It’s a popular lament: the Beats, hippies and punks that used to roam St. Marks Place have been replaced by “students, tourists and bubble tea shops.” Stroll down the block between Second and Third Avenues and you’ll count no less than five places that sling balls: TK Kitchen, Spot Dessert Bar, Kung Fu Tea, CoCo Fresh Tea & Juice and Caffé Bene. Sound like a lot? Not for Nanako Mizutani, who on April 9 will tap into the tapioca market with her own takeout tea room at 9 St Marks.
The tiny venue, located in the second-floor nook that briefly held Brooklyn Dank Hemp Bar, will be called Nohohon Tea St Mark’s, a Japanese palindrome meaning “tranquil.” The 28-year-old owner, who opened her first store in Toronto last year, said her teas are all-natural (with soy milk or almond milk), vegan, sugar-free and mostly organic.
Nohohon will also serve homemade, hand-whisked matcha, a Japanese green tea popular for its various health benefits. Customers will be able to sip their drinks at neighboring Karaoke Sing Sing, thanks to a partnership. The prices should range from $4 to $6, Mizutani said.