Things were quieter this month, both for openings and closings, with most of the activity concentrated in the Meatpacking area.
Chelsea Market and Gansevoort Market Update
Hot Bread Kitchen, the organization which sells ethnic breads made by immigrants has a food incubator to help people interested in food entrepreneurship. Chelsea Market (75 9th Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets) will have a permanent Hot Bread Kitchen-sponsored pop-up, where graduates of that program will sell their food. The first occupant of the space is Hiyaw Gebreyohannes. His fast casual Ethiopian food stand, Gorsha, sells bowls with different Ethiopian toppings. Chelsea Market lost Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina, the Italian pasta store and restaurant over a year ago, but now, coming soon to a different location in the market will be Pastificio G. Di Martino. This will be the Italian pasta maker’s first pasta bar in the U.S., and will feature an open kitchen where diners can see their pasta being prepared. Like Pisellino, it will be an all-day affair with coffee in the morning and cocktails at night. Eventually there will be 25 pasta dishes offered as well as a store selling 126 different pasta shapes. Over at Gansevoort Market (353 W 14th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues), Jian Bing Man has opened selling the traditional Chinese crêpe. This dish is one of the most popular street foods in Northern China and is made with a wheat and mung bean flour pancake to which egg and other toppings are added. Jian Bing Man will also be hosting Jian Bing-making workshops on some Sundays.
Another new Asian stand in Gansevoort Market is Snowy Village, which sells Bingsoo and Tayaki. Bingsoo is a Korean shaved-ice dessert with toppings like fruit, condensed milk, matcha, crushed cookies, and more. Tayaki, or Croissant Tayaki is a sandwich where two pieces of a crêpe-like substance are filled with different items such as adzuki, ham and cheese and Nutella banana, then cooked in a press that produces sandwiches shaped like fish.
Pastis—52 Gansevoort Street between Greenwich and Washington Streets
I was sad when Pastis closed in 2014. It was a fun place, decorated to look like a French brasserie, with sidewalk seating which was perfect for people-watching. I particularly enjoyed it for breakfast, when it was very quiet, or for an early dinner when we would bring our daughter who was quite young at the time, and since it was a large space and relatively uncrowded, it was a good place to dine with kids. It closed in 2014 when the building it was occupying underwent a years-long renovation and finally re-opened as RH (Restoration Hardware). Soon after Pastis closed, plans were announced that it would re-open just down the street. The space it now occupies was briefly home to Gansevoort Market (which moved to 14th Street), and after a long renovation and a new partner (Keith McNally joined forces with Stephen Starr, a busy restaurateur from Philadelphia who also has a couple of restaurants in New York including the well-regarded Le Coucou), Pastis is back and looks pretty much the same. And the menu, while slightly updated, is also similar to the old one. However, Gansevoort Street is still very much a construction zone, so the outdoor tables are not that appealing at the moment with all the noise and dust. And even when/if the construction on Gansevoort wraps up, it will not be the same feel being on a narrow street rather than on a wide plaza. Still, I am looking forward to giving it a try, particularly for breakfast with all the delicious baked goods from Balthazar.
La Ventura (615 Hudson Street between 12th and Jane Streets) opened in the old Tavo space. After a fire destroyed Tavo, signs on the door indicated that it would re-open, but it never did. The restaurant will be another all-day café (others in the area are Fairfax, Roey’s and Pisellino), but like Pisellino, at the moment, it is just open in the evening. The menu has Italian and California influences, and in addition to the dinner menu there is a bar snacks menu to pair with the ambitious cocktail program.
Ancolie (58 West 8th Street between 6th Avenue and Macdougal Street) opened a little less than three years ago and sold French-inspired food in custom reusable glass jars that had wider mouths than mason jars. If you brought your jar back you received a discount on your next meal. Unfortunately, the concept did not catch on and now Ancolie is closing. Wallflower (235 West 12th Street, just west of Greenwich Avenue), the tiny wine and cocktail bar that featured elevated bar food closed on June 15th. They had been around since October of 2013. In a letter to patrons, the owners wrote: “We have some bad news. We are closing Wallflower. It was a gut-wrenching decision, but one that we needed to make for several reasons, none of which are interesting or important.” Simultaneously, the owners closed their East Village restaurant The Eddy.
The Manatus space (340 Bleecker Street between Christopher and West 10th Streets) has remained empty for five years, but finally, plans are in place for a new restaurant to open there. Robert Goldman, of the Goldman real estate family which owns BLDG Management is applying for a liquor license for a restaurant called Amos. Barbuto’s (775 Washington Street at West 12th Street) recent closing was widely mourned, but we were excited to see that that the owner, Jonathan Waxman, is applying for a liquor license for a new Barbuto, to be located near the original at 113 Horatio Street (near 10th Avenue). Helen’s (26 9th Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets) has over 160 locations in China, but this is the first U.S. location. The subterranean bar space will feature Asian Fusion cocktails and dim sum served from a cart. The projected opening date is July 1st. Rowgatta (31 West 14th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues) has signage in the old Ando space, and describes itself as a “rowing-inspired boutique fitness studio.” Chaz Dean (59 Greenwich Avenue between 7th Avenue and 11th Street) is a Los Angeles stylist with a supposed celebrity clientele who will be opening a salon in the space that used to house Canine Styles Downtown, a store which sold fancy accoutrements for dogs and had groomers on-site. (There are three other Canine Styles stores in Manhattan that remain open.) The space has been empty for at least four years, and it made for a sad stretch of Greenwich Avenue as it abuts the strange MTA structure at the corner of Greenwich Avenue and 7th Avenue. (Andrew Berman wrote of it in the July 2016 issue of WestView News: “The new structure, a ventilation shaft for the subways which intersect underground here, seems like a mirage, a bad joke, or an inexplicably unfinished construction project.”) One of our readers alerted us to an article in New York Business Journal which reports that the Trattoria Spaghetto space (232 Bleecker Street at Carmine Street) will become the newest location of Dig Inn, a chain of fast-casual restaurants with locally sourced ingredients that has been around since 2011. There are now 26 locations in New York and Boston. While it is nice that the space will not stay empty forever, it is sad to see a longstanding restaurant be replaced by a chain.
Photos by Darielle Smolian.