January was a quiet month for openings and closings. One trend we observed was that a number of shops that opened in challenging locations closed just as quickly.
Chelsea Market/Gansevoort Market Update
Big Mozz took over the Very Fresh Noodles spot in Chelsea Market (Very Fresh Noodles moved in to the larger space vacated by Dizengoff). First appearing at Smogasburg in Brooklyn, Big Mozz hand stretches fresh mozzarella made with milk from local, grass-fed cows. The mozzarella is featured in the “Mozz Bomb” as well as in Mozz Sticks (fried mozzarella sticks), chicken parm bites and other salads and sandwiches. Duchess Cookies replaces Chip NYC in Gansevoort Market, and Noodle Culture has set up a stand there as well. The chef, Alonso Guzman Arellano is Mexican but his cooking is traditional Taiwanese. The scallion pancakes are filled with beef and jalapeno, and various dumplings, soups and noodles are also on the menu.
Hudson and Charles Dinette – 522 Hudson Street between Charles and West 10th Streets. The butcher shop, Hudson and Charles, has taken over part of the space formerly occupied by The Quarter. The meats are grass-fed and pasture raised (like at the butcher shop). One of the most popular items is the KFC, Korean Fried Chicken. There is a Steak of the Day, a selection of burgers, and tallow fries. So far the Yelp reviews have been largely positive. The owners did much of the renovation work themselves (they have experience in this area as they were doing painting and other odd jobs to raise money when they first opened the butcher shop.)
Fiaschetteria Pistoia – 114 Christopher Street between Bedford and Bleecker Streets. There is/was a Fiaschetteria Pistoia in the East Village which was opened by Italians who also have a restaurant in Tuscany. Unfortunately, the East Village location has been closed since the end of December due to a fire (it is apparently going to open again soon). The new location is in the spot where the pet store Pet’s Kitchen used to be. The restaurants are known for their pastas, and locals who are very picky about their Italian restaurants have been quite positive about this one.
Asian restaurants continue to open at a fast pace in the Village: Kogane Ramen (337 West 14th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues) now occupies the downstairs space where Mulino a Vino used to be. The owners also have a restaurant of the same name in Brooklyn. In addition to the usual ramen soups, you can find sautéed ramen and a ramen burger. Catmint Wheel Cake has replaced Mr. Panzerotto at 124 Macdougal Street (near Minetta Lane). A wheel cake is a Taiwanese specialty with a cakey exterior and flavored fillings. Catmint started at street fairs like the Queens Night Market, and this is their first brick and mortar location. Most of the cakes are sweet (red bean is a standard filling) but there is also a tuna, corn and cheese cake available.
Vivi Bubble Tea (65 West 8th Street at 6th Avenue), the bubble tea and Chinese fast food chain of shops has closed this location. Fava Bistro (74 7th Ave South at Barrow Street) seems to have fallen victim to its cursed location: there have been at least 4 restaurants there in the last 10 years, maybe more (Some of the ones I remember are Centro Vinoteca, Duet, and Maison de Makoto.) Also open but a short while was Nightingale (407 Greenwich Avenue between Bank and West 12th Streets) which replaced the beloved Good. It now appears that BLKSQ Pizza is the latest closure at 44 9th Avenue (at 14th Street). A yellow “Closed by order of the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene” appeared in their window at the end of December, and now their website is down and the reservation site is not accepting reservations. Ever since The Diner closed two years ago, the restaurants that have opened there have closed in record time (Fatbird Southern Kitchen, Chubby Slim’s Joyful Nosh). The Russian restaurant Onegin (391 Avenue of the Americas near Waverly Place) has been dark for the past few weeks, and Yelpers report it closed. A few months ago it also went dark, but then re-opened, and the website for the restaurant is still active, so it is possible that it is not the end for Onegin.
Italian luxury leather goods purveyor Il Bisonte will be opening a location at 381 Bleecker Street (near Perry Street). Il Bisonte was founded in 1970 in Florence, and has expanded worldwide with stores in Europe, the US and Asia. The old Croman-owned Taste of Lima space which has been empty since mid-2016 has signage in the window indicating that a restaurant called Northfork will be opening there. Avena Downtown will be opening at 260 Sixth Avenue (between Bleecker and West Houston Streets) in the large space where Da Silvano used to be. The chef, Roberto Deiaco, also runs a midtown Avena, and used to be the Executive Chef at Armani Ristrorante 5th Avenue and Cipriani.
Baked goods return to 298 Bleecker Street (near Barrow): a reader reminds us that the old-fashioned French bakery Lafayette used to occupy this space years ago, and now a sign on the door announces the imminent arrival of Chip NYC, the freshly baked cookie spot that used to have a stand in Gansevoort Market. In a pattern we’ve seen repeated more frequently in the past year, a pop-up morphs into a permanent store: The Citizenry Bunkhouse (379 Bleecker Street between Charles and Perry Streets) opened a pop-up during the holiday season, and closed on December 22nd. However, a sign in the window indicates they will be re-opening on January 23rd. The store features bedding, pillows and other decorative items from artisans around the world.
CORRECTION: We want to make sure our readers know that Cafe Loup is open for business: in our October issue we reported that Cafe Loup had closed, but fortunately, a week later it had re-opened (something we reported in the November issue.)
With the colder weather we are less inclined to walk around looking for openings and closings, so we are relying more than ever on your help! Don’t let us down: please email us your observations at firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos by Darielle Smolian.