The rooftop of the William Vale Hotel isn’t finished yet—right now the floor is covered in some kind of black canvas—but I hardly noticed that when I was 21 stories up, with the Manhattan skyline to the west and all of North Brooklyn surrounding me. Across the river, this altitude is nothing (the Flatiron building is 22 stories, for reference) but in Williamsburg it’s pretty mindboggling.
It’s only been about a year and a half since the closure of Glasslands Gallery, the other DIY venue on the Williamsburg waterfront– the one that was the button-down oxford (second-hand, but you couldn’t tell) to Death By Audio’s torn-up band tee. It wasn’t so surprising– after 8 years of hosting indie rock, R&B, techno, you-name-it shows in their cavernous, blackened industrial confines, their neighborhood along Kent Avenue no longer felt like the “forgotten backwater” it did when they opened in 2006. Today the Glasslands team announced that it’s returning with a new venue in East Williamsburg, Elsewhere, set to open this fall– and it’s not just any old ramshackle DIY establishment, but a 24,000-square-foot affair in a former warehouse. It’ll be #blessed with $3 million worth of pure sparkle, including a sprawling roof, food and drink service, and an adjacent art space.
Game of Thrones aficionados, Athena impersonators, and Rivendale lovers, take note: the next time you need to stock up on delicate laurel wreaths, headbands, and bracelets ornamented with metal, gold-plated leaves and twigs, this new Williamsburg shop may be just what you’re looking for.
Avigail Adam has opened her first brick-and-mortar shop of the same name on Bedford Avenue. “It was always a big dream of mine to have a shop in New York,” she said.
The Hotel on Rivington has a new restaurant following the closure of its previous one, CO-OP Food & Drink, after five years in business. Café Medi, an airy, Mediterranean-style affair with a terrace that opens up onto the busy street out front, opened for dinner last Wednesday. Owners Corey Lane (of Meatpacking District spots RDV Lounge, Kiss & Fly, and Gansevoort 69) and Roberto Buchelli (Rivington Hospitality Group) are planning to add lunch in mid-July, with brunch and breakfast service also in the works.
You’ve probably gone to your fair share of $1 oyster happy hours, or guzzled an oyster shooter or two– maybe you’ve dipped fried oysters in a nice aioli. But have you ever had them pickled? Or poached in butter, cream, and sherry? Marco Canora, owner of acclaimed Italian restaurant Hearth, plans to go beyond the usual raw-bar menu when he opens Zadie’s Oyster Room on Thursday.
Albert Trummer of Apothéke has finally opened his new bar on Avenue C, having dropped the rather hilarious working title of Mixers & Elixirs in favor of Sanatorium, a name that’s true to both the bar’s Habsburgian decor (surgeon’s lamps, anatomy-driven artwork, even an X-Ray lightbox) and its Dionysian philosophy on wellness.
Back in 1970 Michael Netter was a recent graduate, soaking up the big city’s vibrant art scene. A striving painter, he fell in with Andy Warhol’s Factory crowd after showing up to a party with his brand new Sony Portapak video camera (20-pound backpack and all). The new technology instantly attracted the pop-master. “Before, ‘Hello, how do you do,’ it was: ‘Can you do that for me?'” Netter says of his first interaction with Warhol. For the next few years, he followed him around, filming bits and pieces of Warhol’s world, from random conversations at the Factory, to the infamous first meeting between David Bowie and Warhol (“He was miming! And miming badly!”), and interviews with the likes of Cybill Shepherd, Brigid Polk and other Warholian superstars.
While everyone seems to be making the leap across the East River to shack up in Brooklyn, a small raw-fish-focused spot decided to jump in the opposite direction. Bergen Hill, a restaurant specializing in South American-inspired small plates and crudo dishes, closed the doors of its Carroll Gardens location in April, only to resurface a couple of months later in the East Village’s Cooper Square, with a tentative opening date scheduled for early July.
Deep in Chinatown, the team behind Forgtmenot and Kiki’s Greek bistro is putting down new roots–today they open Little Chair, a homey coffee shop on Monroe Street, under the Manhattan Bridge. The entrance is decorated with hanging greenery and potted flowers, like a rustic farm stand in the country. They also have a brand-new Mediterranean restaurant in the works next door.
After more than 16 years in Williamsburg, bookseller Spoonbill & Sugartown is opening a second store in not-so-distant East Williamsburg. The new location, in the front half of the Montrose Avenue storefront currently used as the bookstore’s warehouse and office space, will be open Friday through Sunday, starting today.
Remember that Austin Powers in Goldmember scene where Goldmember and Queen B offer Austin a pipe and a crepe? (Or a shmoke and a pancake, or a bong and a blintz…) He refuses, and Goldmember exclaims, “Then there is no pleasing you!” Well, a couple of entrepreneurial Brooklyn natives are hoping that the blinged-out bad guy was actually on to something. They’re in the process of opening their cross-branded Creative Vape and Creative Crepe and Coffee shops at Wyckoff Avenue and Hancock Street in Bushwick, where they’ll be putting an inspired (and arguably healthier) twist on the pipe/crepe combination by pairing colorful, made-from-scratch crepes with custom-made, hip hop-based e-juice and vapes.
If after falling in love with the ever-popular flat white you’ve found yourself searching for anything Australian, your prayers have officially been answered. In April, Bluestone Lane, the Aussie-influenced coffee roasters with locations in the West Village and on the Upper East Side, opened their latest cafe inside of 51 Astor Place. And earlier today another Oz-inspired cafe launched in Noho with a menu filled with simple dishes inspired by the Lucky Country.