Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Tuesday's parting shot

A midday view of Tompkins Square Park today via Lola Sáenz...

6 posts from February

A mini month in review (with a photo in Tompkins Square Park by Derek Berg)... 

• Hold it now: No porta potties for Tompkins Square Park during the 18-month field-house renovation (Feb. 21

• RIP Travis "Grim" Durkin (Feb. 14

• On 2nd Avenue, historic Isaac T. Hopper House hits the market for the first time in 149 years (Feb. 13

• City's fight against unlicensed cannabis shops now targets landlords; 4 East Village shops busted (Feb. 9

• An appeal to help a longtime East Village resident (Feb. 8

• Early morning assault outside Ray's Candy Store leaves Ray with a black eye and facial wounds (Feb. 2)

On 1st Avenue, New Double Dragon is closing, and maybe reopening

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

Multiple tipsters have told us that the New Double Dragon, 37 First Ave. between Second Street and Third Street, will be closing in the weeks ahead. 

And it's a rather complicated situation. An employee confirmed that "we're closing, and we don't know exactly when and we're not sure for how long but we hope to come back." 

According to the employee, ConEd is going to cut off the gas and power to the building — for unspecified reasons — at some point. The landlord has promised a one-week notice for the business before it happened. (The building also appears vacant on the upper floors.)

Meanwhile, two storefronts to the south, the First Avenue Laundry Center remains closed for renovations at 33 First Ave. at Second Street. Nearly three months in, we still haven't seen any sign of work here...
As previously mentioned, there has been speculation that this corner is ripe for development... a parcel that includes the long-vacant single-level storefront next door (last occupied in 2015)...
Public records list R.M.H. Estates as the landlord of both properties ... with ownership of No. 33 and 35 dating to 1984... they also own 37 First Ave., home of the New Double Dragon.

The New Double Dragon employee said they have this phone number — 212-598-0730 — for people to call for updates once the closure occurs. 

Virginia's eyes a March debut in new 3rd Street home

Virginia's is expected to open in mid-March ("give or take a few days") in the restaurant's new outpost at 200 E. Third St., just west of Avenue B.

According to the Virginia's Instagram account, they are hiring waitstaff and bussers. (Contact info is on the post.)

Virginia's closed on 11th Street at Avenue C on New Year's Eve 2021. Their lease was up, and ownership decided to look elsewhere for a new space for the bistro that opened in May 2015.

The last tenant here, Root & Bone, closed last April after eight years in business.  

Hello Dolly: Incoming dessert shop on 1st Avenue has a memorable name

Photo by Steven

The Dolly Llama,  a growing Los Angeles-based company specializing in waffles and ice cream, debuts next month at 137 First Ave. between St. Mark's Place and Ninth Street.

According to the DL Instagram account, the EV outpost will open at noon on March 11.

Davey's Ice Cream was the previous tenant here before relocating to Ninth Street last fall. 

Monday, February 27, 2023

Monday's parting shot

Looking north up First Avenue at Houston/Allen ... before the arrival of the winter weather this evening...

Report of a fire at 136 Avenue C

Updated 9:57 a.m.: The FDNY issued an "under control" roughly 38 minutes after the first report.

Updated 3/1: A look at the storefronts here.


The FDNY is currently on the scene of a two-alarm fire at 136 Avenue C, a 6-story building on the NE corner at Ninth Street... A reader on the scene shared these photos from the east side of Avenue C between Eighth Street and Ninth Street ... we'll keep updating when more information is available...
@rodrodrod shared this aerial view...

Anyway Cafe is closing tonight; staff hopes to open new establishment

Photos Friday by Stacie Joy 

Rumors have been circulating recently that Anyway Cafe, the wholly unique Russian restaurant-vodka-bar-live music venue at 34 E. Second St. near Second Avenue, is closing. 

This is true, though a new like-minded establishment from the Anyway staff is in the works.
Management at Anyway addressed the situation in a Facebook post last evening... noting that tonight will be the official last night... 
Most of you already know that we are in the midst of negotiations for a new lease. Wish us good luck!! This Monday, February 27, is our official last night as Anyway Cafe. 

Hey, as in life, when one door is closing, the other one is opening. It's just in our case we want it to be the same door! 
So, this Monday we are all gathering together — staff, musicians, neighbors, and if you'll be in our area, please stop by after 7 p.m. 

And guys, we don't have enough words to express how much we love and appreciate you!!!!!!! YOU are the ones who make our precious place fun, inclusive, family-like and simply one-of-a-kind. More to come; stay tuned!! We LOVE you!! The tightest hugs!! 

Truly and always yours, Anyway staff.
EVG contributor Stacie Joy stopped by last evening. The three (former employee) partners have formed a new corporation and hope to open another venture — either here or somewhere else. Regardless, the establishment will not be called Anyway Cafe. 

Anyway Cafe first opened here in 1995.

