While there was a healthy number of openings, and no permanent closings we are aware of, December saw many restaurants close temporarily due to rising COVID cases in the city. Some were short staffed due to COVID, and others closed after exposures to customers who later developed COVID symptoms. Some restaurants planned re-openings after the holidays, while others did not specify when they would be back in business. In terms of openings and planned openings, much of the activity centered on Bleecker Street. See Maggie B’s Quick Clicks, page 27, for photos of Bleecker Street
The Commerce Inn (50 Commerce Street at Barrow Street) opened on perhaps the most scenic corner of the West Village. The owners, Rita Sodi and Jody Williams, Village denizens themselves, run four other popular Village spots (Via Carota, Bar Pisellino, Buvette and I Sodi). For their new venture, which they describe as a “Shaker Inspired Early American tavern and cookery”, they have moved away from their previous focus on Italian and French cuisine. Currently the tavern portion of the restaurant is open, with the dining room slated to open soon.
The Perry Club (157 7th Avenue South between Perry Street and Waverly Place) is a small Italian restaurant serving, among other things, pasta and pizza. The pasta is made in an open pasta kitchen using a La Monferrina Pasta Extruder P60. The owner, Brandon Fay, opened a fast-casual pasta restaurant, Pasta By Hudson at 180 Seventh Avenue (between 20th and 21st Street) in September, 2020 after his appearance on Shark Tank, where he showcased the “Cheesy Meatball” stuffed with mozzarella, which is on the menu at The Perry Club.
Vin Sur Vingt (192 7th Avenue South at West 11th Street) started as a tiny wine bar around the corner on West 11th Street. That location closed, and in the meantime four other locations opened in the city as well as one in Washington DC with a wine store opening soon on Amsterdam Avenue. Now Vin Sur Vingt has returned to the West Village in a much larger space than the original. Two months ago we wrote about Love Child Yoga relocating from their Horatio Street location to Patchin Place. Now, a reader alerted us to the opening of The Old Yew Plant Shop (1 Horatio Street at 8th Avenue) at their former location. This plant store specializes in statement plants and landscape design. A new trend in retail is micro retail, stores in locations smaller than 300 sq. ft. Blank Street Coffee has followed this trend and opened two tiny shops in the West Village, one at 300 Bleecker Street (near 7th Avenue South) and the other at 37 7th Avenue (between 11th and 12th Streets). The coffee is roasted in Brooklyn, and the pastries come from King Street Bakery. These two locations are part of a push to open widely in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Blank Street started as a coffee cart in summer 2020, and now has over a dozen locations in the two boroughs. Bleecker Street is looking more cheerful than it has in years with the opening of a number of unusual shops. Little Words Project® (374 Bleecker Street at Perry Street) “aims to inspire and encourage people to be kind to themselves and to pay that kindness forward, one bracelet at a time”. The store sells bracelets with little letter squares that are used to make words and sentences, and a custom bar allows customers to create their own beaded bracelets. The store also carries self-help books. Another Tomorrow (384 Bleecker Street), like many clothing stores that have opened on Bleecker Street, has a socially conscious message, and a promise that “Every decision has been guided by a value system based on three pillars—human, animal, and environmental welfare.” Vincero (370 Bleecker Street near Charles Street) started in 2010 with a Kickstarter campaign for watches and now features eyewear and jewelry as well. Daniella Shevel (353 Bleecker Street near West 10th Street) is a women’s shoe store which aims to sell shoes that are both attractive and comfortable. Two Korean spots made their debut recently: Ninano (61 Grove Street at 7th Avenue South), a Korean tapas bar with a large Soju menu, and Genesis House (40A 10th Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets). Genesis Motor is the luxury vehicle division of Hyundai, and Genesis House includes a showroom, as well as a library and a Korean restaurant with ties to Onjium, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Seoul. The cuisine is modern Korean, and as a Korean friend of mine said, it is “definitely not traditional Korean fare.” Like a number of other places, Genesis House was temporarily closed at press time.
One of our observant readers noticed that Made in New York Pizza is coming to 561 Hudson Street (between Perry and West 11th Streets), the location most recently occupied by Golden Rabbit Stationary (whose closing was much lamented). The owner, Eytan Sugarman, opened the first Made in New York Pizza on the Upper West Side in 2019, and is also the current owner of The White Horse Tavern, just a few doors away. Do Not Feed Alligators (337 Bleecker Street between Christopher and West 10th Streets) will be a café with a garden and art books. The idea came from Swiss Photographer David Shama who published a book by that name with photographs from his travels in the south, particularly in Florida’s “Alligator Alley”. Maternal Resources—Home of the Natureback Method of Pregnancy is opening at 162 7th Avenue South, near Perry Street. Maternal Resources, which has a number of offices in New Jersey, provides obstetrical care and focuses on natural childbirth. The short-lived restaurant Planted (and before that Seabird) will be replaced by West 4th Marketplace (361 6th Avenue at Washington Place). DAVIDs TEA closed all their US stores including the one at 275 Bleecker Street (between Jones and Cornelia Streets), but now Raccoon Cave, a bubble tea shop will be opening at that location. We heard from the owners of Honeybee Burger, an LA plant-based restaurant, about their upcoming branch at 280 Bleecker Street (at Jones Street). The all-vegan menu features “burgers”, “fried chicken” and “shakes” (made with OATLY). VegNews voted them the best vegan burger in LA. The owners expect a Spring opening.
Wolfnights, the wrap spot where the dough for each wrap is baked to order on the IronWolf®, is moving from 235 Bleecker Street (between Leroy and Carmine Streets) to a larger space at 121 West 3rd Street (between MacDougal Street and 6th Avenue). They expect to be open at their new location in the Spring. Jason & Co. Jewelry has moved from 100 West 14th Street to 466 6th Avenue (near West 11th Street) into what was part of the old Ricky’s space.
There is so much activity that it’s hard to keep up. Please let us know if you see anything. We’d love to hear from you at email@example.com