Woof World (91 Christopher Street, near Bleecker Street): This shop hopes to capitalize on the large number of pets and pet parents in the neighborhood. The displays are spare and elegant and the staff is extremely helpful and solicitous.
4 Charles Prime Rib (4 Charles Street, near Greenwich Avenue): The old El Charro Espanol space has been transformed into a steakhouse of sorts by Brendan Sodikoff, a restaurateur from Chicago who runs the large Hogsalt restaurant group there. Many were excited to see if the eponymous burger from Au Cheval would be on offer, and it is, although here it is called an American Cheeseburger (just make sure to order the additional bacon and egg). The prime rib is salt-crusted and slow roasted for 12 hours for maximum juiciness. The restaurant has a no-reservations policy for the moment, which translates into long lines. Read more about it in our accompanying review on page 28.
Good Stock (31 Carmine Street, at Bleecker Street): This small storefront specializes in soups and has a few salads available as well. There is a southern bent to some of the dishes (e.g., Fried Chicken & Andouille Gumbo), and the now almost ubiquitous bone broth is also on offer. The chef, David Santos, may be familiar to some from his now-closed Village Portuguese restaurant Louro.
Piece of Velvet (101 MacDougal Street, between Minetta Lane and Bleecker Street): Why has it been so hard to find an old-fashioned layer cake in New York these days? Well, no more: At this shop, there are about 20 different flavors, some of them in day-glo colors. Cupcakes, ice cream, pudding, and Belgian waffles are also available, as well as milkshakes, floats, and “Alcohol Cocktails” which are alcohol-flavored slices of cake and ice cream combinations.
See’s Candies (60 West 8th Street, near 6th Avenue): Just in time for Valentine’s Day, See’s Candies has opened its first New York City (and indeed first East Coast) standalone retail shop. This will allow Villagers to make their own selections from over 100 different chocolates. See’s was founded in 1921 by the See family in Los Angeles and has over 200 retail shops nationwide. Warren Buffett was such a fan of the chocolates and the business that his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, acquired See’s in 1972.
Pig Bleecker (155 Bleecker Street, near Thompson Street): This corner previously housed two hot dog spots, first Dog-Matic and then Bark Dogs. Pig Bleecker is a new concept from the Gowanus BBQ spot Pig Beach, and the chef comes from Del Posto. Perhaps this explains why the food is more ambitious, but I was still surprised by the menu, which did not feature any traditional BBQ. The food has Italian and comfort food influences—an excellent choice is the Smoked Duck Lasagna. The cocktails are imaginative and priced at $13.
Another Del Posto alumnus is opening a fast-casual restaurant, Pasta Flyer (at 510 6th Avenue, between West 14th and West 13th Streets) where Chipotle used to be until it moved across the street. The chef, Mark Ladner, started a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 to produce fast, gluten-free pasta. No one is sure whether the current spot will be exclusively gluten-free, so stay tuned. A “Southern-inspired” restaurant is coming to 33 Greenwich Avenue (between Charles and West 10th Streets) in the space that used to house the short-lived Chapter One. The owner, Danny Volk, also runs Upside, a gastropub on the Upper East Side. Eater and DNAinfo both refer to this restaurant “as-yet unnamed,” but the sign in the window announces “33 Greenwich Coming Soon.” Last March, a September opening was predicted, but now it looks like nothing will happen until this March. Do you love eating raw cookie dough, but avoid it for fear of food-borne illnesses? Soon it will be possible to safely eat cookie dough at D, Cookie Dough Confections, located at 550 LaGuardia Place, near West 3rd Street. The confections are made with a pasteurized egg product and come in various forms. A bubble tea spot called The Bubble Bar will open at 201 West 14th Street (near 7th Avenue), a few storefronts away from Jupioca, which is another bubble tea shop. The large empty space at 205 Bleecker Street on the corner of Bleecker and 6th Avenue, which was briefly Banana Republic’s high-end Monogram store, and then American Apparel, will now become the Village’s second branch of the popular Belgian bakery and café, Le Pain Quotidien. Remember when cupcake bakeries were popping up all over the place? Now it’s poke (raw fish salad originating from Hawaii), and the latest addition is PokeRice, coming to 162 West 4th Street, near Cornelia Street.
