Showing posts with label Prune. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prune. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Signs of dinner life at Prune

An EVG reader shared this photo, noting "more activity picking up at Prune. There was what appeared to be a private event there the other night."

Prune officially remains closed to the public at 54 E. First St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue — as it has since the NY PAUSE of March 2020. 

The website for Gabrielle Hamilton's popular destination says to please check back for updates about a reopening.

Prune fans remain hopeful that the restaurant, which opened in 1999, will return one of these days. Hamilton's compelling essay — "My Restaurant Was My Life for 20 Years. Does the World Need It Anymore?" — in the New York Times Magazine during the worst days of the pandemic in April 2020 raised doubts.

The site of the lit-up space was a good sign for the reader, who noted: "Hopefully, it means it is reopening soon!" 

Monday, November 29, 2021

1st Street Prune watch

Prune remains closed at 54 E. First St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue — as it has since the NY PAUSE of March 2020. 

The website for Gabrielle Hamilton's popular restaurant says to please check back for updates about a reopening.

This was the second straight Thanksgiving now that she didn't cook on the day for Prune patrons.

As she wrote in an essay for the Nov. 21 New York Times Magazine:
I've been cooking Thanksgiving dinner at Prune for two decades, and some families have been coming every year for nearly as long. I've seen some of their little ones who used to show up in diminutive velvet blazers, their legs dangling from the banquette as they sipped Shirley Temples, arrive in later years with full beards and casually order their own I.P.A.s.
The piece, about her Thanksgiving tradition of serving cheese and crackers (a practice that started with a traditional family rendezvous during the holidays at McSorley's), didn't offer any details on Prune's status, other than that it remains closed for now.

Prune fans remain hopeful that the restaurant, which opened in 1999, will return one of these days. Hamilton's compelling essay — "My Restaurant Was My Life for 20 Years. Does the World Need It Anymore?" — in the New York Times Magazine during the worst days of the pandemic in April 2020 raised doubts.

Still, readers who live on this block have reported seeing the longtime East Village resident inside Prune, perhaps doing some catering business. Another knowledgeable source says she signed a new 10-year-lease for the space. 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

An appreciation: Gabrielle Hamilton's essay on Prune in The New York Times Magazine



There has been a lot of talk about Prune chef-owner Gabrielle Hamilton's compelling essay in The New York Times Magazine today (online earlier) titled "My Restaurant Was My Life for 20 Years. Does the World Need It Anymore?"

Not even sure where to start with excerpts on her honest assessment of reopening the First Street mainstay in a post-COVID-19 world.

She talks about the neighborhood... where even a seemingly successful restaurant struggles to stay in business...

The concerns before coronavirus are still universal: The restaurant as we know it is no longer viable on its own. You can’t have tipped employees making $45 an hour while line cooks make $15. You can’t buy a $3 can of cheap beer at a dive bar in the East Village if the “dive bar” is actually paying $18,000 a month in rent, $30,000 a month in payroll; it would have to cost $10. I can’t keep hosing down the sautĂ© corner myself just to have enough money to repair the ripped awning.

Prune is in the East Village because I’ve lived in the East Village for more than 30 years. I moved here because it was where you could get an apartment for $450 a month. In 1999, when I opened Prune, I still woke each morning to roosters crowing from the rooftop of the tenement building down the block, which is now a steel-and-glass tower. A less-than-500-square-foot studio apartment rents for $3,810 a month...

Her honesty about the brunch mob was particularly interesting ...

And God, the brunch, the brunch. The phone hauled out for every single pancake and every single Bloody Mary to be photographed and Instagrammed. That guy who strolls in and won’t remove his sunglasses as he holds up two fingers at my hostess without saying a word: He wants a table for two. The purebred lap dogs now passed off as service animals to calm the anxieties that might arise from eating eggs Benedict on a Sunday afternoon. I want the girl who called the first day of our mandated shut down to call back, in however many months when restaurants are allowed to reopen, so I can tell her with delight and sincerity: No. We are not open for brunch. There is no more brunch.

Anyway, you can read it for yourself here.

Also, someone left a compliment about the article on Prune's gate yesterday...

Monday, July 2, 2018

EVG Etc.: Emmy Squared signage; Prune vacation; Artichoke flags

Emmy Squared looks nearly ready to open on the corner of Fifth Street and First Avenue in the former Three of Cups space... no official opening date just yet for the pizzeria-burger joint ...





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On First Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue... Prune closed after service Friday for a mid-summer break... back Pruning on July 9...





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And an EVG reader wondered if the flags outside Artichoke on 14th Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue were really necessary...



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Prune returns from summer break


Prune on East First Street reopened last night after a week off for summer vacation... and some housekeeping, like a new coat of paint outside...

