January was once again a relatively quiet month. Greenwich Avenue, though, is heating up, with two openings practically across the street from each other. Two other restaurants openings we’d been watching for a while now look like they won’t happen.
The Banty Rooster
24 Greenwich Avenue between
Charles and West 10th Streets
I received an email from the paper’s fashion editor, Karen Rempel, who had dined at the Banty Rooster on its opening night. The restaurant is located where the upscale Japanese spot Saikai used to be, and the website says: “With influences from the Southwestern United States to Puerto Rico to Guam to parts of Asia, we resist being strictly categorized as anything but soulful and delicious, and never take ourselves too seriously.” Karen was quite enthusiastic about the restaurant: she recommended the cocktails, the potato fritters and the charred eggplant which she found extraordinary. Her dining companion enjoyed the pork collar, and they both found the music to be at the right volume level for conversation, something that is not the case in many restaurants.
7 Greenwich Avenue between
West 10th and Christopher Streets
In the February 2018 issue of WestView News, Joe Elliot, one of our readers, wrote a letter in praise of ad hoc collective coffee + shoppe which had recently opened. He said: “Part cafe, part antique shop, ad hoc collective is all about maintaining and expanding upon genuine community in the Village. Mariquit Ingalla, owner and West Village neighbor, knows every single customer by name. In addition to a roster of wood-roasted coffee from Maine, she serves homemade snacks and sandwiches, many of which are named after regulars. People (many of whom trek in from the Upper East Side, Brooklyn, and Queens) say this place is like their living room, but better.” Now Ingalla has opened a new beautiful coffee and flower shop around the corner. Judging by the crowds there, it has also quickly attracted its own group of regulars. Rosecrans is a laptop free café.
Four years ago, Liquiteria opened at the corner of 6th Avenue and West 8th Street (402 6th Avenue) where Gray’s Papaya had been for many years. Now that location has closed, as have the other 4 locations of the juice chain. Liquiteria was one of the early spots to sell juice, with its first shop in the East Village opening 25 years ago. Pizza Restaurant Resca (44 9th Avenue at 14 Street) appears closed: there is paper covering the windows, the phone goes unanswered, and it is listed as “Not Bookable” on OpenTable. Hudson Café (628 Hudson Street between Jane and Horatio Streets) has shuttered, with a “For Rent” sign in the window. While it had been a popular neighborhood spot, for the last year or so it had received many bad reviews on Yelp. For a while we were seeing a proliferation of vegan spots, but recently Copper Branch (195 Bleecker Street near Macdougal Street), the Canadian vegan import shuttered after about 4 months in business, leaving diners with one less option for Veganuary. One of our readers noticed a rent demand for $29,304 on the door, dated December 19th. He followed up with the company and received the following response: “We are currently undergoing management changes and hope to reopen the location in early 2020. Please stay connected and thank you for reaching out.” Another reader alerted us to the fact that Hudson and Charles Dinette (522 Hudson Street between Charles and West 10th Streets) has closed, and a “For Rent” sign can be seen in window. The butcher shop next door, Hudson and Charles, had opened the restaurant just under a year ago in part of the space formerly occupied by The Quarter.
The Hudson Street storefront at 99 Bank Street which briefly housed Mrs. Green’s will become a location of Gourmet Garage. A manager at their Lincoln Square location confirmed an August opening. Village Super Market, the company that operates Gourmet Garage, just announced its intention to purchase the five Manhattan locations of Fairway which has once again declared bankruptcy. The space at 33 Greenwich Avenue (between Charles and West 10th Streets) has signage up indicating it will soon be operating as American Bar. Previously, it was a short-lived Southern-inspired restaurant.
Last month we wrote about Mini Melanie, a new sweets stand in Chelsea Market. Recently they’ve started a Truffle Thursday promotion, where cake truffles are $1 each, with a 4 per customer limit. This is a great deal, so stop by and say hi to Diana Moss, co-owner (whose name we incorrectly reported as Diane in our previous article). The Bonberi pop-up location (384 Bleecker Street at Perry Street) has closed after just over a year, but a sign on the door promises that they will be moving to a permanent spot at 321 West 11th in early 2020. La Newyorkina (240 Sullivan Street at West Third Street), the Mexican paletas and ice cream shop will host a pozole pop-up called La Pozolería through late March. Pozole is a Mexican stew usually made with pork, dried chiles, and hominy, but the offerings here include vegetarian and chicken versions. Flautas, esquites (Mexican street corn) and churros round out the menu. Now that Grom has left the space at 233 Bleecker Street (corner of Carmine Street), unsubstantiated rumor has it that Joe’s Pizza is moving back. The Ink Pad (37 7th Avenue near West 13th Street) has a sign outside alerting customers that they will be moving to a new nearby location soon. Taqueria MEZ-A (95 7th Avenue South between Grove and Barrow Streets) closed for renovations a few months ago, and a new sign outside now says Lorea. Taqueria MEZ-A is owned by the BKUK group which runs a number of other restaurants in Manhattan. For a long time we watched the space at 95 Greenwich Avenue (near West 12th Street) which was supposed to open as SoFresco, a restaurant serving Colombian street food. Construction stalled, and at one point on their website they described problems with getting their gas turned on. Now the SoFresco signage has been replaced with a “For Rent” sign. One of the many empty storefronts on 7th Avenue South between Grove and Barrow Streets was to become a Cuban restaurant called Cuban Cuisine (89 7th Avenue South), but now the restaurant’s name has disappeared and a “For Rent” sign has appeared. Organika previously occupied the space.
We received many helpful tips from you this month – please keep up the good work. We always need your help! Send any information you have to firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos by Darielle Smolian.