If you were a fan of longtime watering hole Barramundi and its upstairs speakeasy, 2nd Floor on Clinton, we’re afraid you missed last call. The pair of bars had their final hurrah last night, but the good news is the space won’t stay vacant for long if all goes as planned for Tim Gashi (Rocky Slims). The restauranteur plans to open a Criff Dog style hamburger joint/speakeasy combo that he’s hoping will help revitalize the LES block.
Bars + Restaurants
Taking a break from writing the Meet the Regulars book (slated to be published by Skyhorse in May 2016), I was visiting a friend in Stockholm, Sweden. As soon as I learned about Bar Brooklyn, a restaurant and bar inspired by Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Brewery, I had to check it out.
The rapidly upscaling Lower Lower East Side — which recently got a new nightspot and French bistro — adds a cocktail destination to its ranks tonight. Bar Goto, a Japanese tapas spot, was envisioned by master mixologist Kenta Goto, who spent seven years at Houston Street drinks mecca Pegu Club.
I was in the grips of a full-on Sunday hangover, on a caffeine-addled regret-stroll through East Williamsburg, when I locked eyes with a bar I’d never seen before, The Topaz. I wondered if the name, bestowed on this cocktail and small plates establishment, might be a play on “tapas.” Perhaps. But it also betrays the spirit of the place: a glimmering but none-too-fancy oasis in an otherwise spartan stretch of the neighborhood.
Turntable, a second-floor Koreatown hideaway specializing in retro vinyl and Korean fried chicken, has opened a second location (its first at street level) in Alphabet City. Chef Lee Jun told us that the restaurant will be closed tonight while they put some final tweaks on the slightly steampunk decor, but starting Tuesday night they’ll be back in business, serving their signature wings while a DJ spins from the owner’s substantial collection of vinyl from the ’50s on up. (Last time we went to the K-town location, we heard a lot of Joy Division, Smiths, Cure, and New Order.)
Are wine stores getting away with “highway robbery?” Gary Landsman, owner of Taste Wine Company, thinks so. To put an end to this crime, he opened his East Village wine store earlier this month with the guiding principle of “taste before you buy.” Our first thought upon seeing the store’s cutting-edge tasting machines? It’s about time.
Talk about buzzy openings. The Lucky Bee, a Southeast Asian “electric tropical paradise,” is slated to bring its spicy, sustainable street food to 252 Broome Street, and owners Rupert Noffs and Matty Bennett love honey so much they’re bringing their own bees.
On the heels of Marcha Cocina’s opening, the East Village just got another chic Latin fusion spot. Visitors to Secara can expect “wholesome homestyle meals, prepared traditionally and presented in a contemporary way,” according to general manager Alberto Spadnuda.
The Tao Group clinched the provisional support of Community Board 3’s liquor license committee last night in its bid to open another high-end hotspot on the Lower East Side — this one at 199 Bowery, the former location of problematic nightclubs.
If you’re among those who feel like the East Village is looking more and more like Murray Hill, you’ll get a kick out of this one. Blockheads, the Cal-Mex chain that launched on Third Avenue and 34th Street back in 1992, is opening its East Village location in a couple of weeks.
The area off the Lorimer stop has never been as coffee congested as Bedford Avenue, but that’s starting to change. In the former home of Tedone Latticini Dairy Products on Metropolitan Avenue, Black Star is now offering pastries and sandwiches made in-house, and of course COFFEE!