled in numbers in recent years. (The circa-1932 Papaya King is still serving up the grilled franks and papaya drinks on the UES.)

While prices here inched up lately, you could still get two hot dogs, fries and a drink for $7.99 late into the night. 

This corner also seems primed for development. But at this point, there's nothing official about anything coming to this corner ... for now.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

2nd annual Mask-Querade taking place Halloween afternoon on 7th Street

East Village restaurateur Ravi DeRossi's Overthrow Hospitality group is once again hosting a Trick-or-Treat Halloween festival for children ages 12 and under on 7th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue.

It's taking place on Oct. 31 from 2-4 p.m.

A few details via the EVG inbox: 
Children accompanied by a parent or guardian are invited to trick or treat safely. Adults will be able to observe in designated viewing stations to watch children with complimentary mulled wine and spiced cider. Safety will be enforced by volunteer community members. 

Candy will be safely distributed and candy bags will be issued by us!
Overthrow is also looking for volunteers to hand out candy. If you're interested, then you may email: 

FA debuts on 9th Street; the green bench arrives in Tompkins Square Park

FA — better-known as Fucking Awesome World Entertainment — debuted on Saturday at 420 E. Ninth St. between Avenue A and First Avenue.

The skateboard company and streetwear brand, co-owned by pro skaters Jason Dill and AVE (aka Anthony Van Engelen), opened its first retail space in Los Angeles in 2019. This is the first East Coast outpost for FA.

The shop's grand opening also saw the arrival of the green bench, a very special guest brought here by the owners of FA and currently a block away in the skating (TF) area of Tompkins Square Park

Here's more about it via Curbed, who first reported about it coming here:
The green bench is in Tompkins Square Park right now.
If you're a skateboarder — or a former skateboarder, or at least somewhat skateboarding-adjacent — and live in New York City, that sentence cannot be read without an exclamation point. The green bench! That's because this particular 300-pound piece of steel street furniture has become one of the most storied objects to skate around and on, and its arrival on the East Coast adds a coda to a two-decade saga of discovery, theft, loss, reconstruction, and a particularly hard-won switch backside noseblunt slide across its 13-foot arc.
EVG contributor Stacie Joy went to check out the green bench...
... and found it in heavy use ...
Back to FA, their store hours are Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday noon to 6 p.m.

No. 420 was previously Puppy Love & Kitty Kat, the 10-year-old pet supplies and grooming shop that closed in 2019.

Storefront photo by Steven. Thanks to William Klayer for sharing pics as well.

Blank Street coffee looks to be opening an outpost on 3rd Avenue

Blank Street, the fast-growing NYC coffee brand founded in the summer of 2020, looks to be opening an outpost at 36 Third Ave. between Ninth Street and 10th Street.

The address just showed up on a Google Map of locations for Blank Street. (Thanks, Upper West Sider, for pointing this out!)

Here's more about the company via a Grub Street profile from August:
Blank Street has managed to underprice the competition. A cappuccino costs $5 at Blue Bottle, $4.15 at Starbucks, and $3.90 at Dunkin' Donuts. At Blank Street, it's $3.50. To achieve this, [founders Vinay Menda and Issam Freiha] have had to fundamentally rethink what customers like them really want from a coffee experience today, and what that might mean for the future of the beverage in New York City. 
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Blank Street is not just the way that the founders have fastidiously optimized their own operation but also the vision that Menda and Freiha have to update the thousands of coffee carts already doing business on city streets.
The two plan to have 100 locations operational by the end of 2022. 

Blank Street takes over space last leased by Frisson Espresso, which closed in September 2019 after 20 months in business.

This seems like goldmine territory for coffee given the proximity to college students (NYU and Cooper Union have dorms nearby). There is also plenty of competition, including the Bean across Third Avenue. Plus, the storefront-obscuring sidewalk bridge surrounding the residential building (The St. Mark at 115 E. Ninth St.) has been up for five-plus years.

Photo yesterday by Steven!

Sun meets the sidewalk again along this stretch of 2nd Avenue

Workers removed the sidewalk bridge from outside 111 Second Ave. here between Sixth Street and Seventh Street on Monday... re-introducing sunlight and the storefronts (New Yorkers Foodmarket and Le Fournil Bakery) to this west side of the Avenue. 

And you can get the full view of Le Fournil's newish sign, which debuted back in the summer...
The sidewalk bridge had been in place since the bakery opened in December 2019. (The sidewalk bridge went up in the fall of 2019 for exterior work at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.)

Thanks to Steven for the photos!

Reader report: new laundromat washed up before it opens?

We've been meaning to note that a laundromat is opening at 60 Avenue B between Fourth Street and Fifth Street... previously site of a laundromat. 

An EVG reader (who shared both of these pics) points out a 14-day rent demand on the gate...
Per the document, the total rent due is $9,510.44 (the monthly rent is $4k). Hopefully, the owners can get this sorted out to open.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

When life gives you a bulky sidewalk bridge, play tetherball

As seen today on the Urban Umbrella scaffolding around Cooper Union's Foundation Building ... thanks to Goggla for the photo! 

(And the sidewalk bridge is NOT being removed ... at least not now...)