[Updated] Avenue C Laundromat now closing on March 31

Photos by Stacie Joy

Updated: The closing date was extended to March 31


Avenue C Laundromat closes after service tomorrow.

The official reason: the landlord (listed as D&K Plaza, Inc. in Rego Park) is selling (or has sold) the two-level building here at 69 Avenue C at Fifth Street. There isn't any listing of a sale in public records just yet.
The announcement earlier this month apparently caught staff by surprise... employees such as Ines Calle (below), who has worked here for 20 years, are left looking for new work...
Said one EVG reader about this closure: "It's a real bummer for anyone who lives in the immediate neighborhood and I feel bad that the women who have worked there for so many years are now looking for new jobs. I guess these new luxury buildings that keep going up in this neighborhood all come with a built-in washer/dryer? Ugh."

A notice to remove the sidewalk dining room at the now-closed Bait & Hook

Bait & Hook has been dark this year... with no signs of life at the sports bar-"seafood shack." 

Google lists Bait & Hook as "permanently closed." However, there hasn't been an official notice from the restaurant or its social media properties. (Someone did remove the Philadelphia Eagles flag above the front door.)

Meanwhile, this past Thursday, the Department of Transportation posted a removal notice about Bait & Hook's outdoor dining area...
The large sidewalk structure, which looked like a converted mobile home, was one of the more egregious violations of the outdoor dining concepts in the pandemic era...
The place has shuttered before. In January 2020, a "closed for renovation" sign arrived a week before a for lease sign. Then they reopened. 

Bait & Hook debuted in 2012.

Before Bait & Hook, the space was the Meatball Factory, then Hole Foods ... and before that! The Pizza Hut-Nathan's-Arthur Treacher's combo, which vanished in 2010.

From Brix to Brick on Clinton

Back in October, we noted the signage arrival of Brix Wine Bar at 19-21 Clinton St. between Stanton and Houston. 

At the time, we figured it might be from the folks running Brix Wine Shop on Avenue B. However, owner Beatriz Gutierrez told EVG contributor Stacie Joy that she was not behind this Brix.

Perhaps other people had the same thought. There's new signage now for Brick Wine Bar. (Thanks to EVG reader Fiona for the pic!)

Brick Wine Bar owner George Mercardo previously operated Barbarrio (2017-2019) on Lexington Avenue in East Harlem. 

Brix/Brick takes the space from Oh La La Cafe, which closed last summer... and, previously, Cocoa Bar. 

A recent post from the Brick Instagram account notes that they are opening "real soon." 

Noted (again)

Top photo by Concerned Citizen; 2nd pic by Stacie Joy 

Over the weekend, a smoke shop debuted at 199 E. Third St. just west of Avenue B... (not sure of the name, maybe Grand Opening? JK!

So this block now has a place for the usual variety of edibles, exotic snacks, etc. Not to mention festive balloonage for the debut...
This space was New Swan Cleaners until March 2022 ... the lease was up, and the owner decided to retire.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Sunday's parting shots

Yesterday, workers removed most of the remaining sidewalk bridge on First Avenue between Fourth Street and Fifth Street along Village View...
Now just a small section on the interior property along the Fifth Street walkway between Avenue A and First Avenue remains... the extensive sidewalk bridges that weaved around the buildings on the Village View property arrived in April 2019

Thanks to Steven and Vinny & O for sharing photos this weekend...

Week in Grieview

Posts this past week included (with a photo Tuesday on Astor Place by Derek Berg)... 

• Hold it now: No porta potties for Tompkins Square Park during the 18-month field-house renovation (Tuesday ... Saturday

• Let's dance: The Joyce Theater is the new tenant for the former Boys' Club on 10th and A (Thursday

• Site cleanup needed before development can begin on this long-empty corner on 14th and C (Monday

• A Visit to the East Village NYC Book Club (Thursday

• An appearance on GMA leads to an attack at Unregular Pizza on 4th Avenue (Tuesday

• Opening night at O'Flaherty's (Friday

• 444 E. 13th St. is on the auction block (Wednesday

• Coming attractions: 'Make Me Famous' (Friday

• A Commodities post-mortem (Sunday

• East Village Buyers moving from 3rd Street to Avenue A (Wednesday

• Ashes to go this Ash Wednesday (Wednesday

• Fat Tuesday! (Tuesday

• Renovations at Prune (Tuesday)

• More details about Balkan StrEAT, opening this spring on 2nd Avenue (Wednesday

• Jewelry brand opening an outpost on 1st Avenue (Wednesday

• Downtown Bakery is closed for now (Friday

• Decision 2023: What screening of 'Cocaine Bear' are you attending? (Monday

• Signage alert: Gotham Burger Social Club on Essex Street (Thursday)

• Incoming 99-cent pizza shop now with 99-cent pizza signage (Tuesday

• Smoke shop (Thursday)

Follow EVG on Instagram or Twitter for more frequent updates and pics.

