“The Future of This Great Nation Will Be Determined By Vapers,” declares Gawker, going on to quote conservative puppet-master Grover Norquist: “I think that the next election, at the presidential level, and a lot of other levels, is going to be determined by the vaping community.” Bold claim! If that’s true, you might find some of the Leaders of Tomorrow puffing away at Vapeology 101, the latest of many vape shops to hit Williamsburg.
The folks behind Edi & the Wolf and The Third Man are venturing well west of their stomping grounds on Avenue C. Tonight they’ll open Freud in Greenwich Village. As ya might’ve guessed from the name, this is another contemporary Austrian joint, meant to evoke a turn-of-the-century tavern in chef Eduard Frauneder’s native Vienna. And as you also might’ve guessed, the 65-seat dining room is a real beaut, complete with requisite floral arrangements. That’s not entirely due to Florian Altenburg, who designed the sumptuous sister spots as well. The tile and wainscoting are left over from Pasticerria Bruno Bakery, which spent 41 years here on La Guardia Place.
To Spiti, the name of Alma Selmanay’s new Greek takeout joint, means “my home” in her native language. Her home was Athens before she moved to the United States a handful of years ago and got a front-of-house job at Anthis on the Upper West Side. “I worked there five years, I said, ‘I open my store,'” she told us. Now her home is on Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg, where she’s making what she insists is “the best” lamb-beef gyro as well as other “traditional, traditional” dishes such as moussaka, tzatziki, babaganoush, and taramasalata.
Over the weekend, a new radio station with a focus on the multifaceted New York City music scene entered what founder Francois Vaxelaire described as “beta mode.” The Lot Radio occupies a shipping container plopped on a lonesome triangular strip of land near the Williamsburg-Greenpoint border. Bound by a sulky chainlink fence that’s just 63 feet on its longest side, the lot looks like some cosmic accident at the awkward intersection of Nassau, Banker, and North 15th Streets, rather than a place where anything other than weeds ever grew. But since January, Francois has been visiting frequently, and even if things are not quite where he’d hoped they’d be by now, a handful of people came by on Sunday to turn on the equipment, hit record, and start digitally broadcasting. “It was more to test everything, to see if everything was working,” Francois explained. “It was.”
When 2nd Floor on Clinton closed last July….a lot of people had no clue (it was a speakeasy, after all).
But for those who liked to head to the back of Barramundi’s (which also shuttered) for a chance to be whisked upstairs, a giant hole opened up in their LES nightlife options. Where to surprise that date when you’re feeling fancy, or unwind after going a little too hard at Pianos? Second Floor was always the perfect combination of class and comfort, with some of the most inventive cocktails around (I was once served a drink garnished with a cluster of enoki mushrooms).
Forget the Super Bowl and go on the hunt for a super bowl.
Brooklyn Hidden Treasures, a one-stop shop for all of your vintage furniture and knick-knack needs, is expanding to a new location in Bushwick and will be inaugurating its massive warehouse with a soft opening this Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Carbs of the kind that inhabit creatures like bagels and baguettes may have gone out of fashion. And even those of us who choose to enjoy life had to take four months off the damn things during the temporary closing of Kossar’s, the 80-year-old Lower East Side bakery specializing in bialys (which are decidedly not bagels, y’all). I bet your mother even accused you of being skinny over the holidays, and you know that squeezing compliments out of her is like slurping the bitty remnants of your day-one juice detox (i.e. painful for everyone). Forget all that, and check out the new digs– maybe you’ll even be inclined to enjoy at least a few of these babies to the face. Think of it as making up for lost time.
WeWork‘s expanding co-working empire has touched down in Williamsburg at 24o Bedford Ave, around the corner from the future Whole Foods and hovering over Scotch & Soda and Levi’s. (These days, North 4th Street would feel like a mall in the ‘burbs, except we don’t think there are any WeWorks out there– yet.)
Get anywhere near the old Pfizer building these days and you’ll be overwhelmed not with the smell of medicinal byproducts, but with the delicious aroma of cookies, coffee, and freshly baked bread. Pfizer left the massive industrial plant empty in 2008 and it was bought up by a real estate investment firm a few years later. Today, it finally saw the opening of Brooklyn FoodWorks, an educational institute, incubator, and communal kitchen that will offer low-cost co-working space for small food startups.
“Retail diversity” is taking on a whole new meaning in the Lower East Side. Scrappy indie publishers Badlands Unlimited, launched in 2010, recently moved from a studio in Sunset Parks’ Industry City to a real five-person office on 24 Rutgers Street (ok, maybe that’s more Chinatown than LES). Hoping to integrate with their new surroundings, they struck up a partnership with the 99-cent store beneath their office and dubbed the experience “Y.oung P.ublisher 99¢ & Up.”
It’s still raining ramen out there– it seems we can’t go one week without a new opening. Here’s a round up of some of the newest places to slurp during noodle season.
65 4th Ave, nr 10th street, East Village
This pioneer of New York’s Ramen craze recently closed for what store manager Yuske Nakamura says is an “iPhone 6 to iPhone 6s” upgrade. The space, originally meant to serve 200 guests a day, became so popular it quickly had to adjust to accommodating 800 – and all that turnover took a toll on the equipment and machinery. The upgrade will come in handy when Ippudo presents an expanded menu (expected in May) to include more vegetable-based ramen options and appetizers with global influences, like Spanish Iberico pork. There’s also a revamped beer bar at the front, now with Japanese craft beers on tap like Asahi and Orion (and the Ippudo collaboration with Brooklyn Brewery, Kaedama Ale). The biggest novelty is a slushy Kirin Ichiban machine to top your drink with frozen beer, a popular variation in Japan.
Russ & Daughters is opening a giant multipurpose space in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, its first retail location outside of its longtime home on Houston Street. The appetizing institution is taking 14,000 square feet in Building 77, a massive storage facility undergoing an $185 million renovation that’s expected to be completed in early 2017.