Bars + Restaurants

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B&H Dairy Celebrates 80 Years of Being the ‘East Village Cheers’

(Photos: Tara Yarlagadda)

Green and yellow banners and balloons festooned the doorway of B&H Dairy on Wednesday night as it celebrated 80 years in the East Village. And the swarm of customers flooding the narrow hallway of the restaurant showed that the place had more than withstood the passage of time. While the Jewish patrons who frequented the diner in its early days may no longer be as strong of a presence in the East Village, this small diner with a medley of vegetarian/kosher/Eastern European fare and fewer than 30 seats (most of them classic lunch counter stools) has continued to soldier on throughout the decades, surviving economic downturns, a gas explosion and ongoing gentrification.

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Slip Off Your Shoes and Enter This Kyoto-Inspired Hideaway For ‘Deconstructed Omakase’

(Photos courtesy of Ume)

The literal translation of omakase is “I’ll leave it up to you”– meaning the chef– but at Williamsburg’s new Japanese restaurant, Ume, chef Danny Zhang is turning the expression back on the diner. The specialty at this homegrown spot is a “deconstructed omakase” that leaves it up to you.

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Black Seed Opens Its 4th Bagelry in the Ace Hotel, Naturally

(Photo: @blackseedbagels on Instagram)

Black Seed, the wood-fired bagel spot with locations in the East Village, Nolita, and Battery Park City, just expanded its footprint to the Ace Hotel. A painfully hip bagel company in a painfully hip hotel? Sounds about right!

The new NoMad outpost takes over the former No. 7 Sub space on the Broadway side of the hotel, and bears a resemblance to Black Seed’s other stores. As does the menu. You’ll find the same itty, bitty bagels– made by boiling dough and then wood-firing it– topped with salmon cold-smoked by Greenpoint’s own Acme, among a variety of other options. Naturally, the coffee is from Stumptown, over on the hotel’s 29th Street side.

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Williamsburg’s Newest Bar, Kill Devil House of Dark Spirits, Banks On Rum

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

First there was Fresh Kills, and now—right across the street—there’s Kill Devil. When it comes to ambitious cocktail bars, Williamsburg is killing it.

Kill Devil House of Dark Spirits takes its name from an old euphemism for rum, and it’s dead serious about the liquor. It offers a list of some 125 sipping rums from all over the world, and many of its cocktails employ it. You might assume this place is just riding the tiki trend, but you won’t find any thatch or bamboo in the onetime bank building at the corner of Grand and Bedford. Instead, the former Witlof space has gotten a dark, slightly devilish makeover.

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Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop Is Finally Opening in Greenpoint

@pauliegee123 on Instagram.

It’s been over two years since wildly popular Greenpoint pizzaiolo Paulie Giannone– better known as Paulie Gee— announced that he was planning to open a slice joint. After some fussjng from neighbors and the usual delays, there was no sign of its opening– except, of course, for the barrage of taunting Instagram shots showing some delicious-looking experiments with vegan thin-crust slices, baguette sandwiches, pan pizza squares, “OG” grandma slices, Sicilian slices, and, of course, the classic “NYC-style” slice. Now, the time has finally come. Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop has announced a grand opening of Aug. 29.
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Cakeshake Blends Veganism Into the Instagrammable Shake Trend

(Photo: Tara Yarlagadda)

Zach Neil had a pretty sweet idea: “I wanted to find a way to do something with cake and ice cream and elaborate toppings and I wanted to make it make it vegan as well.”

He did some Googling and came across Black Tap’s immensely popular, decadent (and non-vegan) cake batter milkshake, the Cake Shake. Neil’s new shop, which fully opened in the East Village last week, is called Cakeshake. But it isn’t a mere Black Tap knockoff. “Essentially, we wanted a place where anyone could go and order this over-the-top Instagrammable shake that is also sensitive to lifestyle and [is plant-based],” he tells Bedford + Bowery.

Over the top indeed: Following up on the edible gold trend that seems to have swept New Yorkers into a fervid consumption of metallic substances (gold-plated chicken wings, anyone?), Cakeshake is offering an appropriately named #blingbomb shake, whose golden and silver sparkles practically blind the viewer and mask the mountain of mini cupcakes and vegan ice cream that lies underneath.

Neil embarked on his vegan shake voyage about a year and a half ago, when he started trending toward a more plant-based diet, but realized that eating that way outside of major cities was a real challenge. And not just for him, but his daughters, too. “I have two daughters who have a sweet tooth. I’ve taken them on my journey on veganism. I wanted [options] that were healthier and plant-based,” Neil told us. Then the idea dawned on him: why not vegan milk shakes, with some gluten-free options and maple bacon-topped treats (ask for the “Elvis”) for the carnivores as well. Neil pitched the idea to his friend (and now the store’s executive chef), Felix Castro, who loved the idea. With the help of co-owner Tim O’Grady,  Cakeshake was born.

Most of the shakes range from $10-$15. There’s a 100% vegan #popmocha shake that comes packed with tres leches ice cream, espresso reduction, hand-made caramel corn, and whipped cream in a smorgasburg they call “plant-based heaven.” Other notable options include a vegan avocolada shake, which is their take on a piña colada, except with the very millennial addition of avocado to the usual pineapple. They’re constantly experimenting with new flavors, so you’ll just have to visit in person to see their latest menu. Note: kids under the age of 12 get a free drink with purchase of an adult shake, so this is one family-friendly joint. Bring a friend to share.

Cakeshake is located at 514 East 6th street, and is open from 2 pm-10 p.m. every weekday.



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NYC’s Most Ridiculous (and Refreshing) Watermelon Drinks

Sure, you can beat the heat by buying cubed watermelon at the bodega, but that’s so basic. Here’s how to get your watermelon fix and be extra. 

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

Ladle soju punch from a watermelon
At Pocha 32, 15 W 32nd St # 2, Koreatown.
Pocha 32, a second-floor pub hidden away in Koreatown, would be worth the trip even if it didn’t use hollowed-out watermelons as punch bowls. Notes written on chopstick wrappers hang from the fishnet that covers the walls and ceiling, and oil drums serve as tables. It’s a festive place for dipping a ladle into a watermelon and helping yourself to a frothy mixture of ice, soju, Sprite, and fruit puree. This is a lot of drank even for two people to share, but you can always sneak the leftovers into the Vivi lightbulb jar below.

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