Memories of Christo, Dora and Nora/Not-Dora in Tompkins Square Park

Photo this month by Steven

The Guardian this past week had a piece about Gacek, a plump black-and-white cat who is said to be the top tourist attraction in Szczecin, Poland. 

Guardian columnist Arwa Mahdawi wrote that "there's no better way to experience a new city than seeking out its Gacek-equivalent: the weird landmark that embodies the soul of a place far better than the more traditional sights." 

She then highlights our resident red-tailed hawks of Tompkins Square Park — at least the tawdry love triangle involving Christo, Dora and Nora/Not-Dora that made worldwide headlines in 2018. (You can read The Guardian article here.) 

Meanwhile, you may catch a glimpse of Christo and Amelia (on the scene since April 2018) in and around the Park... and it is officially mating season, as Goggla explains here.

Thanks to Derek Berg for sharing the Guardian article!

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Saturday's parting shot

At the Village East by Angelika on Second Avenue at 12th Street ... previously ...

About the Art Show at Village Works

Village Works, the gallery space and book store specializing in NYC culture at 90 E. Third St. just west of First Avenue, is hosting a group art show tomorrow (Sunday!) evening from 5-11. 

The event is also serving as a fundraiser for the 2-year-old Village Works, which needs to secure a new space after the landlord "dramatically raised" the rent here.

More about 18 months without public restrooms in Tompkins Square Park

As we first reported this past Tuesday, the city will not be providing any portable toilets for public use when reconstruction of the Tompkins Square Park field house starts next month. 

The Post picked up our scoop, putting two reporters on the story... and noting in the lead: "Number 2 may soon be the number one problem for neighbors of Tompkins Square Park." The piece includes quotes from EV residents about the uptick in fecal matter spotted in and around the park since the restrooms closed in November. 

A Parks spokesperson told the paper ....
Judging by past experience, officials did not see portable toilets as a short-term solution, because they were "very difficult to clean and maintain, and have frequently been the targets of vandalism." 
(Are portable toilets more difficult to clean and maintain than a 10.5-acre park?)

The city's relief solution is for parkgoers to walk five minutes (one way) to use the restrooms at the McKinley Playground on Fourth Street between Avenue A and First Avenue adjacent to P.S. 63/the Neighborhood School. 

An EVG reader, who shared the Post link, said in an email: "The city and elected officials really don't give a shit, so to speak, about our park."


Looking forward to following these filed-under tags...

9th Precinct teams up to host a blood drive

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

The New York Blood Center's mobile unit was outside the 9th Precinct on Fifth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue on Thursday afternoon... where community members and officers from the NYPD alike donated blood.
The law enforcement officials who donated told EVG correspondent Stacie Joy that they were doing so to help save lives...
You can visit the Blood Center's website for information about donating.

Saturday's opening shot

The colder temps have provided an icy cover for the reflective pool on Avenue A near Ninth Street ... meanwhile, snow showers are possible today with a few areas seeing a coating [of snow], per this tweet.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Some like it 'Hot'


Pure Adult, the Brooklyn-based duo of Jeremy Snyder and Bianca Abarca, is on a bill this March 12 for the New Colossus Festival grand finale at the Bowery Ballroom. (Tix here.) 

The video is for "Hot Crusade."

Ukraine, 1 year on

Photo last spring from 2nd Street and Avenue C

Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine one year ago today.

Here's a look back at a few of the EVG posts highlighting the war's impact on the local community...as NYC is home to the largest Ukrainian population in the United States... 

Opening night at O'Flaherty's

Photos by Stacie Joy 

Feb. 16 saw the debut of O'Flaherty's, the new gallery-performance space at 44 Avenue A at Third Street. (We first reported on this here.)

And what an opening it was: An enthusiastic crowd packed into the theater space to take in the first performance in a series titled "O'Flaherty's gelitin O'Flattering" featuring the Vienna-based performance group gelitin

The four members, all in their 50s, painstakingly created a live sculpture based on the statue "Laocoön and His Sons."
Presiding over the festivities was artist, curator and owner Jamian Juliano-Villani ...
The group members, wearing flesh-colored stockings, smeared themselves with petroleum jelly before slathering their bodies in plaster ...
... throughout the spectacle, Juliano-Villani's friend and business associate Ruby Zarsky strummed a guitar from an elevated position in the back of the theater, the former UCBEast (and Pioneer)... 
Afterward, the crowd snapped up the merch...
O'Flaherty's is hosting three more performances by gelitin — all different, and on Feb. 25, March 2 and March 4 — and screening the U.S. premiere of the group's film, "Stinking Dawn." Go here for details and showtimes. 
As previously reported, O'Flaherty's had a year-long run at 55 Avenue C at Fourth Street (we covered the opening here), culminating with a GRAND finale late this past summer. 

Upright Citizens Brigade Theater closed UCBeast in February 2019. The comedy venue opened in September 2011, and UCB took over part of the expanded Two Boots empire — the video store on Avenue A and the Pioneer Theater around the corner on Third Street.