In addition to more re-openings this month, there were also a number of actual openings, something we’ve not seen much of since early this year. And we noticed some signs of additional openings to come. Sadly, as expected, a number of places have decided to close permanently as a result of the challenges they’ve faced in the past few months.
112 Greenwich Avenue near Jane Street
This cheerful caffè serving delicious espresso drinks (including shakerato!) made with a La Pavoni opened the week of March 7th, but shut down a week later. In early June they re-opened, and have had an enthusiastic following ever since. The owner, Aaron Dahan, is a recent college grad who started a coffee cart catering company while he was still in school. Aaron purchases the coffee directly from farmers in South America and then roasts it at a roasting facility in the Hudson Valley. In addition to the coffee, pastries from local bakeries are available, and a selection of sandwiches made in house have also become popular. You and your furry friend can both enjoy gelato (the dog gelato sold out briefly but is now back in stock), and outside of the shop is a compost bin for neighbors to bring their compost. (The department of sanitation stopped its compost program in May, and compost is no longer being collected at most sites around the city, so this is a wonderful option for those of us who are still composting.) There is a jolly outdoor terrace, complete with Italian flags. Moreover, you can feel good about having your coffee here. According to their website: “We extend this sense of coffee and community to the greater New York City area, donating 5% of all our sales to various charities throughout the city. We can’t force other businesses to be ethical, but we can strive to lead by example. In that small way, we hope we’re making the world a slightly kinder place.” They recently received their wine and beer license. They are open Sunday-Friday (closed Saturday) from 7 AM – 7 PM.
Silver Apricot (20 Cornelia Street between West 4th and Bleecker Streets) has opened in the space that used to house Home. Simone Tong was the force behind the now-closed but very popular Little Tong Noodle Shop in the East Village but at this restaurant she focuses on her concept of Chinese-American food which is quite elevated. There is a 3 course tasting menu and an à la carte menu available for take-out, delivery, or outdoor dining, and you can end your meal with a boozy snowcone. Sushi Teru (615 1/2 Hudson Street, between Jane and West 12th Streets) is a new sushi/omakase spot that has taken over the space that was Bespoke Kitchen, and before that, Sung Chu Mei. Chef Kou spent over a decade working at two Michelin-starred sushi restaurants, and here he serves Edomae-style sushi which, according to the website, “involves using the aging process to preserve the fish, develop umami flavors and create a more tender texture.” The take-out and delivery menu features à la carte sushi, while the outdoor dining menu has three multi-course omakase options ranging in price from $60 to $200. Wicked Jane (15 West 8th Street between 5th Avenue and MacDougal Street) is offering fine dining outdoors (but no take-out or delivery) where Moroccan restaurant Mekki NYC used to be until October. According to the menu, the restaurant features “modern cuisine inspired by love, emotion, music and essence.” The chef, Zod Arifai, hails from New Jersey where he had three well-regarded restaurants. The patio is one of the most elegant ones around, with blue velvet chairs and a black and white patterned floor. In addition, on weekends, the stretch of 8th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues is closed to traffic making it a fun place to go. Just in time for the hot weather, Gelateria Gentile – West Village (41 8th Avenue between Jane and West 4th Streets) has opened next door to Aux Merveilleux de Fred making that a very sweet block. The owners are Southern Italian and the family has been making gelato there since 1880. Their first US shop was in Williamsburg and is very popular. Village Square Pizza (118 Christopher Street between Bleecker and Bedford Streets) has opened a West Village location in a Croman building, in the storefront that used to be Karahi Indian Cuisine. The opening was scheduled for March but was delayed due to the pandemic. They have had a location in the East Village since 2018, and are known for their Vodka Squares, Pepperoni Squares, and Grandma Pizzas.
