There were lots of openings this month, and many more still to come. One trend we’ve observed is Brooklyn spots coming to Manhattan, perhaps because of attractive rent deals. We continue to see restaurants that we thought were gone for good re-opening, sometimes in the same spot, and sometimes nearby. While there are always neighbors who complain about the “Open Streets” program, the rest of us see in it a sense of optimism and exuberance.
Brooklyn Kolache (185 Bleecker Street near MacDougal Street) has made the move to Manhattan and serves kolaches, a kind of Danish pastry of Czech origin that can be sweet or savory. In addition to its eponymous offerings, Brooklyn Kolache features rotating sweet buns, with a rainbow pride bun available in June. For those who love soft-serve ice cream, there is a delicious new option in the Village: Surreal Creamery (126 MacDougal Street between West 3rd Street and Minetta Lane) has some Asian flavors (taro, matcha, Vietnamese iced coffee) and some more standard ones (Monster cookies and cream, which is blue, and vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, etc.) Each order of ice cream comes with up to four toppings. The ice cream comes in different sizes, with the largest served in a mason jar. There are also bubble tea and ice cream concoctions. Yuco (33 West 8th Street near MacDougal Street), short for Yucateco Cocina, serves regional Mexican food from the Yucatan Peninsula in the former Ardyn space. The bar and more casual dining room are located in the front, and behind a velvet curtain is the main dining room where tasting menus are featured. The wine list is more ambitious than at many Mexican restaurants. Dame (87 MacDougal Street between Bleecker and West Houston Streets) is the long-awaited English seafood restaurant from the operators of the former Dame pop-up next door. The good news is that the fish and chips and Eton mess are still available, the bad news is that it is virtually impossible to secure a reservation. Sabor Argentino (57 7th Avenue South between Bleecker and Morton Streets) took over the Raviolo location and features a varied menu with Italian-influenced appetizers and sandwiches and the obligatory Argentinian grilled meats. Café Tola (124 MacDougal Street at Minetta Lane) serves empanadas, with meat and vegetarian fillings. Fifth & Madison (92 Greenwich Avenue at West 12th Street) moved into the space last occupied by “clean beauty” spot Follain. This Boston-based business carries candles, diffusers, bar soaps and body scrubs. 8 Street Pets (44 West 8th Street) offers walks, grooming, boarding and “doggie daycare.” Mr. K (152 7th Avenue South between Charles and Perry Streets) is a tiny storefront with a large menu of Japanese street food such as okonomiyaki (savory pancake), katsu sando (fried breaded pork cutlet sandwich), takoyaki (octopus balls), yakitori (skewers), and soba and ramen noodle dishes among others. Bandits (44 Bedford Street at Leroy Street) is an old-fashioned looking cocktail bar with craft cocktails, “dressed up beers”, bar snacks and other drinking food. The tater tots are a signature offering and are enhanced with Mexican, Indian or Middle Eastern seasonings. Their elaborate outdoor structures are in the shape of classic diners. an.mé (249 Bleecker Street between Leroy and Cornelia Streets) is a children’s store that sells clothing, toys and some furniture. The original location is in the East Village.
On the same stretch of MacDougal Street, both The Mermaid Oyster Bar (79 MacDougal Street) and JG Melon (89 MagDougal Street at Bleecker Street) closed in the last few months, but now new outdoor structures outside JG Melon are sporting Mermaid Oyster Bar signage. The Original Sandwich Shop closed, but its reincarnation is arriving a few doors down at 64 Greenwich Avenue. The new spot will be called The Village Sandbar and will feature sandwiches and libations where the Meatball Shop used to be. Village denizens were sad when Philip Marie (569 Hudson Street at West 11th Street) closed. Some watched the site carefully for any signs of life, and were rewarded with new outdoor structures, new interior and exterior paint jobs, and newly tiled steps. There is a rumor that the owner of The White Horse Tavern is taking it over, but employees at the White Horse say that Philip Marie is returning.
Urban Outfitters closed its store at 526 Sixth Avenue (14th Street). The retailer had been at that location since 1999.
