As of this afternoon, for the first time ever, you can make your way up to the tip top of the brand new William Vale hotel, clink glasses with your crew and look out over the expanse of Brooklyn from the Westlight, the new Williamsburg luxury hotel’s 22nd-floor bar with 360-degree views of the city skyline. Suddenly, Brooklyn will look almost insignificant and underdeveloped, teeming with pathetic, spartan life. Shift your godlike eyes down toward the Wythe Hotel and its unfortunate patrons will look like drunken, desperate ants. “Literally, that’s the Wythe– look how little it looks,” a PR rep laughed along with us.
More Asian sweets came to St. Marks Place yesterday as 10Below Ice Cream opened on the block between First and Second Avenues. The shop’s specialty is Thai-style rolled ice cream, in which custard is spread onto a plate, topped with sauce and mix-ins, and then rolled into neat little tubes. Sort of like crepes, but the hot plate is freezing cold.
Jennifer Yu of 10Below told us they decided to add an East Village store to their current ones in Chinatown, the Lower East Side, and Flushing because “we regularly frequent the neighborhood on our own for a wide variety of restaurants and bars that we love, and it’s a hotbed for different types of Asian-influenced cuisine and eats.”
When word first emerged that Abby Ehmann, an East Village party organizer and neighborhood chronicler who’s resided in the hood since 1989, would be opening a bar on Avenue B, not everyone was all about it. There were enough bars, people said– in fact, there are several of them located on the block between 10th and 11th streets already. And worst of all, weren’t the proliferation of bars (especially the fancy cocktail ones) part of the problem?
Ask anybody who’s not from the so-called flyover states to describe a Midwesterner and you’re absolutely going to hear some variation on the word “nice.” But try asking an actual Midwesterner to say something about their own and it’s likely to be along the lines of, “Well, they don’t take themselves too seriously.”
Thankfully, Frank Bevan and Eric Odness, a pair of super chill Minneapolis rock-n’-roll vets, fit the latter description, and likewise their Greenpoint bar, Lake Street, is about as unpretentious as it gets. Just whatever you do, don’t call it a “Minneapolis-themed” bar.
“I can’t stand hearing that,” Frank said. “I don’t know what that means.”
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.