Office building for 3 St. Mark's Place appears stalled for now

As we reported earlier this month, workers at the development site on the northeast corner of Third Avenue and St. Mark's Place removed the barriers from around the work site... allowing pedestrians to use the sidewalks once again — for the first time since the barricades arrived in June 2020 at this gateway to the East Village...
Several weeks later, there's not much going on at the site as work appears to have stopped. (The excavator has moved from one spot to another.) Meanwhile, there aren't any posted work permits on the plywood... 
In addition, the rendering for the proposed office building has been discarded inside the pit, where little progress can be detected (soil testing started in March 2020)...
What's all this mean? Well, don't expect construction to commence anytime soon.

In August, The Real Deal reported that Madison Realty Capital was moving to foreclose on Real Estate Equities Corp.'s (REEC) leasehold interest at 3 St. Mark's Place.

Some numbers and background from TRD's report:
Madison has owned the $48 million loan package backed by REEC's East Village property since 2019. The real-estate private equity firm acquired the debt from South Korean financial services firm Hana Financial group, which provided REEC $79.1 million of debt and sold the $48 million portion to Madison Realty Capital.
Madison filed a complaint with the state Supreme Court in Manhattan, alleging that REEC defaulted on the $48 million mortgage, which combines an acquisition loan and construction loans.
A REEC spokesperson said that they "are working on a recapitalization plan and are optimistic that this will be resolved soon."

It's not known where REEC is with this plan.

According to the Department of Buildings, there's a Stop Work Order "due to contractor withdrawal" dated Sept. 27.

The partially approved work permits dated from May show that the building is now 9 floors — 45,207 square feet in total, with 3,400 square feet designated for a commercial facility.

As you may recall, a 10-story office building had been in the works here.

In October 2020, the City Council's Zoning Subcommittee voted down REEC's application to transfer air rights from the landmarked 4 St. Marks Place to the new building across the street.

With the air-rights transfer, REEC would have been allowed to build 8,386 square feet larger than the current zoning allows here.

REEC picked up the 99-year leasehold for the corner properties for nearly $150 million in November 2017. The previous buildings here, which included retail tenants such as Korilla BBQ, the Continental and McDonald's, were demolished in 2019.

Bottom two photos by Steven

Openings: Chichen Itzá on 10th Street

Chichen Itzá is now open at 277 E. 10th St. between Avenue A and First Avenue.

We don't know too much about the Mexican restaurant. (We heard that it was affiliated with the now-closed Chichen Itzá Mexican Grill in Sunset Park.)

There are photocopies (of photocopies?) of the menu out front for passersby... there are plenty of standbys here, including variety of tacos and chicken enchiladas...
They are open from 3-10:30 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday with an 11 p.m. close Thursdays through Saturdays. Chichen Itzá also offers a weekend brunch service from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. And a beer-wine license is in the works.

This address was home for 11 years to the Brindle Room, whose closure was made official in June. Owner Jeremy Spector told us that he is looking for a new location for his restaurant that served "eclectic comfort food." 

Omakase sushi bar coming to former upholstery shop on 7th Street

An omakase sushi bar is in the works for 208 E. Seventh St. between Avenue B and Avenue C. 

The applicant, Linda Wang, had received administrative approval for a beer-wine license from Community Board 3 this month. 

According to the questionnaire on file at the CB3 website (PDF here), the still-unnamed establishment (reservations only) will be in service from noon to 10 p.m., with seats for 12-16 patrons. 

Wang is a partner in Shinn East, which opened in May 2020 at 119 E. Seventh St. She is also an owner of Ume in Williamsburg. 

The space was, since 2013, C.Y. Upholstery. The shop run by Charles Young quietly closed late last year.

A wrap at the Bowery Mural Wall

David Flores has wrapped up work at the Bowery Mural Wall after several days

According to a description of the work, the mosaic-style mural depicts "a motorcyclist driving into the street spreading florals out the back of the bike. The goal of the piece is to bring an element of fun to the daily lives of the community."

EVG photo from last night

Monday, October 18, 2021

You had me at cello: Details on a free recital tomorrow evening at Most Holy Redeemer

Passing this along from the folks at Most Holy Redeemer/Nativity Parish on Third Street between Avenue A and Avenue B... 

Tomorrow night, there's a cello and piano recital from 7:30-8:30 ... featuring Roric Cunningham, currently a student at Juilliard, and Clara Bartz, who serves as the church's director of music...
Tickets are free, and you can sign up for them here.

A moment on the L-train platform this afternoon


As seen on the eastbound Third Avenue L platform this afternoon ... thanks to Adrienne Dee-Olsen for the clip!

Signs of new development along the retail strip of 250 E. Houston St.

The old retail section of this strip of storefronts at 250 E. Houston St. is apparently coming down to make way for an unspecified new development. 

As we've reported, there was a storefront shuffle along this stretch between Avenue A and Avenue B. Kapri Cleaners and the FedEx Office Print & Ship Center moved from the unrenovated spaces to new storefronts closer to the entrance to the 13-story residential building at No. 250. Other businesses, including the Dunkin'/Baskin-Robbins and China Town, have closed. 

And there is actually a demolition permit on file with the city for the address dating to July. (Not sure how we missed it in previous tours of this DOB bin.) The permit has not yet been approved, per public records.

In the ALL-CAPS style of the DOB:
And back on Thursday, a crew was here between Avenue A and Avenue B with a Davey drill... presumably taking soil samples (thanks to Salim for the photo!) ... 
There has been a Davey drill sighting before the start of every new development in recent years (like here ... and here... and here) in the neighborhood.

And this Google Maps aerial view shows how much space there is at the property should the developer desire to drop in a new building ...