A number of spots around the city have started offering breaded hot dogs on a stick, a popular Korean street food. Unlike corndogs, these are breaded in rice flour. Oh K-Dog (70 7th Avenue South between Barrow and Commerce Street) will offer a varied menu of fried items on a stick: some hotdogs are stuffed with cheese, and others are not hotdogs at all, but just breaded cheese. The location on Ludlow Street often has a long line of eager customers. Previously, Ramen Thukpa occupied the space. Pappas Taverna (103 MacDougal Street between Bleecker Street and Minetta Lane), a Greek restaurant, is coming to the massive Panchito’s space. It is named after a Greek restaurant opened in 1910 on East 14th Street by the owner’s grandfather and two great uncles. Instead of grilling food, the cooking will be done in a Greek wood burning oven. The restaurant is expected to open in the fall. Bagel Pub is coming to 418 6th Avenue (at 9th Street) to compete with Murray’s Bagels, a couple of blocks north. This shop has two locations in Brooklyn, and also properly hand rolls and kettle boils their bagels. The space was formerly a Lenwich Sandwich shop. One of my favorite Village restaurants was BLT Burger at 470 6th Avenue (between West 11th and West 12th Streets), and when they closed in 2014, Horchata took over the space and remained there until 2019. After that, the space remained empty, but now signage has gone up heralding the arrival of stea, serving “Modern Shanghai Cuisine With a touch of Nostalgia”. The cursed space on the Greenwich Street side of 99 Bank Street is finally showing some signs of construction. An application for a liquor license was filed in February 2020 for an entity named “On the Corner, LLC”, but a hearing does not appear to have been held yet. Most recently, the space housed the excellent Bistro Pierre Lapin which closed pre-pandemic, and the chef/owner there, Harold Moore, is now the executive chef at Charlie Palmer Steak in midtown. Emmett’s on Grove (39 Grove Street between Bleecker and Bedford Streets) is an offshoot of Emmett’s, the Soho restaurant which serves Chicago-style deep dish pizza. According to the owners, Emmett’s on Grove “will feature Chicago’s tavern-style thin crust pizza alongside updated American-Italian classics in an upbeat, informal setting.” One of our observant readers noticed a sign in the window of the old Manatus’ space announcing the arrival of Saint Theo’s (340 Bleecker Street between Christopher and West 10th Streets). Manatus closed in April 2014. I was confused, because for years I believed that a restaurant called Amos on Bleecker would be opening at that location. The description of the restaurant read: “Amos on Bleecker is an all-day kitchen and cocktail house embracing the vibrant energy of the West Village. Serving inspired New York comfort food in an upscale environment, our story welcomes guests to reminisce on Amos Street, the original name for West 10th Street, and the unyielding beat of NYC’s avant garde culture. Rooted in the spirit of a 1920s-era Jewish-Italian grocery, our menu and thoughtfully designed space transport guests to a playfully elegant environment where they can soak in our new school of hospitality.” Our same reader later walked by the location again, and this time he spotted a woman in chef’s whites who introduced herself as Ashley the chef. She also told our reader that Saint Theo’s would be opening the first week of July, and would be serving “Coastal Italian and Venetian” cuisine. Justine’s (518 Hudson Street at West 10th Street), a neighborhood spot with ingredients from Europe and from local farms, dairies and artisans is opening where a Starbucks used to be. The owner also operates two wine stores. B’Artusi (520 Hudson Street, near West 10th Street), and Via Porta (522 Hudson Street) are two new spots that are coming from the L’Artusi team. B’Artusi will be a wine bar, and Via Porta, a sandwich shop that will assume the increased take-out business that L’Artusi saw during the pandemic. When restaurants were closed for indoor dining, L’Artusi offered meal kits for take-out, but when restaurants were able to operate at increasing capacity, L’Artusi did not have the bandwidth for a take-out business. Previous tenants were The Quarter from 2014-2018 and Hudson and Charles Dinette from 2018 to 2020.
Cursive New York (23 8th Avenue below Jane St), a gift shop selling stationary, home goods, cards, glassware and more is moving to 543 Hudson Street (between Perry and Charles Streets) which was formerly Hudson Barber Shop. A wooden panel with the words “Fiddlesticks Pub” has gone up in the window of the Original Sandwich Shoppe (58 Greenwich Avenue) which is adjacent to Fiddlesticks. Could this mean that Fiddlesticks will be expanding into that space? It would not be too surprising as it has been one of the busiest spots on Greenwich Avenue during the pandemic. As we reported before, L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele is coming to 81 Greenwich Avenue (at Bank Street). We can’t say for sure when it will be opening, but the other day, delicious smells of pizza were wafting out of the still papered-up space.