While Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the Key to NYC vaccination mandate for indoor dining, entertainment and fitness would start on August 17th, enforcement did not begin until September 13th. Most Village restaurants are now asking for proof of vaccination, but Pasticceria Rocco at 243 Bleecker Street posted a defiant sign in their window explaining that they do not discriminate against anyone, including the unvaccinated. A call to the bakery confirmed that they are not requiring proof of vaccination, and the owners even appeared on Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox News for a segment entitled: “NYC bakery owners hit back at de Blasio: He’s telling the unvaccinated they don’t belong.” Laura Ingraham started the segment by explaining that some “New York City business owners are fighting back against this disgusting attack on our civil liberties,” and Mary Josephine and Rocco Generoso, Rocco’s owners, called the policy an example of discrimination and segregation. Mary Josephine went on to say: “This is an attack on our Constitution. This is an attack on people just wanting to live their lives.” For more on Rocco’s, see page 5.
Breakfast by Salt’s Cure (27 ½ Morton Street at 7th Avenue South) has replaced short-lived central European restaurant 27 Morton. Currently open Wednesday– Sunday from 8 AM to 3 PM, the restaurant showcases a brunchy menu with Oatmeal Griddle Cakes which can be ordered gluten-free for an extra $2, and which are served without the possibility of syrup. As explained on their FAQ page: “The batter itself has the perfect amount of sweetness you seek, and when topped with our Sea Salt Butter and a padding of powdered sugar, you are good to go.” The concept comes to us from California where there are two other Breakfast by Salt’s Cure, as well as the original Salt’s Cure which opened in West Hollywood in 2010. Daisies – Better Burgers (516 Hudson Street between Christopher and West 10th Street) opened in the long-empty Benedicts space. Their tagline is Burgers, But Better, and they also claim to be “Sustainable, From Farm To Burger” by finding sustainable producers, minimizing food waste and sourcing biodegradable packaging. Their meat is from Niman Ranch, their chicken is from Murray’s, their dairy is from Cabot Creamery, and their buns are from Orwasher’s. Last Mile NYC (271 West 4th Street between Perry and West 11th Streets) sells electric scooters, electric bikes, electric skateboards, electric foils, and electric unicycles. Bulbs NYC (11 West 14th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues) has opened where Club Clio used to be. It is a welcome arrival since the neighborhood’s go-to destination for lighting, Lighting and Beyond, on the same stretch of 14th Street, closed a couple of months ago.
Pinkberry (523 6th Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets), the frozen yogurt shop, has closed its Village location. There are still half a dozen other branches operating around the city. Aunt Jake’s (47 West 8th Street between MacDougal Street and 6th Avenue), an Italian pasta-centric restaurant abruptly shuttered last month. There are two other locations, in Little Italy and on the Upper East Side. Village Natural (46 Greenwich Avenue between Perry and Charles Streets) was an old-school health food restaurant of a type not seen much anymore. It opened over 30 years ago, was shuttered briefly at the beginning of the pandemic, then closed permanently a couple of months ago. Biryani Kitchen (48 Greenwich Avenue between Charles and Perry Streets), a small storefront selling Biryanis (Indian rice pilafs) for pick-up or delivery has closed. The restaurant was owned by the same restaurant group as Oaxaca Taqueria which previously had a branch at that location.
Balkan StrEAT is coming to 353 6th Avenue (between West 4th Street and Washington Place). I met the chef and an owner of the restaurant outside the space. They were collecting signatures to apply for a wine and beer license. They said the restaurant will serve Balkan food, including ćevapi (grilled Serbian sausage) and boureks (savory filled pastries). They are hoping to open in about five months. Previously, the space housed the Tri-Rite Deli. The asking rent was listed as $30,000/month. Jack & Charlie’s, a seafood focused restaurant is opening at 118 Greenwich Avenue (at West 13th Street). The previous occupant of the space was pizza restaurant Rossopomodoro. The restaurant is part of the group that has another Jack and Charlie’s in Visalia, CA, but that restaurant has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic. One of our readers noticed a sign with a picture of a blackout cake at 523 Hudson between West 10th and Charles Streets, the old Meadow space. This signals the arrival of Ovenly, a bakery founded by women specializing in “classic treats with a twist”, which has a number of locations in Brooklyn and one in Urbanspace Vanderbilt. Serafina has about a dozen restaurants in New York City and more around the world serving pizza and other Italian food. They are now planning a location at 402 6th Avenue (at West 8th Street) where Liquiteria used to be (and before that, for many years, Gray’s Papaya). Ama Raw Bar West Village, an Asian influenced raw bar, will be opening at 39 Downing Street (at Bedford Street). They currently have a location on Avenue B in the East Village. Alexis Bittar (125 Greenwich Avenue near Horatio Street) is a Brooklyn native who started designing costume jewelry in 1990. After a successful run, he sold the brand to Brooks Brothers in 2015. After Brooks Brothers filed for bankruptcy, he reacquired the brand in 2020, and is planning to open five stores in New York City and one in San Francisco in fall 2021. The stores will also sell accessories and home décor items. An eagle-eyed reader alerted us that Pupster Bakery, an all-natural, organic, vegan and mostly gluten-free pet bakery will open at 32 Jones Street (between Bleecker and West 4th Streets). Last month, we reported on the planned opening of The Mary Lane at 99 Bank Street (Greenwich Street between Bank and Bethune Streets). This month, we learned more about the chefs: Mike Price, a Culinary Institute of America grad will be the executive chef. He also is a co-owner and executive chef of The Clam and Market Table which opened in 2007. Andrew Sutin, who is the Chef de Cuisine of Market Table will move to The Mary Lane. He received a degree from The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill in Philadelphia, and after working in Philadelphia and at a number of well-regarded restaurants in New York including The Nomad, he joined the Blackfoot Hospitality Group. But what has intrigued us most about The Mary Lane is an increasingly hysterical campaign to oppose the restaurant’s modest outdoor seating plans. In advance of a Community Board 2 licensing meeting on September 9th, spelling and grammar-challenged flyers appeared on Bank Street saying, among other things, “DON’T LET THE PREDATORY RESTAURANTEURS (sic) DESTROY OUR BLOCK” and “WHAT BEGAN AS AN EXPEDIENT TO SAVE RESTAURANTS HAS TURNED INTO A BUSINESS PLAN FOR RAPACIOUS RESTAURANT VULTURE OWNERS.” These flyers encouraged neighbors to attend the CB2 meeting and oppose the restaurant’s plans. Since then, more flyers have been spotted, with the latest one making an appearance on September 25th after a fairly small area on Greenwich Street was blocked off to prepare for the erection of an outdoor seating area. This flyer began with the word “OUTRAGE”, and ended with “Be strong, West Village. Help protect our community.“
The original location of Vin sur Vingt (201 West 11th Street at Greenwich Avenue) closed during the pandemic. Recently, signage at 192 7th Avenue South (near West 11th Street) indicates that the wine bar is relocating to larger quarters just down the street. The old Urban Outfitters space at 526 6th Avenue (at West 14th Street) is being used for an unauthorized exhibition of mysterious street artist Banksy, called Banksy: Genius or Vandal? The exhibit features over 80 of the artist’s works.
This month we heard from lots of you with helpful tips. Please keep writing to us, we love to hear from you! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org