Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Corner spaces for lease along Houston at Elizabeth and the Bowery

Been meaning to note: A for-lease sign is on the vacant storefront at 73 E. Houston St. at Elizabeth... the former home of Rag & Bone. 

The retailer quietly closed at the start of the year; the men's shop next door on Houston is also shuttered. (This is one of several R&Bs that shut down this year.) 

R&B had been here since 2010... replacing neighborhood favorite Cafe Colonial, whose owner reportedly saw her rent triple following the arrival of nearby neighbor Keith McNally's Pulino's Bar and Pizzeria on the SW corner of Houston and the Bowery. (Part of the feared "McNallification" of the neighborhood.)

Pulino's eventually closed in 2013 ... to make way for McNally's concept Cherche Midi, a French brasserie. That spot ultimately folded in 2018... and the corner has been vacant for nearly five years.

A for-rent sign is now on that space, too (as of a few weeks ago)... only the second time that we recall a listing for the address.
This corridor of the Bowery has been challenging for retail and restaurants... we've seen many concepts come and go quickly... and even name restaurateurs like McNally and Daniel (DBGB!) Boulud haven't had a lasting impact.

What's happening on this block of 5th Street?

There are barricades and cones via Con Edison on this block of Fifth Street between Second Avenue and Cooper Square, which have been in place since May 2022.

According to sources on the block, Madison Realty Capital, via property manager Silverstone Property Group shut off the gas to the building at 231 and 235 E. Fifth St. and installed electric stoves. We're told this was done with tenant permission and in accordance with the law. 

However, new electric lines for the 220V stoves were needed. Madison Realty Capital had them installed temporarily, routing the wires on the sidewalk to the basement from a manhole near each building. Now work remains at a standstill nearly 10 months later, which has made some residents unhappy (photo below via the East Fifth Street Block Association).
One resident told us that the combination of three outdoor dining structures, poor garbage maintenance and open manholes have made parts of this block a mecca for rats. "It's nasty," the resident said.

Elsewhere, we've heard grumbles about the ongoing Con Ed presence on Seventh Street between Avenue A and First Avenue... which starts roughly outside the back entrance to the Brant Foundation...
... and ends with a garbage dump of a dormant Con Ed work site.

Monday, March 13, 2023

March madness! Key Food continues to up its St. Patrick's Day game

Photos by Stacie Joy 

O'Key Food is once again prepped for this coming March 17... with a display at the start of aisle 6 featuring items for dinner (corned beef and cabbage), lunch (spinach and artichoke quiche, potato and garlic pierogies), and breakfast (Guinness) ...
And look for the Irish soda bread and Hot Cross Buns near the front entrance...

A new home and name for Café Cortadito

Photo and reporting by Stacie Joy

Café Cortadito's new home is very close to its previous home.

Ricardo Arias and Patricia Valencia, the husband-and-wife owners of the Cuban restaurant, confirmed to EVG contributor Stacie Joy that they will be moving to the NE corner of Avenue B at Second Street (17 Avenue B) — the former Cornerstone Cafe.

In addition, Cafe Cortadito will be going as Cantina Cubana. They plan to be open six days a week, dark on Mondays with an 11 p.m. close on weekends. While there won't be a bar on the premises for patrons, Arias and Valencia will be applying for a liquor license in April for their mojitos and other drink specials. 

No word yet on an opening date, though renovations have started behind the papered-up front windows...
As previously reported, Café Cortadito closed 210 E. Third St., just east of Avenue B, at the end of January after 18 years in business. The landlord increased the rent from $8,000 to $15,000 monthly.

The Cornerstone Cafe closed in December 2021 after 10-plus years in business. In an Instagram post, the Cornerstone cited the ongoing pandemic and the city's related mandates and restrictions for the closure. 

Gelato and coffee for 1st and 10th

Updated 3/15: The shop is open now... and per a reader, there isn't a coffee service just yet.


Gelatoville is expected to open soon on the NW corner of 10th Street and First Avenue (163 First Ave.) 

As you might expect from the name, the shop will be serving gelato, coffee and espresso.

