Bars + Restaurants

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Baby’s All Right Team Opens Elvis Guesthouse in the East Village

IMG_1709After closing their East Village spot Arrow Bar in January, Zachary Mexico and Billy Jones, who also own Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg, have quietly relaunched the basement boite as Elvis Guesthouse.

The bar’s website explains the name by claiming that Elvis, after faking his death, headed to the Far East and inconspicuously bunked in guesthouses before opening one of his own. The location at 85 Avenue A, designed by Isaac Nichols (yes, he of the boob pot), is supposedly a reproduction of the original, which, judging by some early Instagram photos, had a sauna-like seating area, a wall of roses, a disco-balled DJ booth, and Kama Sutra bathroom wallpaper.

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Pardon My French, But Casimir’s Replacement Is Doing $*%# Bottomless Brunch

(Photo: Courtesy Pardon My French)

(Photo: Courtesy Pardon My French)

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

(Photo: Courtesy Pardon My French)

(Photo: Courtesy Pardon My French)

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

(Photo: Courtesy Pardon My French)(Photo: Jaime Cone)(Photo: Courtesy Pardon My French)(Photo: Jaime Cone)(Photo: Jaime Cone)(Photo: Jaime Cone)

It’s sad to lose longstanding French favorite Casimir, on Avenue B, but local Francophiles needn’t fret because over the past two months Casimir’s owner, Mario Carta, has spent the last two months transforming the space into his new French tapas joint Pardon My French; he says Casimir had a good run of 16 years, and with his business partner Antonin Brune and a new chef he’s ready to introduce the East Village to what he says is a more fresh, modern concept. It opens Monday.

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Oiji Has Quietly Opened in Dok Suni’s Former Digs

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Oiji, a chic Korean restaurant, has opened in the space that housed beloved Dok Suni for over two decades. As noted when we spoke to Brian Kim and Tae Kyung Ku back in October, the chefs and co-owners have experience in the kitchens of Michelin starred restaurants (Kim at Bouley, Ku at Gramercy Tavern) and it shows in the refined technique they apply to the Korean dishes here. 
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The LES Gets A Comfy New Diner Serving Sazeracs and ‘Jewbano’ Sandwiches

The Comfort on Grand Street (Photo: Nicole Disser)

The Comfort on Grand Street (Photo: Nicole Disser)

Maybe it had something to do with the fact that we could feel exactly zero of our extremities by the time we rolled up to the Comfort, a new diner on the Lower East Side, but something about this place was so… comfortable. Roomy old-school vinyl booths and a springy color scheme offer a seriously cushy respite from the brutal second coming of the Ice Age happening outside right now. Oh, and the Comfort, unlike its older sister restaurant the Comfort Diner (which has called what’s perhaps the least comfortable spot on the planet, Times Square, home for the last 20 years or so) has possibly the best cure for New Ice Age-related ecophobia: booze.
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Washington Heights Spanish Spot Brings Michelin-Worthy Tapas to the East Village

Marcelo Crespo and Jairo de la Paz, co-owners of Marcha Cocina.

Marcelo Crespo and Jairo de la Paz, co-owners of Marcha Cocina.

The East Village may have lost a Spanish restaurant, but it’s gaining one as well: Marcha Cocina, a Michelin-approved spot in Washington Heights, is bringing its low-key, neighborhood-friendly vibe to Avenue C this summer.

Aiming to open in May or June in the former home of Arcane and Cafe Cambodge, the Alphabet City location will be exactly like the successful original on West 171st Street, according co-owner Jairo de la Paz. The menu there offers cheese boards, salads, a variety of croquetas and sandwiches, and tapas like dates wrapped in bacon. Main dishes range from $17 to $24. Those in the mood to splurge might try the lobster with saffron arborio rice, shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari, chorizo and tomato.

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The chefs, brothers Virgilio and Fredy de la Cruz, were previously executive chefs at Pipa, the tapas restaurant in ABC Carpet and Home, and downtown restaurants Patria and Chicama, all of which are now closed. De la Paz also worked at Pipa, in the Flatiron District, before opening Marcha Cocina about two and a half years ago. He’s hoping the Avenue C outpost will become a new hangout for Pipa loyalists.

Located between 7th and 8th Street, the new place will be just a few short blocks away from another well-regarded Spanish restaurant, Huertas, which earned a two stars from the New York Times last year. “So it will get interesting,” De la Paz said with the laugh, adding that he welcomes the competition. “I’m so ready for it,” he said.

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Yo, Yo Fro-Yo: Pinkberry Officially Dunzo On St. Marks But 16 Handles Now Delivering

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Vital update from the fro-yo world. The St. Marks location of Pinkberry is officially kaput, as a “space for lease” sign has gone up in the window. But don’t worry, fro-yo fiends — we haven’t moved on to a world of snow cream just yet. Around the corner, 16 Handles is still popping, and it has actually expanded onto Seamless. That’s right, for a $12 minimum plus a $1.95 fee, the parlor will deliver you a cup of Peanut Butter Confession fro-yo topped with whatever your broken heart desires. Toppings are 75 cents each, which adds up fast. “Hey, I have a peanut butter confession: I spent $18 on fro-yo last night!”
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This Floating Bar Is Hoping to Barge Into Greenpoint

(Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Barge Park)

(Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Barge Bar)

Allow us to float an idea: a bar on a barge off of Greenpoint. “It’s weird,” Will Drawbridge admits, but he means weird in a good way: he wants to bring Brooklyn Barge Bar to the East River this spring. Hey, in a world of water-tower bars, anything’s possible.
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Gotta ♥ These Churros

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Where Valentine’s grub is concerned, I never thought my heart would stray from Doughnut Plant’s rose-petal doughnuts, but these heart-shaped churros really take the cake. And speaking of cake, La Churreria is also offering a churro cake for the V-Day season. Take a look.
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Karaoke Restaurant’s Pitch Falls Flat as CB 3 Tunes Out

Ae Sook Choi at the CB3 SLA Committee meeting Monday (Photo: Jaime Cone)

Ae Sook Choi at the CB3 SLA Committee meeting Monday (Photo: Jaime Cone)

It stands to reason that after a night of drinking at a karaoke bar revelers are going to continue warbling “Don’t Stop Believing” in the streets on their journey home. The more drunk they are, the louder they’ll be. Variations on this statement were repeated multiple times at a recent discussion about Karaoke Boho‘s impending relocation on the Lower East Side.
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Vegans Sparred With Roadkill-Cuisine Advocates at Verbal Fight Night

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A food fight broke out at Brooklyn Brewery last night. Lots of them, actually.

Immersed in the thick scent of brewing beer, people in olive green jackets and cable-knit sweaters showed up to watch Leyla Acaroglu’s Verbal Fight Club and Drew Weigel’s Presentation Party Night NYC join forces. The result: a series of five-minute presentations on the “food fight ethics of what we choose to put in our bodies.”
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Death + Company Drinksmith Opening a Cocktail Bar in Bushwick

Sotack whiskey shots

Al Sotack

After a year and a half as a bartender at Death + Company, award-winning mixologist Al Sotack is getting ready to strike out on his own. He and Maks Pazuniak, former head bartender at New Orleans’s acclaimed Cure, plan to open a cocktail bar late this summer in an old check-cashing facility on Flushing Avenue in Bushwick.

Sotack, an NYU alum, made a name for himself as head bartender at Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. in Philadelphia. During his time at the at acclaimed “drinking establishment” — which was nominated twice for James Beard Awards – Sotack was voted Eater Philly’s “Bartender of the Year” for 2012, and he won the 2013 StarChefs.com Philadelphia Rising Star Mixologist Award.
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