WeWork‘s expanding co-working empire has touched down in Williamsburg at 24o Bedford Ave, around the corner from the future Whole Foods and hovering over Scotch & Soda and Levi’s. (These days, North 4th Street would feel like a mall in the ‘burbs, except we don’t think there are any WeWorks out there– yet.)
Boobie Trap still holds the record for most synthetic breasts in a bar, but last night Birdy’s and Happyfun Hideaway hosted the real deal. Boobs of Bushwick, the group known for going topless around the neighborhood and uploading shots to Tumblr, bounced into Birdy’s for some foosball at around 11 p.m., followed by Jenga at Happyfun Hideaway.
Get anywhere near the old Pfizer building these days and you’ll be overwhelmed not with the smell of medicinal byproducts, but with the delicious aroma of cookies, coffee, and freshly baked bread. Pfizer left the massive industrial plant empty in 2008 and it was bought up by a real estate investment firm a few years later. Today, it finally saw the opening of Brooklyn FoodWorks, an educational institute, incubator, and communal kitchen that will offer low-cost co-working space for small food startups.
“Retail diversity” is taking on a whole new meaning in the Lower East Side. Scrappy indie publishers Badlands Unlimited, launched in 2010, recently moved from a studio in Sunset Parks’ Industry City to a real five-person office on 24 Rutgers Street (ok, maybe that’s more Chinatown than LES). Hoping to integrate with their new surroundings, they struck up a partnership with the 99-cent store beneath their office and dubbed the experience “Y.oung P.ublisher 99¢ & Up.”
It’s still raining ramen out there– it seems we can’t go one week without a new opening. Here’s a round up of some of the newest places to slurp during noodle season.
65 4th Ave, nr 10th street, East Village
This pioneer of New York’s Ramen craze recently closed for what store manager Yuske Nakamura says is an “iPhone 6 to iPhone 6s” upgrade. The space, originally meant to serve 200 guests a day, became so popular it quickly had to adjust to accommodating 800 – and all that turnover took a toll on the equipment and machinery. The upgrade will come in handy when Ippudo presents an expanded menu (expected in May) to include more vegetable-based ramen options and appetizers with global influences, like Spanish Iberico pork. There’s also a revamped beer bar at the front, now with Japanese craft beers on tap like Asahi and Orion (and the Ippudo collaboration with Brooklyn Brewery, Kaedama Ale). The biggest novelty is a slushy Kirin Ichiban machine to top your drink with frozen beer, a popular variation in Japan.
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.
Over the weekend, a reader sent us a photo of the John Varvatos store, with the subject line “RIP JV?”
“WTF?” he wrote. “Just took this pic. Doors are boarded up.”
Modo Yoga NYC’s new Williamsburg location is a carefully curated space crowned with living greenery and sleek white air purifiers silently expelling their vapors. There are cubbies made from repurposed wood from a mushroom factory, and guests can sip complimentary fragrant tea from white porcelain cups while browsing the studio’s selection of yoga clothes, kombucha flavors, and loose-leaf teas. Presiding over this little slice of sustainable Yogi heaven is co-founder Sarah Neufeld, a musician and violinist for Arcade Fire.
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.
The dream of the ’90s is alive on Bedford Avenue.
Williamsburg recently got Soho-esque retailers like Levi’s, G-Star, Scotch & Soda, and Ralph Lauren, but they’ve all been on side streets. Which makes it notable that Dr. Martens, the once favored boot brand of punk rockers and grunge poseurs, is coming to the main strip. The DM logo is now up at 193 Bedford Avenue, the long vacant Tasti D-Lite space that briefly housed the Lola Star holiday pop-up. A Dr. Martens rep tells us there’s no hard date yet, but the store should open “most likely end of February.”