A new book, Walking Manhattan Sideways: Side Street Businesses That Have Stood the Test of Time will probably be of interest to In & Out readers. In 2011, Betsy Polivy had an idea to walk the entire original Manhattan Grid — from 1st Street to 155th Street. She traversed the side streets from the East River to the Hudson, documenting each business, meeting the owners and listening to their stories as she went along. The project took nearly six years to complete. Sadly, some of the businesses mentioned in the book have already closed, and others will not be able to survive COVID-19. Villagers will recognize some of their favorites in the book, which is filled with gorgeous photos and is well worth a read. It can be ordered at gosideways.nyc.
This month there were once again many closings, but a number of pop-ups have also appeared around the neighborhood, and a couple of exciting openings took place. Bleecker Street, between 6th and 7th Avenue saw lots of changes.
Sullivan Street Bakery
249 Bleecker Street between Cornelia and Carmine Streets
A small outpost of Sullivan Street bakery has opened on Bleecker Street where Oliviers & Co. used to be. No baking is done on premises, but rather, deliveries from the Hell’s Kitchen location arrive twice a day. Breads of all sorts, focaccias and square pizza portions are available to take-away.
Yamadaya Japanese Supermarket
450 6th Avenue between 10th and 11th Streets
A Japanese supermarket has opened in the old Jefferson Market space. According to their Facebook page, “YAMADAYA Offers The Widest Selection Of Quality Accessories, Beauty and Lifestyle Products Grocery From Japan In Best Price.” In addition to groceries, Yamada features onigiri, or rice balls with unusual fillings such as Salmon with Yuzu, Chicken Curry, and Matcha with Honey Ume.
Inokim (333 Bleecker Street between West 10th and Christopher Streets) sells foldable electric scooters meant to be used for commuting. You can book a test ride at the shop. Harris Bakes (72 Bedford Street near Commerce Street) is a small bakery that sells bagels, cinnamon buns, cookies, and pastries, and also takes orders for custom cakes and cookies, some quite elaborate. They are only open Wednesday-Sunday from 10 AM-2 PM and many of the items sell out quickly. Manhattan Medical Arts (492 6th Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets) offers regular and video appointments for primary care and specialties such as neurology, cardiology and psychiatry. They also offer rapid COVID tests.
Hudson Hound (575 Hudson Street between West 11th and Bank Streets) closed in March and remained shuttered through September. Many were worried this popular bar would not re-open. In September, they opened a new restaurant in Jersey City, and in October they re-opened on Hudson Street. Besides indoor and outdoor dining, take-out is available with 20% off online orders. Murray’s Cheese shuffle: Murray’s Cheese (254 Bleecker Street between 6th and 7th Avenues) remained open for online ordering and delivery, but the store itself had not re-opened until recently. Murray’s Mac & Cheese (250 Bleecker Street at Leroy Street) closed in August, and Murray’s Cheese Bar (264 Bleecker Street between Cornelia and Morton Streets) has morphed into a more casual affair offering the mac and cheese menu from the shuttered pop-up as well as sandwiches and melts. According to their website, “Murray’s Cheese Bar has moved to Long Island City, Queens. We’re currently in the process of evolving our restaurant concept on Bleecker Street. We hope that you stay tuned for what’s next from Murray’s Cheese & hope to serve you soon!” Mad Morton (47 7th Ave South at Morton Street) opened just before the mandated restaurant shut-down in March. Now they have re-opened and are serving their New American menu, with an emphasis on cocktails.
I was devastated that my favorite pizza spot in the city, Keste (271 Bleecker Street near Morton Street), had closed. Delivery is still available from their FiDi location. Readers alerted us to the abrupt closing of Philip Marie, with many on Nextdoor bemoaning the closure of yet another long-lived Village favorite. A farewell sign on the door said: “Thank you. We love our customers. We love our staff. Governor Cuomo…. Fix Our City! Love, Philip Marie.” Ardyn (33 West 8th Street between 5th Avenue and Macdougal Street), an upscale restaurant serving seasonal American food is one of the latest victims of the pandemic. It opened in April 2019, and during the shut-down it offered a $600 “‘Doomsday’ Dinner Party” which was similar to the many meal-prep delivery services but fancier. Lighting and Beyond (35 West 14th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues) was a wonderful resource for lightbulbs, lighting fixtures and chandelier repair, but now they are in the process of selling off their inventory and closing. I was never that fond of Ramen Thupka (70 7th Avenue South, near Commerce Street) but Eater critic Robert Sietsema always enjoyed the affordable noodles and dumplings from there, and now the space has gone dark. Popbar (5 Carmine Street at 6th Avenue) opened in 2010 and sold customizable gelato on a stick. The store has closed, but the company has opened a production facility in midtown, so their products will live on. Grounded (28 Jane Street between West 4th Street and Greenwich Avenue) was a cozy place to work or hang out while having a coffee or tea drink and a snack. It was frequented by many academics, but one of our readers alerted us to its recent shuttering. In other coffee news, I remember interviewing the owner of Faicco’s years ago, and he mentioned that the opening of a Starbucks (239 Bleecker Street between Carmine and Leroy Streets) on the stretch of Bleecker Street between 6th and 7th was a big deal to many of the longtime shop owners who did not like to see their neighborhood invaded by chain stores. Now, like many other Starbucks in the city, it’s gone. Also on that stretch of Bleecker Street, Royce (253 Bleecker Street between Leroy and Cornelia Streets) has closed. This Japanese confectionary shop opened its first store in New York in 2012, but the Bleecker Street location always seemed undersubscribed. There are two other locations still open in the city. Milk and Cookies (19 Commerce Street between Bedford Street and 7th Avenue South), a cute small cookie bakery is also gone.