EVG regular Lola Sáenz spotted the proprietors dishing up some samples on Friday...
The business takes over the space from Tarallucci e Vino, the all-day cafe that closed last June after 20-plus years.

Report: Angel's Share has a new home (and what of its old home?)

Angel's Share, the nearly 30-year-old cocktail lounge that closed on Stuyvesant Street last March, has a new home at 45 Grove St. 

As The New York Times first reported, "Erina Yoshida, the daughter of Tony Yoshida, the restaurateur who opened Angel's Share in a second-floor room on Stuyvesant Street in 1993, has found a new space for the bar in Greenwich Village. She will own and run the rebooted Angel's Share." 

The opening date is pending. 

Meanwhile, it was nearly a year ago today that news first surfaced — via a tweet by Alex Vadukul, a correspondent for The New York Times — that Yoshida's four businesses along Stuyvesant Street between Ninth Street and Third Avenue were expected to close.

Village Yokocho, Angel's Share, Panya and Sunrise Mart were all gone by the end of April

Eleven months later, the retail spaces remain vacant... there haven't been any for-lease signs posted during this time...
Another restaurant, Sharaku, in the corner space at 14 Stuyvesant St., shuttered earlier in the pandemic. (Sunrise Mart was in a separate building next door.)

Cooper Union, which leased the buildings from their owners and had subleased them to the Yoshida Restaurant Group for more than 25 years, said it was the tenants' decision to move on. (This post has more background. Yoshida had not paid rent since 2020.)

There haven't been any public statements on what the landlord, believed to be 29 Third Ave Corporation c/o Casabella Holdings, LLC, has in store for the spaces. A Cooper Union rep told us previously that no new building is planned on this site. 

So far, no sign of any work permits at the Department of Buildings to suggest a renovation or anything else significant at these addresses in prime retail-restaurant territory.

Corner development battle: 360 Bowery takes commanding lead over 1 St. Mark's Place

Office buildings with ground-floor retail spaces are in the works for corner spaces near each other: 360 Bowery at Fourth Street and 1 St. Mark's Place at Third Avenue. 

Foundation work started in earnest on each lot last summer... though No. 360 (a pit start last June) is much further along. As the top photo shows, workers are up to the sixth floor of what will be a 21-story building with a generic 2024 completion date. 

At 1 St. Mark's Place, a 9-floor office building is still in the pit stage...
The work down here began again late last summer, and there has been little noticeable progress above ground ... and this is after crews and equipment were on the scene in the summer of 2020...
The building is slated for a (now unlikely) summer 2024 completion. Our previous post has more details about what has transpired here to date. 

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Week in Grieview

Posts this past week included (with a photo from Tompkins Square Park Friday by Derek Berg)... 

• RIP Tim Lomas (Tuesday

• The owner of A&C Kitchen on Avenue C would like to reopen his business now (Friday

• A rally at City Hall for the former Charas/El Bohio Community Center (Thursday

• About Radhika & Saman, a pop-up shop featuring handmade clothing from India and Pakistan (Wednesday

• News flush: The Tompkins Square Park restrooms, open once more (Thursday)

• Get ready to say so long to the Stomp sign (Wednesday

• City and state officials continue cracking down on illegal smoke shops (Monday

• For sale: 171 1st Ave., home of Momofuku and the only cast-iron building in the East Village (Tuesday

• A corner lot awaits new development on 5th Street and Avenue D (Wednesday

• Avant Garden is on the move (Monday

• CJ Tattoo relocates from St. Mark's Place to Avenue C (Monday

• Openings: Burgers on B (Thursday) ... Döner Haus on 14th Street (Wednesday

• Stump town no more in Tompkins Square Park (Tuesday

• Oh my: Oh K-Dog & Egg Toast the latest concept to close at 36 St. Mark's Place (Monday

• Renovations underway at the former Dallas BBQ (Thursday

• The historic 137 2nd Ave. — the former Stuyvesant Polyclinic — is now for sale (Monday

• First sign of the new Ichibantei outpost on 3rd Avenue (Thursday

• Shinn East expands on 7th Street (Friday)

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

Transformer, day 2!

Photo by Stacie Joy 

We're on Day 2 with the installation of a new transformer (and assorted pieces) at the Con Ed substation on Avenue A between Fifth Street and Sixth Street. 

