The East Village just got a new sandwich shop, so it’s only fair that Williamsburg get one also. Bunk, the Portland, Oregon transplant we told you about back in August, has finally opened in the old Max space on Driggs, just in time to serve up its Thanksgiving sando.
“Before opening a new restaurant you need a bottle of aspirin and your wife’s permission, which can take a few weeks and is sometimes harder to secure than a loan,” Shane Covey said to laughs. Covey was seated at Edwin and Neal’s, a seafood restaurant he’s opening on East 6th Street, just a shell’s throw away from his First Avenue oyster bar, Upstate.
Bushwick already has a heck of a tiki bar in El Cortez, but soon it’ll get some company in the form of Dromedary.
Michael Lombardozzi, the drinks guy (he’s not big into the word “mixologist”) who put countless customers of One if By Land, Two if By Sea into face-sucking mode, is striking out on his own and opening an “urban tiki” bar on the corner of Irving and Menahan, near the Bushwick-Ridgewood border.
Chef Erik Ramirez has moved from fancy town to… well, another fancy town. But at his new Williamsburg restaurant, the former Eleven Madison Park sous chef isn’t invoking the trappings of his old place of employment, where they still ready the dining room by ironing their white linen tablecloths. Instead, he’s going for a relaxed atmosphere and moderately priced food that’s closer to his heart. Ramirez’s parents are from Peru (they moved to New Jersey in the 1980s) and this time last year the chef was traveling there, conducting the best research we can imagine to build his menu.
First it was J.Crew, then Ralph Lauren, and now a Levi’s Store has come to the Bedford stop. It quietly opened at 120 North 4th Street last week, in the same building that will house the Whole Foods store. We’ll reserve comment (because I’m wearing Levis as I type this) but one guy is already using the word #jeantrification to describe this particular brand of gentrification. He’s the founder of a retail management and investment firm, so we’ll assume he’s being “cheeky” (we can play, too!)
— Jason Richter (@retailpsf) November 13, 2015
But the Levi’s Store is just the start of it. Next-door, Scotch & Soda just opened an outpost to match the Beverly Hills location it opened last month.
And on the other side of the Levi’s store, on the corner of North 4th and Berry, G-Star RAW has opened an outpost.
As for the Whole Foods store, the plywood has finally come off and the monster has officially announced itself via a banner touting an opening in late spring.
While we’re at it, here’s what the Apple store is looking like these days. Bedford Mills is coming right along! (And yes, I took this photo on an Apple device.)
Update: The original version of this story was updated with news about the G-Star and Scotch & Soda stores.
Until now, we’ve known “Lowlife” as the title of Luc Sante’s history of Lower East Side vice and decrepitude, as well as the title of mad German saxophonist Peter Brötzmann’s moody free-jazz masterpiece. The name has never failed us. So we’re kind of curious about Lowlife, a new restaurant helmed by Alex Leonard, former chef de cuisine at Blanca, the Michelin-starred tasting-menu spot from Roberta’s.
Alexander Olch definitely has his hands full these days: in addition to opening an art-house cinema on Ludlow Street, the designer just moved his Orchard Street clothing store a couple doors down. It reopened on the corner of Canal Street yesterday.
Slurping season is almost upon us, and this winter will bring more ramen options than ever before.
Ramen by Mew
7 Cornelia St., nr. West 4th Street, West Village
The basement izakaya known as Mew, which opened two years ago in Koreatown, is expanding with a ramen joint on Cornelia Street. They’re shooting for a December opening, but have already started posting photos of dishes on Instagram, including soft-boiled eggs topped with sea urchin, chashu pork belly, nanbanzuke (fried salmon with a vinegar-sake marinade), and tonkotsu ramen.
Erik Zajaceskowski and Rachel Nelson, the husband and wife behind art/music space Secret Project Robot and hoppin’ Bushwick bar Happyfun Hideaway, are putting the finishing touches on their latest project, a tavern, cafe, and gallery on Dekalb Avenue, in that blurry area between Bushwick and Bed-Stuy. With the grand opening of Flowers For All Occasions set for Thursday evening, the smell of fresh wood still lingers in the air and there’s a bare back room of sorts where a “zine vending machine and cabinet of curiosities” will eventually stand.
As I’m checking things out, Erik comes in, gleefully brandishing a small sparkly object.
“Look!” he says with a grin. “Pink pepper spray!”
“These are the things you get excited about after five months of construction,” Rachel says.
With shops like Kai D., Feltraiger, and Robert James, Williamsburg is increasingly becoming a destination for discerning dudes seeking dashing duds. The latest local designer to open a store of its own is The Hill-Side, a six-year-old brand with roots in both NYC and Japan.
Makeshift Society, the San Francisco co-working space that came to Williamsburg a year and a half ago, has closed its Hope Street outpost. According to a sign posted by the owners, its clientele was “not quite numerous enough to make the business pencil out the way we planned.” But that isn’t stopping its neighbor across the street, 66 Hope, from picking up Makeshift’s business model and running with it. As of last week, 66 Hope is no longer a coffee shop and is now the neighborhood’s newest co-working space.
Lions Beerstore—an all-in-one gastropub, retail store, and self-described beer consultancy—will open Monday in Spice’s former home at Second Avenue and East Sixth Street.