Move over, Verameat — an actual meat store has quietly opened on an East Village block known more for boutiques than for butchering.
Anas Hassan first got the idea for Honest Chops, a higher-end halal butcher shop, after having a hard time finding good meat when he lived in the East Village for four years. “All the old-school butcher shops are gone,” he says. “There’s very little options.”
All the shop’s meat is organic, sustainably farmed, with no growth hormones or antibiotics. “I don’t want to feed you crap,” he says. “That would weigh heavily on me.” Each Friday, a whole steer is delivered to Honest Chops, and the store butchers the meat into various sections and pieces on site. Because Honest Chops is in direct touch with its suppliers, Hassan thinks of the shop as part of the farm-to-fork movement.
“We want to eliminate all the middle people,” he says. “Our goal is to be honest about the whole process.” That will affect how much meat the shop can sell — for now, at least, it won’t be able to process large orders. “We just can’t order a box of ribeyes,” Hassan says. “If we’re out, we’re out.”
The shop is located among numerous art and jewelry shops along East Ninth Street, in a basement level space that’s hard to spot if you’re not looking. Hassan says he and his two co-owners tried to get a space on East Fourth Street, but they found landlords to be “cautious” about renting to a butcher shop because of worries about blood and bad smells.
So far, the store carries beef and chicken, and once it finds the right supplier, will carry goat and lamb.
Honest Chops, 319 East Ninth St., bet. First and Second Aves.; open Sat to Thu 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 2 p.m. to 8 p.m