Pokémon Go’s in full swing and fall fashion is flashing right back to where it’s been for a while now: disaffected stares, tattoo chokers, clunky Doc Marten oxfords in every shade of the Windows 95 color palette, and disused flannels fashioned into something that can only be understood as a waist-tie. So one can safely say the ’90s are still making a comeback, as the decade continues to fascinate twenty-somethings who probably don’t even remember the OJ Simpson Trial and are only pretending to understand Ren & Stimpy references. But now all these ’90s-culture appropriators will have an opportunity to really feel what it was like to be a kid with dial-up internet and a pocket full of Bubble Tape– with the opening of Brooklyn Pogs.
New York is facing an infestation. And we’re not talking about bed bugs nor are we referring to flying cockroaches– although apparently both of these nasties are really lovin’ this gnarly blast of heat and humidity so impenetrable you start thinking the guys from The Thing didn’t have it so bad because – hey, at least they were in Antarctica. Could it be the ever-rising mounds of boiling trash? That’s a thing too, sure. But what we’re talking about are co-working spaces.
It’s been a rough summer for the Brooklyn venue scene. Palisades has left a hole in our heart so big that we couldn’t help but dream up some (nightmarish) replacement tenants for the Broadway-Myrtle space. Lucky for the owners of The Acheron– the unofficial home for Brooklyn-made punk and metal that closed last month in a flurry of sweaty thrashing and loud-as-hell sets– they don’t have to see their former digs overtaken by some slick newcomer.
In just a couple of weeks, 10 Astor Place will be home to yet another franchise of the ever-popular mini-chain Sweetgreen whose salad-tossing expertise and local-farm-to-tongs ethos have hoisted them to top of the lettuce pile, so to speak. In a city full of assembly-line salad joints that follow Subway’s personalized sandwich-prep model (without being gross about it), Sweetgreen seems to be sweeping the competition– their Williamsburg location regularly draws lunch-hour lines extending all the way to the door, making them a standout in the fast food new wave that’s taking over our increasingly health-obsessed city.
For all the Williamsburgers out there who are worried about being cut off from Manhattan in 2019, here’s some good news: you now have one less reason to trudge into the city, because after much anticipation/consternation, Apple has finally built its first storefront in Brooklyn.
Days ahead of its opening this Saturday at the corner of Bedford Avenue and N 3rd Street, press were given a chance to tour the new store earlier this morning.
For a long time– well, starting four years ago, which feels like it was a different era in Bushwick years– Alaska was the after-midnight bar that guaranteed a good time and cheap drinks on the night ship to crazyville, and when it closed just a few weeks ago, it seemed almost certain that some frou-frou cocktail place would replace it. The bar’s Facebook goodbye only seemed to confirm this suspicion: “Alaska, at least in its present form, is closing, forever,” it read. So what’ll it be this time? A lesson on cocktail “shrub” cultivation, perhaps? Bushwick’s first X-Files-themed alien bar? Or maybe I was walking into a trap set by the Tim Burton bar guy?
What does a real estate broker do when he’s tired of dealing with leases and property listings? Well, if it’s someone like Andy Kim, he goes ahead and opens a Korean-style gastropub instead.
The WhaLES, as Kim’s new venture is called, opened last Wednesday at 71 Clinton Street, the space that once housed Wylie Dufresne’s pioneering 71 Clinton Fresh Food and more recently played host to the short-lived Seoul Chicken. The latest tenant features Asian twists on pub favorites, such as (yes) Korean fried chicken, cheesy ramen, and the rice burger, which consists of a patty marinated in Korean spices and topped with a fried egg, served on a bun of rice, and wrapped with edible soy paper. All these goodies are prepared by executive chef Toki Numasawa, who hails from the now-closed Kirakuya in midtown.
Kazusa Jibiki, the owner of the popular Nolita Thai eatery Lovely Day, will be expanding to the Lower East Side next week. Jibiki’s new venture, entitled Gohan, will be a return to her Japanese heritage. Unlike Lovely Day’s Southeast Asian diner fare, Gohan, which means “a meal” in Japanese, will be all about wholesome, comforting Japanese home cooking, Jibiki explained. The restaurant, which is located at 14a Orchard Street at Canal Street, will open its doors next Monday, on August 1. Although the menu is still going through its final stages, Jibiki has given Bedford + Bowery a hint of what her version of Japanese home cooking will entail.
Step aside, asparagus water: in Williamsburg, the mecca of organic, sort-of-unnecessary, and often prohibitively expensive foodstuffs is planning to do things a little differently. The supermarket giant, which will open its newest Brooklyn location on Tuesday, July 26, will include a food hall packed with local flavor: OddFellows Ice Cream (which will have a stand outside), an outpost of No. 7 Restaurant, Luke’s Lobster’s grilled tail cart, Roberta’s pastries, and East Coast Poke will all be represented at the store, as well as a “traditional Jewish delicatessen” dubbed N4, which is Whole Food’s way of “paying homage to Williamsburg’s storied roots.”
Sure, New York may be caught in the middle of what is disconcertingly being called a “heat dome,” and hot, melted cheese is probably the last thing on your mind as you desperately fan yourself with a free Time Out NY on the Finnish sauna known as the subway. But come on: Melted cheese makes everything better, and if you can’t accept that then perhaps there’s no help for you. Enjoy your limp kelp salad.
Glorified food courts keep sprouting up, from the new Gansevoort Market to the one at the forthcoming Whole Foods Williamsburg. The latest, from real estate developer Scott Marano, opened in Noho earlier today. The Bowery Market features stalls from several local vendors and restaurants, including Soho Italian sandwich spot Alidoro, “veggie slaughterhouse” The Butcher’s Daughter, taco joint Pulqueria, and upscale Brooklyn cafe Champion Coffee.
I met a man today whose religion was speakers. Whitney Walker, the general manager of retail for the soon-to-be-unveiled Sonos store in Soho, talked to me for an hour about sound diffusion and stereo design and, while I’m not sure, there’s a chance our discussion may have ended with me agreeing to check out their literature. Who knows?