Bagels On The Square (7 Carmine Street at 6th Avenue) had closed for renovations before the pandemic, and many feared it would not return, but finally it did. While Taïm has been open and serving falafel throughout the pandemic, Balaboosta (611 Hudson Street at West 12th Street), Einat Admony’s other West Village restaurant has been closed. Now they are once again serving their modern Israeli food for take-out, delivery, and outdoor dining, and they have added a “pantry” section to their menu with a number of Middle Eastern sauces and staples. Tea & Sympathy (108 Greenwich Avenue near Jane Street) is now open 7 days a week for take-out and delivery, and Friday, Saturday and Sunday for outdoor dining on their patio, festooned with Union Jacks. The afternoon I walked by, many were availing themselves of the elaborate tea service. On their website you can find links to two GoFundMe pages, one for the restaurant and one for the staff. La Bonbonniere (28 8th Avenue between Jane and West 12th Streets) is open for outdoor dining, and has somehow made its outdoor space look exactly like the indoor of a greasy spoon. They also have a GoFundMe page available. Michelin-starred Austrian restaurant Wallse (344 West 11th Street at Washington Street) has re-opened and recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Auction site A.J. Willner listed an upcoming auction for restaurant equipment and a collection of literary author portraits from Chumley’s (86 Bedford Street at Barrow Street), about which they wrote, “This fabled West Village, NY location is closed for good and everything must be sold regardless of price.” However, days after this was posted the webpage was updated with the following text: “At the request of our client, Wednesday’s auction has been canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience.” Stay tuned for more on this developing story. Aria (117 Perry Street between Hudson and Greenwich Streets) appears to be closed. The restaurant has been partially cleared out, and an eagle-eyed contributor noticed a sign on the window from William Gottlieb Management Co. dated July 13th demanding that $93,927.03 in back rent be paid within 14 days. Sweet Corner Bakeshop (535 Hudson Street at Charles Street) is gone. A sign in the window says “After 7 years we are closed. We will miss you.” Bombalulu’s (101 West 10th Street between 6th and Greenwich Avenues) has a sign in the window announcing their upcoming closure after 24 years. Their silk-screened children’s clothing are still available on Etsy. The Starbucks location at 193 Greenwich Avenue (12th Street) has a paper in the window saying that they are temporarily closed, but their signage has been removed, perhaps an indication that they are not coming back. Longtime Village Mexican restaurant Panchito’s (105 Macdougal Street between Bleecker Street and Minetta Lane) is empty, and a “For Rent” sign hangs in the window. The Banty Rooster (24 Greenwich Avenue near West 10th Street) plans to close at the end of August after being open less than a year. It is one of the few Southwestern restaurants in the city, and was a favorite of our fashion editor. Dominique Ansel has closed his bakery Dominique Ansel Kitchen (137 7th Avenue South between Charles and West 10th Streets), and plans to re-open in a larger venue in the Madison Square Park area. Rossopomodoro Cucina Napoletana (118 Greenwich Avenue at West 13th Street) stopped serving their thin-crust pizzas at the end of July after 5 years at that location. Their restaurants in the Flatiron and FIDI Eataly stores are still open. Gansevoort Market (353 West 14th Street east of 9th Avenue) opened on Gansevoort Street six years ago, but moved to West 14th Street in 2016 when Pastis started construction at the original site. The food court never was all that busy, with a number of the stalls empty at any given time, and a high vendor turnover rate. Now the sign is gone and the location has been completely cleared out. The website alludes to the Market’s upcoming location in the Oculus at the World Trade Center. On his Instagram page, Taavo Somer, a co-owner of The Rusty Knot (425 West Street at West 11th Street) along with Ken Friedman, announced its upcoming closure: “Come raise a glass and say Bon voyage as we see our final sunset #therustyknot. this weekend and next weekend are our final days as we succumb to another new your (sic) city landlord during a pandemic. #thanksforthememories.”
