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Friday
Oct032014

Closed for Business: Uncle Arthur's Cafe, 237 9th Street

Uncle Arthur's Cafe, which opened back in April on Ninth Street just west of Fourth Avenue, has closed. A "Closed for Renovations" sign was posted on the front door, but owner Richard Gussoff confirmed that it won't be re-opening.

The restaurant, which doubled as a cafe during the morning rush, was generally well-reviewed, but its off-the-beaten-path location didn't do it any favors. Gussoff, who has met with great success as the chef behind the popular wintertime pop-up The Soup Bowl on Seventh near Ninth Street, added that his business partner promised to operate the business when Gussoff left mid-October to re-open the Soup Bowl but later reneged, saying that he's "at this time unable to take on this responsibiity."

While it's disappointing that this venture didn't work out for Gussoff, who lives in the neighborhood and has won serious praises for his soups, it's good to know that he'll be opening The Soup Bowl for the winter once again later this month in its regular location at 319 7th Avenue. He's also looking into opening a second location this winter on Smith Street.

Photo via Yelp

Tuesday
Sep302014

Closed for Business: A.O.C. Bistro, 259 5th Avenue

A.O.C. Bistro, the French restaurant on the corner of 5th Avenue and Garfield Place, has closed up shop. It's been shuttered for the past few days, the phone has been disconnected, and several tipsters have written in to let me know that it's closed for good.

The restaurant opened in August 2007, and was one of those places that always seemed to be full even though nobody ever talked about going there. It was a popular inexpensive brunch spot with its menu of French classics like croque monsieur and salade Nicoise, and the dinner menu was by-the-book French bistro, with offerings including poulet frites, coq au vin, duck confit, and moules marinere. They also introduced a couple specials in recent years, including a $1 oyster promotion. It wasn't one of the best restaurants in the neighborhood by any means, but it certainly filled a niche.

The space was actually first listed back in January 2012. This joins an increasing number of vacant prime storefronts on this stretch of Fifth, including the ones last occupied by Guvnor's and Terroir. Hopefully the string of vacancies that's taken over the north end of Seventh Avenue hasn't found its way east, but at this rate the space will probably become a nail salon.

Thursday
Sep252014

"Jackets and Jeans" Pop-Up Coming to Trois Pommes Space on Fifth

The space that was the longtime home of Trois Pommes Patisserie has been sitting empty since closing in April of this year, with an asking price of $8,500/month. Many thanks to Warren Lewis real estate salesman Jeffrey Kessler, the broker for the space, for letting me know that a pop-up store called only "Jackets and Jeans Sample Sale" will soon be opening there, and will move out after their three month lease is up.

The original listing called for a 5-year lease, so this is certainly unexpected. With more expensive spaces with comparable square footage sitting empty for much longer than this one, this may be a sign of what we can expect in the future.

Wednesday
Sep172014

Luke's Lobster Finally Makes it Official on Fifth

It was a little over a year ago when Luke's Lobster, one of the city's most popular spots for lobster rolls, first told me that they were planning on opening a location in the neighborhood, and seven months since they confirmed that they were heading to 237 5th Avenue, between Berkeley and Carroll. Little to no work has actually taken place inside the space since then, however, leading some to believe that the deal had fallen through, but now the plywood has come down and Luke's-branded construction paper has gone up in the windows.

A rep for the company told me a couple months ago that the holdup was due to permitting issues, much like the ones that plagued Calexico (which still doesn't have a liquor license), and that as soon as the permits went through the buildout could take as little as a month. Last night he confirmed for me that the papers are indeed all in order, and that an opening date will be set soon.

Photo via Jay S.

Tuesday
Sep162014

UPDATE: The Tea Lounge is NOT For Sale

UPDATE: I just heard from the owner, who informed me that the listing is incorrect and was only intended to help sell franchises, and that the Tea Lounge is in fact NOT for sale. 

 

The Tea Lounge, the cafe that's been on Union Street between 6th and 7th Avenues for more than 13 years, is apparently up for sale. Many thanks to a tipster for directing me to this listing (also found below; click for a larger version), where the 3,900 square foot space, with 8 1/2 years left on its contract, is listed for $9,750 per month.

"Highly successful, long running, internet cafe and bar with full liquor license," the somewhat lo-fi listing reads.  "Apprx 3900 sqft at prime location."

Tea Lounge isn't just a popular hangout for people who work from home as well as those with children in tow, it also recently opened up a location in Kuwait as part of an agressive franchising campaign. A Williamsburg location has also apparently been in the works for some time now, but has yet to come to fruition.

I reached out to the owners about the reasons behind the sale and what their future plans are, and will update if I hear back.