There is a renaissance of sorts for Hudson Street around 11th and Perry Streets with two flashy openings, and the soon-to-open Dante West Village across the street. Bleecker Street also has fewer empty storefronts, but most shops did not seem all that busy during the Shop Bleecker event in late November.
Small Door Veterinary – 15 7th Avenue at 12th Street
A membership-based veterinary clinic has opened on the ground floor of the Raskob Building of the former St. Vincent’s Hospital (now part of the Rudin’s Greenwich Lane Condominiums). According to staff at the clinic, one of the founders came up with the idea after his experience trying to get a diagnosis for his sick Boxer. The space is lovely, and does not smell like an animal hospital. There are different waiting areas so that cats and dogs can be kept apart. There are three levels of membership: the first level entitles pet owners to make appointments and chat with someone on staff 24/7, and the higher levels include annual exams and other preventative care. The cat plans are slightly cheaper, with the lowest level coming in at just under $100/year.
Café Kitsuné – 550 Hudson Street at Perry Street
I was familiar with the French brand Maison Kitsuné, which features lots of t-shirts with fox logos, and have been to their Soho store, so when I saw the signs for Café Kitsuné, I imagined that it would be a clothing store with a café in the back. But in reality it is an all-day café and natural wine bar with just a few Café Kitsuné branded items for sale. The coffee comes from Costa Rica and is delicious. The menu has sandwiches and pastries, some from Brooklyn cult-favorite Burrow. The fox cookies are adorable, and the black pepper and scallion scone was delicious. I was curious as to why the owners had picked this particular location, and this was their response: “The West Village is quintessential New York. It’s the epicenter of NYC culture, and one of the most influential and renowned neighborhoods in Manhattan, particularly for the food and wine scene. But most of all when you walk through the West Village, you’re bound to think, this neighborhood is way more charming than all the others – this is integral to the Café Kitsuné experience: In Paris we are situated in the Palais Royal gardens, in Tokyo the entrance is through an alley lined with bamboo, and in Seoul we have a similar, hidden-away terrasse. The location at 550 Hudson evokes a feeling for taking a brief moment out of the day, to recharge, to chat, to check in with their neighborhood”
Anton’s – 570 Hudson Street at West 11th Street
Nick Anderer, the chef from the Danny Meyer restaurants Maialino and Marta has opened his own place with the owners of Frankies 570 which previously occupied the space. Having had exquisite pasta at Maialino and amazing pizza at Marta, I was a bit disappointed with the menu and food at Anton’s. Somehow the choices seems out of step with current food trends: the food skews heavier, and there is not much of a focus on vegetables. Some of the dishes are a strange mix of Italian and Eastern European influences. For example, while I love the country ham from Baczynski, a Polish/Ukrainian butcher in the East Village, I felt the flavor was a bit jarring in the Bucatini Baczynski. The restaurant has been busy since it opened due to its pedigree, but I wonder if its popularity will endure, or if a course correction will be needed.
Solaro (13 Carmine Street at 6th Avenue) has taken over the space that housed Venetian restaurant Giulietta’s Cantina Club. Solaro is family-owned, the menu is Italian with Genovese influences, and like many recent openings, it also functions as a wine bar (although it is waiting for a liquor license). In addition to the a la carte menu, a $45, 4-course prix fixe meal is available. Choco-Nuts (104 West 14th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues) serves Lokma, a Turkish dessert that resembles donut holes. Here, the Lokma are made fresh and filled to order, and customers can also select toppings which include fruit, nuts, chocolate, honey and more. Milkshakes, juices and coffee drinks are also served. Chip (298 Bleecker Street near 7th Avenue South) has finally opened. This cookie bakery had a stall in Gansevoort Market previously. The cookies are large and puffy and the smells inside are intoxicating.
In the last few years we sometimes got emails from readers speculating that Ethiopian restaurant Injera (11 Abingdon Square) had closed, but these turned out not to be true. Now, however, Injera really has closed. On Facebook, the owners write: “Thank you everyone for supporting us all those years and Thank you for coming out one last time to celebrate the closing of Injera.” Dirty Bird To-Go (204 West 14th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues), a fried chicken spot that opened in 2006 and recently expanded with more seating next door has shuttered. In 2012 a second location opened in Tribeca, but it has recently closed as well. Grom (233 Bleecker Street at 6th Avenue), the Italian gelateria which opened at this location in 2008 has closed, leaving Cones as the only ice cream option on that stretch of Bleecker Street. There are still two open location in New York, as well as lots in Italy.
Go Stir Fry Express (319 6th Avenue near West 3rd Street) is coming to the location where Walk to Wok used to be, and will serve customizable bowls. Smith & Sinclair London (66 Greenwich Avenue near 7th Avenue), a British company that makes Alcoholic Cocktail Gummies and other boozy confections will be opening in the space that most recently housed two lingerie stores. It describes itself as an “Adult Candy Shop”, keeping the adult theme going at this location. Signage is up for Pasta Pollacci/Pasta al Forno (167 7th Avenue South near Perry Street) in the old Snowdays space. Pictures of pasta and other Italian dishes are visible on the inside, and a woman I spoke to who sounded Italian said the restaurant would be opening in early December. An astute reader noticed that Public Rec, another apparel shop is opening on Bleecker Street (330 Bleecker at Christopher). On their website they explain: “We make intelligent apparel – to simplify life for the better. Through insightful design, we empower everyone to focus on what they are doing. And not what they are wearing.”
Photos by Chris Manis
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