The sale of Chelsea Market by Jamestown Properties to Google has been finalized, and the good news is that Google has assured the community that “Jamestown will continue to manage the retail and food hall.”
This month we sensed that Village landlords were beginning to accept the new rent realities: a “for rent” sign in the window of Kikkerland on Sixth Avenue is worrisome, but the staff at the store believes that the landlord is only advertising to see if any other businesses will pay a higher rent, and that since this is unlikely, Kikkerland will stay put. The landlord at 270 Bleecker Street has rented to a former tenant at his old rent after having had the space remain empty for almost two years and losing a new tenant after only a month.
Gansevoort Market Update
A new stand called Bang Bang specializes in Chinese buns (bao). You can either create your own, or select from a list of “Signature Bangs”. If you don’t like buns, the same proteins, toppings and sauces are available in rice bowl, burrito, or skewer form. Eco-minded John’s Juice sports the hashtag for #ALLJUICENOCUPS because all the juices are served in fruit shells.
Karakatta (230 Thompson Street, near West 3rd Street): It seems like a new ramen restaurant opens every day, but what sets Karakatta apart is that it serves only spicy ramen. This restaurant is run by the same team that operates Mr. Taka on the Lower East Side. The thing to order is the unusual Spicy Ginger Stamina Ramen. Diners appreciate the lunch specials but complain about the crowded conditions.
sherry b. dessert studio (643 Hudson Street between Horatio and Gansevoort Streets): Sherry Blockinger opened her dessert studio in Chappaqua in 2012 with fancy versions of American classic desserts. Her new location in the meatpacking district features a cookie bar (you choose two cookies and a homemade ice cream flavor, or other options such as toasted marshmallow or peanut butter fluff, for a custom cookie sandwich) as well as biscuits, scones, decadent chocolate fudge-stuffed brownies and other sweets . A small menu of savory items is also on offer. Everything is delicious, but not cheap.
Bleecker Street Luncheonette (270 Bleecker Street between Cornelia and Morton Streets): Although Risotteria has not returned, Joseph Pace (the former owner), has. Less than two weeks after burger 101 (at that location) closed, the space has re-opened as The Bleecker Street Luncheonette. Pace, who worked in high-end New York restaurants such as Bouley and Petrossian, opened Risotteria in 2000. But in 2016 the asking rent doubled, forcing the restaurant to close. Almost two years later, when burger 101 closed, the landlord called Pace and asked if he wanted to return. The new place, “not your grandfather’s luncheonette,” has many vegetarian and gluten-free options. In keeping with the middle eastern restaurant trend we discussed last month, the menu incorporates ingredients such as labaneh (a thick yogurt), zhug (a spicy condiment), and za’atar (a spice blend). Breakfast is served all day.
London-based website The Business of Fashion mentioned Club Monaco (390 Bleecker Street between West 11th and Perry Streets) in its April 2017 article “Retailers Brace for New York Real Estate Apocalypse” as one of the few upscale clothing stores remaining on Bleecker Street. Now, it is gone too. The tiny oyster and wine bar Virgola (28 Greenwich Ave between West 10th and Charles Streets) has closed. The East Village location of the restaurant closed about 18 months ago. While Virgola may have left New York, its website promises locations in Tennessee, Florida and Long Island. Last month we marveled at how quickly Chubby Slim’s had closed, and while burger 101 (270 Bleecker Street between Cornelia and Morton Streets) lasted a bit longer, it was still a surprisingly short tenure. Longtime Village comfort food spot Ditch Plains (29 Bedford Street at Downing Street) has closed after 12 years at that location. Inability to come to an agreement with the landlord about the rent was cited as the reason for the departure. The restaurant hopes to open in a new location. Ivy Kirzhner World (750 Greenwich Street at the corner of West 11th Street), a women’s shoe store which opened in late 2016 and never really gained traction, has disappeared.
Marcus Lemonis (who hosts the reality TV show “The Profit”) is opening a women’s clothing store, Marcus, at 402 West 13th Street. Billing itself as “a new luxury shopping experience offering a variety of contemporary womenswear lifestyle selections curated by Marcus Lemonis,” the store promises expert fashion stylists who will work with customers to help them find “the most trendsetting styles of the season.”
All Photos by Darielle Smolian.