A sign in the window at 361 6th Avenue (at Washington Place), where Seabird used to be, announces the arrival of Planted. While no information is available, one can imagine this will feature plant-based offerings. Construction continues at Amano Café (172 West 4th Street at Jones Street). Crop Circle, a Chinese restaurant, is applying for a liquor license at 126 Macdougal Street (between Minetta Lane and West 3rd Street). Besides dumplings and rice noodle rolls, it will serve guokui, which are like scallion pancakes on steroids. Hancock Street (257 6th Avenue, between Bedford and Downing Streets) will be taking over the space vacated by El Toro Blanco. The new American bistro is expected to open in the fall, but the owners may wait until indoor dining is permitted again.
Ed Szymanski and Patricia Howard met while working at the Beatrice Inn where Ed was the chef, and in March, they opened Dame, a pop-up in the East Village which served modern British food. Their plan was to open a similar restaurant in the West Village, but when the pandemic arrived they instead opened Dame Summer Club (85 Macdougal Street near Bleecker Street), a take-out counter serving more traditional British offerings, i.e. Fish & Chips, Pimm’s Cups and Eton Mess. Given the chef’s pedigree, these have a more haute cuisine approach than your typical “chippy”. On Sundays, the pop-up has been hosting a guest chef series. In keeping with their kitschy theme, the inviting outdoor patio is carpeted in astroturf and festooned with plastic flowers. The menu states that all profits are donated to charity so you can feel good about eating here. The first casualty of New York State’s crackdown on bars that were not abiding by social distancing rules was The White Horse Tavern which had its liquor license suspended indefinitely on July 8th by the State Liquor Authority after a weekend of particularly lively partying. The SLA listed 30 violations, including some related to large crowds congregating in front of the bar even before the city entered phase 2 and outdoor dining was allowed. WestView News had been receiving inquiries from readers concerned about the unruly crowds at the bar, and George Capsis contacted the owner, Eytan Sugarman, to get his side of the story. His letter in the July issue of the paper explained: “I have taken the measures the police officers have asked me to in order to insure a safer and more orderly situation going forward. Having said that, I have been attacked by neighbors who go on the internet and rant about social distancing and lack of masks. I don’t know how people expect me to enforce this personally. I went up and down the block personally, asking people to clear the sidewalk and allow for a proper walkway. The argument is that anything by my property is my responsibility. How can I force mask wearing? I suggest it, and I even offer masks at my expense. As for distancing, again, how can I police this? People stand near each other and am I supposed to physically pull them six feet apart?” The Australian owner of nearby Dante West Village (551 Hudson Street at Perry Street) explained to our photographer that they would be closing on Saturdays to avoid the weekend madness. Some restaurants seem to be thriving with expanded outdoor dining: Baby Brasa (173 7th Avenue South at Perry Street) has set up a large number of additional tables, and a festive crowd gathers there nightly (at the tables) with a pink flamingo wading pool enhancing the scene. Murray’s Mac & Cheese (250 Bleecker Street at Leroy Street) has closed but the dish is available at Murray’s Cheese Bar (264 Bleecker Street between Cornelia and Morton Streets) down the street. The cheese store itself is physically closed but cheese can be ordered on-line for overnight shipping. Sushi West (556 Hudson Street between Perry and West 11th Streets) has a sign in the window explaining that they are closing after 26 years, but there are also rumors that they might be opening again in a new location. Many shops that have re-opened have done so with shorter hours. One of our contributors, an early riser, is pleased that Black Stone Coffee Roasters (502 Hudson Street between Christopher and West 10th Streets) is open from 6 AM – 5 PM every day. This deli is run by Sammy, one of the sons of Jessie who for many years ran the popular deli Jessie’s at 7th Avenue between West 12th and West 13th Streets. (Jessie’s left when the space was rented to Duane Reade; that location closed in October.) Julius’ Bar (159 West 10th Street at Waverly Place) has started a GoFundMe campaign to help save the historic space. In 2016 they received a Village Award from Village Preservation to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the “Sip-In” that took place there on April 21, 1966. It was one of the early events in the campaign for LGBT rights and led to a successful challenge of the rule that bars could be closed for serving gay patrons. So far $92,340 of the $100,000 goal has been raised.
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