Lillian Melendez still remembers when Clinton Street was a destination for anyone planning a sweet sixteen, baby shower or wedding. “If you were having a party, you had to come to Clinton,” she said. “Clinton was famous, everybody knew Clinton.” As a child she spent afternoons playing in her mother’s shop, Genesis Party Supplies at 97 Clinton, packed with custom wedding and bridesmaids dresses, speciality balloons and centerpieces and themed baby shower chairs and pins. Back then, Genesis held court with three other Latino party shops on that stretch of the block alone– if a customer didn’t find what they wanted at Genesis, her mom would send them next door or across the street.
The windows of 7 Clinton Street have recently boasted racy red signs: “Beer is sexy,” and “Beer. Your way,” they say. Another week, another craft beer spot, you may yawn. But Paloma Rocket, in soft-opening mode, is guaranteed to make beer enthusiasts perk up with a free-for-all of 30 constantly-changing niche drafts. The best part: No bartender is getting between you and these sweet brews.
Clinton Street’s forever in-motion restaurant row is going through another rebirth. Within the last few months it has added Speedy Romeo slinging St. Louis style pizzas, Galeria with Brazilian healthy-ish food, Boba Guys upping the bubble tea game, and next week, a new burger joint to rest our weary tastebuds.
When 2nd Floor on Clinton closed last July….a lot of people had no clue (it was a speakeasy, after all).
But for those who liked to head to the back of Barramundi’s (which also shuttered) for a chance to be whisked upstairs, a giant hole opened up in their LES nightlife options. Where to surprise that date when you’re feeling fancy, or unwind after going a little too hard at Pianos? Second Floor was always the perfect combination of class and comfort, with some of the most inventive cocktails around (I was once served a drink garnished with a cluster of enoki mushrooms).
Walk into Scumbags and Superstars and you might feel like you’re on the old St Marks Place (the one that still counted the Sock Man on the scene). Here you’ll find vests covered in monster patches, hats that say “Eat shit and die,” and plenty of dudes dressed in black hoodies ogling the wares.
The signage that was covering up the goings-on inside of Galeria, Clinton Street’s new hybrid art-restaurant-concept shop, has finally been ripped down. Last night, we found Jairo Barros sitting in the back, a small chef’s hat on his head and his hands wrist-deep in beets as he tweaked recipes in preparation for the opening.
We’re not sure what took so long, but New York is finally getting a premium bubble tea joint. Say goodbye to day-old hardened tapioca balls and over-sweetened fructose syrups that give you the jitters and bid hello to freshly brewed loose-leaf tea and house-made jellies. Boba Guys, hailing from San Francisco, has taken over Brunswick’s short-lived location at 23 Clinton Street and is inaugurating its first New York spot with a grand opening party on Saturday. More →