Bars + Restaurants

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There’s A Little Less Hummus Among Us

Alas, although the openings of Vish on East 8th Street and Levantine chain Panorama this summer increased the amount of hummus among us, something had to offset this influx of chickpeas. It seems the trade-off is popular Lebanese fast-casual dining option Semsom Eatery. The previously lively storefront on Astor Place is now barren and empty, save for a ladder along with a sad McDonald’s cup and some rags resting on a counter by the door. Yelpers have reported the venue as closed down. It’s unclear when the closure occurred, but the eatery was active on social media as recently as August 2. While it’s possible that the Astor Place location of this chain may revive someday, for now, students will have to get their turmeric rice and cauliflower veggie bowls with unlimited toppings elsewhere.

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Momo Sushi Shack Begets Chicken Shack

Karaage and waffles (Image credit: Momo Chicken Shack via Instagram)

The ever-popular Momo Sushi Shack in Bushwick has spawned a sister restaurant not too far from its origins. At the corner of Starr Street and Wyckoff Avenue lies Momo Chicken Shack, which opened in late July. Smartly taking note of how much customers loved munching on karaage or Japanese fried chicken thighs at Momo Sushi Shack, business partners Tito Cabrera and Chance Johnston decided to expand the concept into a full restaurant with modestly-priced fare (the karaage is only $9). But perhaps the real star behind Momo Chicken Shack is general manager Valerie Boyle, who helped craft the menu along with Momo Sushi Shack’s chef Izzy Alvarez.

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The East Village’s Oldest Tapas Bar Has Left the Building (But Not the Hood)

(Photo: Nai Tapas Bar on Instagram)

The narrow, slightly subterranean space at 174 First Avenue has been home to a tapas bar and flamenco shows since the ’90s, when tapas were described by the New York Times as a “novelty.” The original occupant, Xunta, moved to Williamsburg in 2009 and Nai Tapas Bar quickly took over the dark, date-friendly nook. Now, after eight years, Nai has moved on as well. It plans to reopen on Second Avenue next month.

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The Photographer Documenting DIY Culture in Brooklyn and Beyond

La Rhaata on the subway, New York City 2017 (photo: Walter Wlodarczyk)

Those who proclaim the spirit of New York City is dead would be wise to look away from the fresh horror that is the CBGB Target and instead fix their eyes on the work of photographer Walter Wlodarczyk. There, you’ll find a vibrant collection of musicians, performance artists, dancers, and other experimental creative types. As Wlodarczyk’s solo exhibition There Is Only One Of You demonstrates in an impressive 160 or so photos, thriving artistry is still alive and well here. Keep Reading »

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Feminist Food from the Past Comes to Life at MOFAD

An edible display of Saint Agatha at MOFAD (Photos: Tara Yarlagadda)

On the corner of Bayard and Lorimer Street in Williamsburg, the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) is a quiet, unassuming structure whose only distinguishing exterior feature is the bright red door that beckons guests inside. But inside the museum, food history is being made. Thirty-nine guests—mostly women—have come together on this Wednesday night to recreate Judy Chicago’s 1970s feminist artwork The Dinner Party, which is a permanent exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. Chicago’s Dinner Party arranges an elaborate dinner banquet on a triangular table. The table hosts place settings for 39 iconic female figures throughout history. These settings include gold china and brightly-painted porcelain plates in the shapes of butterflies and vulvas. The artwork also displays the names of 999 other women in gold inscription on the tiled floor beneath the table.

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Remembering Romany Marie’s, Where Artists Traded Paintings For Chorba Stew

Marie Marchand in front of her fireplace. (Photo: Jessie Tarbox Beals, courtesy of New York Historical Society)

A distinguished modern art collection once hung in the cozy Greenwich Village tavern at 20 Christopher Street, above steaming bowls of 35-cent Romanian chorba stew. Romany Marie’s, which operated out of the location between 1915-1923, wasn’t plastered in paintings because its proprietor was a collector (although Marie Marchand did love art). It was simple: neighborhood artists who were strapped for cash could go there for a free meal, in exchange for artwork.

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Once-Trendy Cupcakes Replace Trendy Poke Bowls on East 8th Street

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

If you’re wondering whether we’ll ever see the end of the poke bowl trend, here’s food for thought. RAW MKT, the poke spot on East 8th Street, closed just a year after opening in the NYU area. Its replacement? A cupcake shop.

