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.
Bars + Restaurants
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.
If Bushwick is the first neighborhood that comes to mind when you think “party,” it might have something to do with the lingering beer ghosts of a brewery-boom past. In 1898, most of the borough’s 45 breweries (including Rheingold, now slated for residential development) were located in the Bushwick area. But by 1976, when Schaefer shut down its brewing operations, the local industry was basically bust, having been overshadowed by monsters like Anheuser-Busch. This spring, when Kings County Brewers Collective (KCBC) opens its doors on Troutman Street, it will be Bushwick’s first brewery since the decline of the neighborhood’s first Golden Age of beer.
It was one of the last vestiges of a bygone Williamsburg– a grungy, cavernous little coffee shop with worn-down wood floors and a lifetime of coffee grounds seemingly plastered onto every surface. Verb Cafe, which opened in 1999, was nothing fancy– no one went there to get a pour-over or fawn over bespoke beans with tasting notes. But when the place closed in June 2014, there was more than a bit of sadness (which was compounded when life imitated every joke ever told about Brooklyn hipsters and the coffee shop was replaced by an artisanal soap boutique with handmade, organic cupcake soap).
You’re going to have to suck in and ruffle a few feathers to squeeze into this tiny new wine bar-resto — Ruffian‘s space is snug. But if you manage to snag a seat at the bar without elbowing someone, you can breathe a sigh of relief– and, while you’re at it, breathe in the garlic sizzling on the stove in front of you.
The signage that was covering up the goings-on inside of Galeria, Clinton Street’s new hybrid art-restaurant-concept shop, has finally been ripped down. Last night, we found Jairo Barros sitting in the back, a small chef’s hat on his head and his hands wrist-deep in beets as he tweaked recipes in preparation for the opening.
Cafe Grumpy, the Greenpoint coffee roaster that shot to fame as Ray and Hannah’s place of employment in Girls, is opening a seventh shop in Nolita. The roaster just signed a lease at the Brewster Carriage House, the luxury condo building on the corner of Mott and Broome where John Legend lives.
News of the 15-year lease comes via broker Eastern Consolidated. The 19th-century building was once home to a factory that built carriages used by the Astors, Vanderbilts, J.P. Morgan, and Abraham Lincoln, the press release notes.
“This is my little baby,” Ricardo Valdez said with an excited grin, opening the door to his brand new bar on Orchard Street. A former floor manager at one of New York’s premier French destinations, Ladurée Soho, Valdez capered off with Chef Johann Giraud (who has a truly jaw-dropping internet 1.0 web-xistence), to launch their own take on the old world. The result: Excuse My French, an irreverent tapas bar dedicated to all things Francophone.
Prepare to witness the unholy union of street art and a multimillion dollar restaurant brand. Tomorrow night Vandal, a concoction from The Tao Group, will make its debut at 199 Bowery with the help of street artists from around the world.
We like the way bars are going these days– which is to say backwards. In the past year we’ve been given a slew of cheeky tiki bars– there’s El Cortez, plus Dromedary on the way. But unless you’re willing to risk colada-induced diabetes, or you’ve turned into an actual diamond-encrusted yacht because you’ve been price gouging HIV patients, downing elaborate bourbon-filled ceramic shark heads like the ones at Mother of Pearl on the reg isn’t gonna fly. Instead, pony up to Ridgewood’s newest old man bar, Bonus Room, and order yourself a sensible drink.
Back in July we predicted that Lucky Bee was going to generate some serious “buzz” (heh). Six months later, we can confirm that the interior decor alone will definitely get people talking when it opens next Thursday (and, I’d wager, Dev and crew visiting in the next installation of Master of None).
First came word of Sock Man’s closing and now we get wind that Mamoun’s Falafel Restaurant is leaving its longtime digs at 22 St. Marks Place. But don’t go crying “St. Marks is dead” just yet — the cheap-eats landmark is moving a few doors over and expanding.
According to a press release from broker Eastern Consolidated, the falafel joint has arranged a 10-year-lease at 30 St. Marks Place. At 1,400 square feet, the new storefront, previously home to Japadog and then Red & Gold Crab Shack, will be double the size of the current one.