Mama Capri (89 Greenwich Avenue between Bank and West 12th Streets) is applying for a liquor license in the space where short-lived restaurant Nightingale used to be. Presumably it is related to a restaurant in Brooklyn by the same name which says the following on its website: “Healthy Amalfi Coast cuisine for everyone. The Amalfi Coast is not just land of beautiful sea, villages and landscapes. From Island of Capri to Positano you will also be able to enjoy wonderful dishes and ingredients, the excellent results of centuries of culinary refining.”
Thaimee Love (615 Hudson Street, between Jane and West 12th Streets) is a pop-up from Thai chef Hong Thaimee who operated the now-closed but well-regarded Ngam in the East Village as well as a number of small Thaimee counters at the now-shuttered Gansevoort Market and Urbanspace 570. At Thaimee Love, the chef will serve homestyle Thai cooking with different regions showcased each month. Cooking classes, meal kits, and virtual tours of Thailand are also planned. If things go well, the chef hopes to continue past May which is the scheduled end of the pop-up. Miracle® on 8th Street (35 West 8th Street near MacDougal Street), a Christmas pop-up bar, has opened where Existing Conditions used to be. They are serving a number of Christmas-y cocktails and a small eclectic menu of comfort food. The concept started in the East Village in 2014, then expanded to 4 locations in 2016 and now to a large number of national and international locations. Muse Pop-Up (605 Hudson Street between Bethune and West 12th Streets) will be open until the end of December. Muse features jewelry from a number of designers and sells directly to consumers on its website. Dame Pop-Up (85 MacDougal Street between Bleecker and West Houston Streets), which served a menu of fish and chips and other British foods and had a visiting chef series on Sundays, closed last month but will be re-opening in late November as Dame Deli & Larder, a “provisions shop” with prepared foods, bread, produce and alcohol. Come spring, the team plans to open Dame, a more formal seafood restaurant at 87 MacDougal Street.
Last month I said I that I was sorry that Flip Sigi was closing on Hudson Street. In response, one of our readers emailed me the following: “If you are sorry to see Flip Sigi close, people who live on that block, and customers of the Post Office next door, are not. That establishment has been all along brazenly flouting the Open Restaurants rules, from frat-party stand-up beer blasts last spring to now almost completely blocking the sidewalk with a serving counter and tables, leaving barely four feet of clearance where eight is required, and illegally blasting the boombox all day and evening. Sure, there are other scofflaws that are just as bad, on Hudson and elsewhere, but that’s not an excuse. Flip Sigi has said the landlord wants them gone. It’s no wonder.” But if you’re a Flip Sigi fan, you’ll be happy to hear that they are moving to the old Otto’s Tacos location at 131 7th Avenue South (at West 10th Street). A reader informed us that bookstore Three Lives & Company has relocated from 154 West 10th Street to 238 West 10th Street for a year while their old building undergoes construction.
In October, Doordash, in partnership with the NYC Hospitality Alliance invited restaurants to apply for grants to help them enhance their outdoor dining setups. According to Patch, five restaurants in our neighborhood were selected. They are: Cafe Kitsune, Chama Mama, The Cubbyhole, Gradisca and Suprema Provisions. As we have mentioned before, some of the outdoor dining installations are quite elaborate already, so we can’t wait to see what these spots will do next. Speaking of outdoor dining installations, the one at Cuba Restaurant was damaged earlier this week when a driver drove into it. Luckily no one was injured. The Greenwich Avenue location of Bluestone Lane was burgled on November 12th. The perpetrator smashed a window and made off with some electronics.
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