Wait, wasn’t the cupcake trend declared dead after Crumbs crumbled?

Don’t tell that to Buttercup Bake Shop. Signage for the mini chain has gone up in the window of the narrow storefront at  61 East 8th St., near Broadway. It declares the bake shop is “opening soon…like, real soon,” and an employee at the shop’s 2nd Avenue location tells us it should be doling out sweet treats in about two weeks.

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The Museum of Pizza Wants to Seduce You With Free Slices

The Museum of Pizza promises to have a “pizza beach” and “pizza cave” when it opens in the fall. In the meantime, how about a pizza rooftop?

The organizers of the much-ballyhooed immersive environment are taking over the rooftop of Hotel Chantelle, at 92 Ludlow Street, this Friday, July 27, and will be serving up freebies from the neighboring Williamsburg Pizza from 2pm to 5pm. Sure, there are plenty of places in town where you can score a slice for a mere 99 cents, but can you cram it down your throat al fresco, with a drink in your other hand?

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Don’t Miss These Beach Bashes in Coney and Rockaway

It’s not like you need a reason to hit the beach, but these two festivals offer extra incentive.

New York Women’s Surf Film Festival
July 27-29 at Rockaway Beach Surf Club (302 Beach 87th St.) and Rockaway Beach Bakery (87-10 Rockaway Beach Blvd.) in Rockaway Beach.
Surf’s up, dudettes! This popular fest celebrating women wave-riders enters its sixth year with free screenings, photo exhibits, and more. Among the films that’ll be screened in the groovy backyard of the Rockaway Beach Surf Club are a documentary about Brianna Cope, who became a competitive surfer despite a deformed hand, and Katie Walsh’s doc about star surfer Coco Ho. Walsh will be on hand to answer questions, as will Tiffany Manchester, author of Surfer Girls Kick Ass, and Fiona Mullen, whose surf photos will be on display. On Saturday from 1pm to 6pm, there’ll be a market at Rockaway Beach Bakery, with surf goods for sale, a complimentary beauty bar, and drinks, food, and music.

Coney Island Music Festival
Aug. 4, 1pm, at Surf and Stillwell Avenues, Coney Island.
Coney Island is no stranger to epic free music fests like Siren Festival and the Burger Beach Bash. This year, the Coney Island Music Festival carries the torch and returns for its second installment. Among the artists gracing the two stages–one outside of Nathan’s Famous and the other at the Coney Art Walls– is Shannon Shaw, who released a solo album last month (her fantastic, doowop-infused band Shannon and the Clams will be playing at Panorama on July 27 and Rough Trade on July 28.) Another festival fixture, Queens crooner Juan Wauters, will also be playing, as will Mac DeMarco openers The Garden. Headlining is (Sandy) Alex G, whose Elliott Smith-esque tunes have been described as “inventive guitar pop at its best, full of surreal storytelling and addictive melodies.” After his set, the party continues at the Coney Art Walls until 10pm.

And don’t forget… Rockaway’s Beach Flix series brings movie screenings straight to the sand. Next up on the inflatable big screen: Caddyshack on July 25, The Secret Life of Pets on Aug. 21, and Rogue One on Aug. 24. Follow the Rockaway Civic Association for exact showtimes, locations, and more announcements.

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Williamsburg Hotel Opens Rooftop Pool, Water-Tower Bar Coming Soon

(Courtesy of Williamsburg Hotel)

It’s been three and a half years since we first brought news that the Williamsburg Hotel would feature a rooftop bar inside of a faux water tower, and now we hear from the hotel that its crowning gem will begin welcoming customers in the “coming weeks.” (Have a look at its current state, below.) In the meantime, the hotel has opened a rooftop pool with Insta-worthy views of Manhattan.

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East Village Thai Has Closed After Two Decades

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Pour out some milky, sweet iced tea for East Village Thai, a tiny, beloved neighborhood fixture.

The East 7th Street hole-in-the-wall has been known to take summer breaks, maybe because the small, open kitchen behind the takeout counter kicked up so much heat. But this time the four-seat restaurant won’t be back. A sign on the shutter thanks customers and says “It has been a true privilege to serve you for these past decades.” Facebook postings from the cheap-eats go-to indicate it is “closed permanently” as of this week. 

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