Showing posts with label The Elephant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Elephant. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Prima time on East First Street

Diner's Journal reported Monday that Prima opens on East First Street today. It's a confab featuring the owners of Summit Bar and Ninth Street Espresso with an assist from Motorino’s Mathieu Palombino.

And so they will serve coffee and light breakfast starting at 8, and small meals throughout the day. And booze starting at 5 p.m. According to The Feed, Prima will have "a seafood-focused menu that recalls Palombino’s days as chef de cuisine at BLT Fish."

This space was previously home to The Elephant, the Thai restaurant-lounge, for 17 years.

Previously on EV Grieve:
The Elephant: "We truly think we are good neighbors"

Rejected headlines for this post include: Prima scream, Prima fear and Prima suspect.

Monday, February 7, 2011

There goes the Elephant

Over the weekend, workers continued gutting the former Elephant thai place on East First Street...

The Elephant closed in December. (You can read its history here, including an interview with the manager.)

What's next here?

The Feast reported that the team behind fancy cocktail emporium Summit Bar on Avenue C will open an Italian cafe this spring. They are considering the name Prima Strada, which translates to First Street. Word is the place will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and open at 8 a.m.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Elephant is closing, and selling off its wares today

As you can see, the Elephant, the troubled Thai eatery on East First Street, has closed. You can read its history here, including an interview with the manager.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Elephant: "We truly think we are good neighbors"

Last week, I reported that Thai eatery The Elephant on East First Street had been shut by the city for allegedly serving an auxiliary police officer who is a minor. (And they've had at least two other run-ins the past two years, as Eater reported.)

In that post, I mentioned the fiasco from last May in which a manager at The Elephant reportedly called the police while a group of teenage girls lined up to receive free prom dresses next door at the Lower Eastside Girls Club. For some residents, that episode left a lingering resentment toward the restaurant.

After last week's post, Adria Jover Sala, who said she manages The Elephant, contacted me.

For starters, she said that the manager who called the police last year was fired "after that tremendous mistake." She said there is a new staff. "We have people from Morocco, Senegal, Ecuador, Ivory Coast, Spain, Mexico... most of [them] with sons and daughters.

"We are all trying to do our job the best we can. I understand if The Elephant, years ago, caused some trouble in the hood, though right now it is run by new management and we are committed to our beloved First Street. We truly think we are good neighbors. We care for our street, have friends all over the block on First Street. We take the UPS deliveries for our building. We let kids from the park use our restroom... we are been living here so many years and I think we deserve a bit of respect."

But did they serve a minor?

"We are sure the guy was over 35... though if we took the risk to go on trial for that and by any possibility the undercover [officer] was 18, as it says in the report, then the stipulation was to close us for two months and a fee of $15,000."

As part of the penalty, the city is shutting down The Elephant starting today for one week. The restaurant will also have to close for one week in May.

"The city is so incompetent with those rules ... they don't let you work and improve the place while you are closed. This is like kids, you do something bad and they send you against the wall for two hours... the only difference here, we are talking about a business with families, children, etc. who depend on them ... doesn't the city realize the impact?"

I asked Adria, who is originally from Barcelona and has lived in the East Village for 10 years, is she believes they are receiving unwarranted attention.

"We feel we are unfairly targeted by the city. Everybody knows where all minors go for drinks with their fake ID, why the police don't spend their resources with better efficiency than coming to a small restaurant to shut you down," she said. "At this point I'm quite desperate because [the city] believes that we are a club or something like that and we just are a small restaurant, which for the last two years everyone is out before 1 a.m... I just hope the neighbors could appreciate our commitment.

"The worst part is, I'm not sure if we are going to survive with this two-week agreement anyway."

[Image via; larger image via]

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dumbo drop: The Elephant shuttered again

The problems continue for Thai eatery the Elephant on East First Street. Per a tipster: They have a court order on their window today: “NYC vs. Thai Me Up, Inc.” closing them down. And the Elephant has had run ins with the law in previous years... like last July ... and May 2008... Word on the street is they allegedly served an underage auxiliary police officer. If the Elephant remains closed for any period of time, then perhaps the Lower Eastside Girls Club will be able to hold their annual free prom gown giveaway without having anyone call the cops...

[Update: The Elephant was back open this evening...the legal papers were still up on the side...]

[Image via]

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bar threatens to call cops on a Thursday afternoon because some girls were standing in line to get free prom dresses next door

Wow. A doozy in The Villager this week. I'll link to it soon as it's online. Quickly, though! Last Thursday afternoon from 4-6, the good people at the Lower Eastside Girls Club were holding their annual free prom gown giveway at their HQ on First Street. As Lincoln Anderson reports, "hundreds of excited teenage girls lined the process, blocking the way into The Elephant," the French/Thai bar/restaurant that doesn't exactly pack 'em in on a late Thursday afternoon. There were some words exchanged. And an Elephant manager threatened to call the cops. Lyn Pentecost, the executive director of the Girls Club, called the threat mindboggling. She lives on the block, and called the Elephant "a yuppie bar" and said that it "keeps the street awake all night every night." She claimed the manager got verbally abusive with the girls who were waiting for one of the 500 free prom dresses. The Elephant's GM, Eduardo Sontan, who was not in the restaurant at the time of the incident, told Anderson that they apologized to the the girls, but stressed the girls were blocking the entrance and the manager was worried someone might get injured by falling through the restaurant's sidewalk vault doors. He also said "I'm not against girls" and mentioned that Vice President Biden and Chelsea Clinton have recently dined there.