Anyway, Avenue A will remain closed between Fourth Street and Seventh Street for lord knows how long today. 

This impacts the M14 bus service. Per the MTA;
M14A-SBS stops on Ave A at E 5th St and Houston St will be closed in both directions

Mar 11 - 12, Sat & Sun
For service, use the stops on Ave A at E 11th St or Essex St at Delancey St.

Eastbound buses will also make requested stops on Ave C, and westbound buses will make requested stops on 1st Ave.

Time check

Daylight Saving Time began Sunday, March 12, at 2 a.m., when you set your clocks forward one hour (or your smartphone or cable box does it automatically unless you got rid of cable, which isn't a bad idea...). 

And how much longer will we need to do this????

Per Gothamist
The push to force permanent daylight saving time nationally gained momentum in Congress last year, when a bill to do so passed the Senate on a voice vote but died in the House. Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio reintroduced his bill this year.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Saturday's parting shot

A little 80s new wave/psych from local band Lukka tonight at Arlene's Grocery ... as part of the New Colossus Festival. Keep tabs on the band here.

EVG Etc.: The NYC luncheonette trend; a Beth B retrospective

• An arrest in the murders last May of friends Nikki Huang and Jesse Parilla, an East Village resident (NBC New York... previously on EVG

• Where is the NYCHA's Public Housing Preservation Trust? (The City

• Village Works looking for a new home (PIX11 ... previously on EVG

• A feature La Sala de Pepe, a social club and gallery on Avenue C (NACLA

• Starting next month, the New York Restoration Project is giving out 3,500 free trees to New Yorkers (Time Out

• Ghost signs along Avenue A (Untapped Cities ... previously on EVG

• The artists paying tribute to NYC storefronts (Gothamist

• NYC's luncheonette trend (Eater

• A long-overdue showcase for Beth B (Metrograph

• Highlighting the work of multimedia artist Friederike Pezold (Pezoldo) (Anthology Film Archives)


A few readers asked about this awning that arrived yesterday outside Amanita, the gallery that debuted last fall at 313 Bowery. 

The question: Is this some kind of statement about John Varvatos next door? (CBGB until 2006.)


The piece is titled: 

Spray paint on custom awning 
72 x 36 x 24 in. 
182 x 91 x 60 cm 

And the awning is part of a new exhibit featuring the work of Louis Osmosis titled "Recording Artists." Here's more about the artist via the gallery
Louis Osmosis (b. 1996, Brooklyn, NY) is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily in sculpture, drawing, performance, and text. His practice revolves heavily around craft/manufacture, performative actions, and readymades, incorporating found objects and vernacular materials from popsicle sticks to graphic t-shirts, and hornet nests to violins. Equally invested in reenactment and artistic production, Osmosis's speculative approach to form reflects his ongoing "investigation into affected modes of aspiration and lack." Osmosis received his BFA from the Cooper Union in 2018. 
Tonight's opening is from 6-8. The exhibit is up through May 7.

Con Ed ready to transform your weekend along Avenue A!

We're back on Bay watch along Avenue A. 

The Bay Crane team is out in force this morning for what we understand will be the installation of a new transformer at the Con Ed substation on Avenue A between Fifth Street and Sixth Street. 

Posted signage last weekend tipped us off to this event ... though with some cliffhanging — maybe it will happen March 4-5... or maybe March 11-12! ("We don't really know!" didn't fit on the sign.)
The sign leaves out some vital info... like Avenue A is closed through traffic from Fourth Street to Seventh Street. (Perhaps that was optional to include, given the 47 flatbed trucks and various cranes parked along A.)

The transformer work here, often 17 workers directing a beeping forklift, started as we welcomed 2023 ... 
Could this be the guest of honor?
Anyway! Pull up a chair and umbrella and enjoy.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Friday's parting shot

Night 1 of three nights with Unwound at Irving Plaza (with Horsegirl tonight!) ...

After 'Sun'


The New Colossus Festival continues this weekend at neighborhood music venues (Pianos, Mercury Lounge, Berlin, Heaven Can Wait, Bowery Electric and Arlene's Grocery). 