From the outside, French Roast, 78 West 11th Street (at 6th Avenue) looks pretty much the same, however, the restaurant has undergone a four-month retool with updates to the décor, menu, and hours of operation. French Roast is now open 24 hours on most days, the interior is lighter and cheerier with a new zinc bar, and the menu is more Brasserie and less Café with a focus on roasted dishes. The venue is part of a large restaurant group operated by Simon Oren, and, for this revamp, he has brought the manager and chef from the excellent Pavilion Market Café—a seasonal restaurant in Union Square—to oversee the changes. There are now two happy hours daily—the first from 4:00pm to 7:00pm, with specially priced drinks and bar food, and the second from 12:00am to 4:00am, with half-price bottles of wine. The daily specials are very French, and I am particularly excited to try the Couscous Royale available on Wednesdays. NYU and New School students receive a 15% discount. Hudson Bagel, which had been at 502 Hudson Street (near Christopher Street), is moving to 82 Christopher Street (between 7th Avenue South and Bleecker Street).
Leo Design at 543 Hudson Street (near Perry Street) is closing after 22 years in the Village. Read more about it in the accompanying article on page 17. On the same block, at 114 Perry Street (at Hudson Street), the office of real estate broker Citi Habitats, which had been at that location for around 20 years, is also gone. According to The Real Deal, the closing came as the company opens more consolidated spaces to allow all agents to be under one roof. I was still waiting for Matte Bento at 516 Hudson Street (near West 10th Street) to open, but apparently it came and went so quickly that I missed the whole thing. Another quick opening/closing was Clean Table at 28 7th Avenue South (near Leroy Street). This vegetarian restaurant which had opened in October, despite hopes to open other locations, is now closed. Just north, at 57 7th Avenue South (near Bleecker and Jones Streets), Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter is also gone. A sad handwritten note in the window explains “We tried, but it wasn’t working.” There is also an exhortation to “Please visit us at 94 Avenue C.” In the past, we have observed that the Village has more than its fair share of expensive Japanese Sushi/Omakase spots, but now there is one fewer. The Michelin-starred Soto, which was the first of this ilk to open, closed its doors at 357 6th Avenue (near Washington Place) where it had been for over a decade. Another Michelin-starred restaurant that will be closing is the well-regarded Annisa at 13 Barrow Street (near West 4th Street). The chef, Anita Lo, explained that higher costs, including exploding property taxes has made it impossible for her to continue. Fans of the restaurant have until May to visit. The pet shop Le Petit Puppy at 18 Christopher Street (near Gay Street), which had gained some notoriety a few years ago by having a dyed blue dog and pink cat, has closed. A sign directs pet shoppers to Citipups down the street. The David Barton Gym at 666 Greenwich Street in the Archive Building (at Christopher Street) is closed, as are all the David Barton Gyms in New York, Miami, Chicago, Boston, and Seattle, due, apparently, to “competitive market conditions.” We had high hopes for Shotiros at 334 Bleecker Street (near Christopher Street), which opened over the summer. We fantasized that it was ushering in a new wave of shops on Bleecker that would be interesting and independently-owned. The jewelry was spectacular, but, sadly, things did not work out and now a Marshal’s notice is on display in the window. When Noodle Bar opened over 10 years ago at 26 Carmine Street (near Bleecker Street), it was one of the first restaurants to offer dishes based on Asian street food. Now it has closed, as has its sister restaurant on the Lower East Side. Shoegasm at 71 8th Avenue (between West 14th and 13th Streets) will be closing at the beginning of February. They recently closed their location on 5th Avenue in the Flatiron Building (between East 23rd and East 22nd Streets) as well. Redd Salon (formerly known as Avalon Salon) at 158 West 13th Street (near 7th Avenue) has also thrown in the towel.
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All photos by Maggie Berkvist.