After a bit of a delay, Rockaway Beach BBQ (RBQ) is finally up and running in the site of the former Playland Motel, which was sold to investors in 2017. Officially opened earlier this week in time for the 4th of July, this offshoot brought to you by the team behind Swingbellys in Long Island is sure to whet any famished beach-goer’s appetite.
Two of RBQ’s business partners, Ryan Moroney and Jacob Marlin, are from the area. Marlin, who’s also the head chef of RBQ, spoke fondly about returning to his native roots. “Oh, it’s a great feeling. Between friends and family and the community board, everyone knows us.”
It’s been a hummus-filled week, folks. Alongside the arrival of Panorama near Union Square, vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurant VISH Vegetarian Hummus opened up earlier this week on E. 8th Street in the heart of NYU’s campus community. Falafel-lovers’ favorite, Maoz Vegetarian, closed in the spring and left a pita-shaped void on the block. But since VISH is opening in the exact same spot, fans can rest easy.
The latest health-minded fast-casual chain to hit Manhattan just launched off of Union Square. Panorama Middle Eastern Grill is clearly aiming to become the Levantine Chipotle, and is hoping to succeed right across the street from where The Hummus & Pita Co. failed. Backed by a Canadian real-estate developer, the restaurant aims to open 15 locations around Greater New York in the next few years, starting with its first at 820 Broadway.
I know what you’re thinking: Does Brooklyn really need another café? But this is no ordinary coffee shop. Bar Beau, which opened on Monday, works overtime for it patrons, doubling as a coffee shop by day and trendy cocktail bar by night.
The coffee bar’s architecture also lends it an unusual appeal. Crisp lines of marble intersect with the ceiling’s plaster curves, evoking rocky cliffs and turbulent waters in an homage to the Pacific Northwest background of owner Claire Chan, who also operates the West Village café The Elk. The cocktail-slash-cafe is named for her nephew, Beau. “My roots are PNW (Vancouver, Canada), so it was important for me to integrate that into this “home away from home,” says Chan.
Though it’s one of Smorgasburg’s home bases, Williamsburg hadn’t yet gotten one of the glitzy food halls that have been popping up all over Manhattan. That changed when North 3rd Street Market opened at 103 N 3rd this month, bringing with it ramen from Chuko (to make up for its closing in Bushwick), lobster rolls from Greenpoint/Rockaway fixture Lobster Joint, sandwiches and burritos from Lower East Side transplants Regina’s Grocery and Jajaja, croissants from Ben Cuit, cappuccinos from Champion Coffee, rolls from GoFish Sushi Box, and more. DJs from Halycon, the record shop inside of Williamsburg club Output, pair the eats with beats. Maybe most exciting, pizza institution Di Fara has set up its first satellite oven here, which means you’ll no longer have to trek out to Midwood to scarf what many consider to be the best pie in the city. Watch our video to check out the scene and hear from vendors and customers.
A stretch of Evergreen Avenue in Bushwick now contains far less flavorful broth, as celebrated ramen shop Chuko seems to have closed its newest location there. It’s been listed as closed on Yelp, and the only location currently on their website is their shop on Vanderbilt Avenue. More →
It’s a story as old as time– or as old as worries over hyper-gentrification, anyway: a Starbucks moves in across the street from a mom-and-pop coffee shop in an attempt to be the big-market bully and residents worry about the fate of the local spot. As another Starbucks opened in Brooklyn, this time on Bedford Avenue directly across the street from the nearly 10-year-old cafe and restaurant Five Leaves, your first instinct might have been to worry for the future of the beloved neighborhood fixture. But in a visit to both places last week, customers in Starbucks and Five Leaves seemed to shrug off any imminent apocalypse, making the case that both coffee spots could exist across the street from each other.
The endlessly evolving work-play complex that is Industry City has gotten some serious upgrades this summer. In addition to a new outdoor concert and comedy series from the Bell House, the sprawling Sunset Park buildings now house a gameroom complete with shuffleboard, basketball, and arcade consoles like Ms. Pac-Man and Asteroids.