Anyway, Sunday morning around 9, we saw two women pull up in a cab to try Prune for brunch. (An hour before the place would normally be open. First in line!)

The two were disappointed to learn that the place was closed for a break. With the cab driver offering some logistical input, the two consulted their tour guide for an alternate brunch spot ... meanwhile, one of the painters went inside and brought out the women some sort of Prune trinket (matchbooks? business card?) ... they seemed pleased by this and took off for their second choice... likely ignoring our suggestion to try Odessa...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Painting Calliope

And leftover from yesterday... a few photos of the freshly painted Calliope on Second Avenue at East Fourth Street... People involved with the Waverly Inn and Prune are behind the new venture at the former Belcourt...


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Belcourt has closed; Prune people's Calliope on tap

Over on East Fourth Street and Second Avenue, Belcourt has closed...


As we pointed out in January, the space will give way to a "new American" restaurant called Calliope run by some Prune alums... According to Diner's Journal, Eric Korsh, the executive chef at the Waverly Inn, will be opening the space with his wife, Ginevra Iverson, Prune's one-time sous chef.

And if you were a fan of Belcourt's "famous brunch and Oyster hour," they'll be doing it across the street at Nomad now, according to the Belcourt website...

Friday, March 30, 2012

How to successfully walk past the Prune brunch line

Regardless of the season, there's usually a line to enter Prune for the first seating on weekend mornings. The line seems even longer on nice spring mornings. Like this past Saturday. So if you find yourself on the north side of East First Street around 9:50 or so...


You simply need to take a quick zag to the the right then straight in an easterly fashion. Then, right before you get to the last person in line, you should get skinny, like the arrow below, turn sideways and kind of shuffle, either with your butt toward the crowd or the cars. (We prefer butt toward the crowd.) If you're carrying bags, then just try to hold them over your head, as if you're wading through a stream. You could also say EXCUSE ME, PARDON ME. But they're not really listening to you.


Or, you can just walk on the other side of the street.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Report: Waverly Inn executive chef part of team taking over Belcourt

[Photo via Guest of a Guest]

On Jan. 3, we reported that some folks involved with Prune would be taking over Belcourt on Second Avenue at Fourth Street. The new place will be called Calliope.

This afternoon, Diner's Journal provided more details on what's happening with the new restaurant... Among other things, Eric Korsh, the executive chef at the Waverly Inn, the hyped, kinda exclusive West Village place that Graydon Carter owns or something, will be opening the space with his wife, Ginevra Iverson, Prune's one-time sous chef. (Korsh's name was not on the original CB3 documents. The CB3/SLA committee OK'd this transfer earlier this month.)

According to Diner's Journal, Calliope should open in April, with Belcourt bowing out in March.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Prune people taking over Belcourt space

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Prune people taking over Belcourt space

[Photo via Guest of a Guest]

On Friday, BoweryBoogie pointed out via CB3 documents that the people behind fancy-pants places like behind the Breslin, John Dory and Spotted Pig are aiming to open something at Olivia, the tapas place on Houston and Allen... (We pointed out in early December that the Olivia space was on the market.)

Upon further review of the documents ahead of the CB3/SLA meeting on Jan. 9, we noticed that folks affiliated with Prune on East First Street look to take over the Belcourt space on Second Avenue at East Fourth Street... (As Diner's Journal reported, Belcourt Chef Matthew Hamilton recently left the self-described Parisian-style brasserie.)

Anyway, to screengrabs of the documents...



Prune chef Gabrielle Hamilton's name isn't mentioned (though we're curious about the name scratched out up there) ... Ginevra Iverson worked as her sous chef in Prune's early days before moving on... According to the documents (PDF), the place will be called Calliope, serving "new American" cuisine.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A note for the Prune brunch crowds

We've previously noted the weekend brunch lines outside Prune on East First Street...


...something that Prune's next-door neighbors — the Lower Eastside Girls Club — are now politely noting ...


Of course, not everyone is paying attention just yet...

Monday, April 4, 2011

The brunch line at Prune is getting longer

For unknown reasons, I've walked by Prune on East First Street at the exact moment they open for Sunday brunch the past two weeks ... and, for continued unknown reasons, I took a photo from the back of the line...

March 27!


April 3!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pruning in the rain



A few people waiting for tables for Prune's brunch yesterday morning... For a moment, it seemed like some kind of spectator sport (the golf umbrella)... and a few people escaping the rain under the awning... with their faces pressed against the glass... Must have been one humorous sight from within the restaurant...

Monday, September 27, 2010

People waiting in line outside Prune don't read signs

You've seen the big lines here at Prune on First Street for weekend brunch....



While you're standing there, then you may want to read this sign next door outside the home of the Lower Eastside Girls Club....



Not that people are really paying attention to the sign....