Among the many acts to play: Local band Lukka, on a dream pop-shoegaze bill tomorrow night at Arlene's

The video here is for "Wisdom of the Sun."

A clothing swap at Fish Bar

The folks behind the Swap NYC Instagram account are hosting an event tomorrow (Saturday!) at Fish Bar. 

Interested parties may bring in unwanted clothing, accessories or jewelry (nothing dirty or damaged!) to exchange for other items from attendees. 

It's happening from 1-3 p.m. at the good ol' Fish Bar, 237 E. Fifth St. between Second Avenue and Cooper Square.

The owner of A&C Kitchen on Avenue C would like to reopen his business now

Photos and reporting by Stacie Joy 

On Feb. 27, a two-alarm fire broke out at 136 Avenue C between Eighth Street and Ninth Street.

Initial reports put the blame on a "lit object" discarded from a window down to the courtyard in the rear of the building. 

 The fire destroyed a ground-floor apartment. As a precaution, the FDNY opened up some walls and the ceiling in the kitchen at the Wayland on the corner, causing them to be closed for a few days to repair the drywall. (They reopened on March 2.) 

Meanwhile, A&C Kitchen, the longtime quick-serve and affordable Chinese restaurant sustained some water damage — mostly in its basement. 

Now, more than 10 days after the fire, Mr. Li, who has owned A&C Kitchen for the past 30 years, is frustrated with the city's response and the bureaucratic process.
Mr. Li says the electricity and gas are still turned off to his business, even though they have restored both services to the residents and nearby commercial tenants. 

He pointed out that there is no fire damage to his restaurant and that any water damage in the basement has been cleaned up and the smoke scent mediated. Still, he has lost two weeks of business. 

He is actively looking for assistance from the community and hopes that local elected officials might help him cut through the red tape...
Mr. Li also noted that people who live in the building are still tossing lit cigarettes out the windows and fears they may have a similar issue again...

Shinn East expands on 7th Street

Photo by Stacie Joy

ICYMI... Shinn East recently expanded at 119 E. Seventh St. between Avenue A and First Avenue... moving into the storefront to the east. 

The Omakase spot first opened here in May 2020.

They take over the space vacated by [plant-baked], whose owners decided to close its brick-and-mortar operation last September after 18 months in business. (Their online enterprise continues.)

Thursday, March 9, 2023

A rally at City Hall for the former Charas/El Bohio Community Center

Residents and supporters of the former Charas/El Bohio Community Center at 609 E. Ninth St. between Avenue B and Avenue C have organized a rally at City Hall for March 15. 

Per the invite, attendees will "demand the city right the wrongs of the past and return our community center."

The rally starts at 11 a.m. on the south plaza outside City Hall this Wednesday.

The action comes before the landmarked building heads to a foreclosure auction on March 22 at the Hilton New York Midtown Fifth Avenue. (There is a Facebook invite to "Stop the Auction.")

The property that developer Gregg Singer purchased during a city auction in 1998 for $3.15 million fell into foreclosure last year. Through the years, Singer wanted to turn the one-time P.S. 64 into a dorm (more here), though those plans never materialized. 

In October 2017, then-Mayor de Blasio's statement at a Town Hall put forth the idea that the city would take steps to reacquire the building. 

Some residents want to see the space used again as a community center, as it was during its time as Charas/El Bohio Community Center. Singer evicted the group on Dec. 27, 2001.  

There's also a petition in circulation titled, "Save Charas Community Center! Stop the Private Auction!"

Per the petition, which states, "Demand Mayor Adams use eminent domain to return the center to the people!"
For 22 years, from 1979 to 2001, 605 E. Ninth St. served as the home to the Charas/El Bohio Community & Cultural Center. Each year, thousands of people attended programs there. Charas hosted community meetings, children’s programming, art exhibits, music concerts, film screenings, plays, dance recitals, bicycle recycling, construction and youth jobs training, substance abuse treatment, and political organizing. 

In 1998, Rudy Giuliani sold Charas to a campaign contributor [Gregg Singer] for a paltry $3.15 million, and in December of 2001, Charas was evicted from the space, and the center was shuttered.
You can find the petition here.