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Fresh on Fifth to Close August First

Fresh on Fifth, the women's boutique on Fifth Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets, will be closing for good on August 1st.There are for rent signs in the window, and a bunch of the merchandise is marked down.

The store was owned by a young couple, and the merchandise was generally inexpensive and geared toward teens and young adults (think jeans, t-shirts and tank tops with cutesy sayings on them, and sun dresses).

A manager couldn't provide details on why the store is closing, but it's worth noting that the sister store, Bensonhurst's Fresh on 18th, closed down earlier this year.


Bare Burger is Ready to Go

The facade's been painted, the storefront's been completely rebuilt, awnings have been installed, and it's looking like--at least from the exterior--Bare Burger, on Seventh Avenue and First Street, should be opening up any day now.

Voted the #2 burger in the city by Zagat, Bare Burger will feature organic, free-range beef, elk, ostrich, bison, and lamb burgers, and its other locations have quite the following.


Business of the Week: Sip Fine Wine, 67 Fifth Avenue

Owner Nick DiMinno

This article originally appeared on Patch.

To understand Sip Fine Wine, it helps to know that owner Nick DiMinno started off as a sommelier.

"I had an idea when I first started planning the store; I wanted to think of it as a big wine list," he said. "This is a small space, but I didn't want that to affect the type of wines sold. We have low-priced wines as well as high-priced, but no two wines are alike."

The "wine list" approach is clear when browsing the unpretentious shop, which is on Fifth Avenue between St. Marks and Prospect Places in the North Slope. Instead of organizing the store by country or varietal, it takes a bit of exploration—and interaction with the staff—to discover the right wine.

"There's no reason to have three different New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs for 15 bucks," DeMinno said. "Instead, we'll have ones with different price points, from different places. It's important to have a nice range."

DiMinno utilizes his extensive sommelier training every day—he worked at Theater District staple Le Madeline for 10 years.

"I taste everything, constantly," he explained. "I'm always learning and teaching the staff. I'm not a scholar, but I was blessed with a good palette. I take a very hands-on approach."

DiMinno works with primarily smaller, family-run producers and distributors, folks who are as excited about wine as he is, and for that reason the merchandise can be difficult to find outside of fine restaurants, and has a greater tendency to be organic, sustainable, and biodynamic.

The well-curated selection of wines in the shop is constantly evolving, and Nick understands that sometimes choosing the right wine can be a little intimidating. For that reason, Sip sends out a weekly newsletter highlighting five wines, which are then opened every night throughout the following week. Every Saturday, three more wines are popped for a more formal tasting.

DiMinno has some advice for those who are looking to discover wines, but don't know where to start.

"There's a lot of information online, there are a lot of books, but my feeling is that the real way to learn about wine is to taste it, and remember something about it," he opined. "Where it's from, the varietal, the producer. The more information you gather, the more you'll discover what you like, the better understanding you'll have, and the more you'll get into it."

And Sip, with its team of five knowledgeable salespeople, is a great place to start.

"Because we have no categories, you need to explore and interact with us," DiMinno said. "Take the time to look around and ask questions. Tell us what you're having for dinner, and we'll lead you in the right direction. We're not wine snobs here, we just love what we do."

"Buy a wine here and taste it. It'll be good."

Sip Fine Wine, 67 5th Avenue Brooklyn NY 11217. 718-638-6105.


St. John's Henge: 8:15 PM



The Park Slope Week in Review: 7/11/11 - 7/15/11

On Monday news broke that the long-vacant corner storefront on Fifth and St. Johns would be an all-natural vitamin and snack store. A clothing store named Rivet will also be moving into the former Area Kids space, on Seventh between Union and President. And in an epically silly move, someone at Cheeburger Cheeburger illegally decided to stick bright pink menus under the windshield wipers of just about every car in the neighborhood.

Cheeburger's owner apologized the following day. I also noticed a curious crop growing out of the sidewalk on Sterling between Seventh and Flatbush (no, not the one you're thinking of).

On Wednesday it was discovered that Tenko Sushi and Thai, previously Picasso Asian Fusions, has now re-opened as Shinju Sushi on northern Fifth Ave. Someone also apparently tried to kick in Beer Table's front window. Unleashed by Petco also opened, on Seventh near Union.

Thursday brought news that Spice, the Thai restaurant moving into the old Lemongrass Grill space on Seventh, would be opening up on Friday. The exterior of Zito's, the Italian sandwich shop opening further down Seventh, is also coming along nicely.

On Friday Spice did indeed open, and it will certainly give Mango across the street a run for its money. Chip Shop also turned into a crime scene, as a thief broke in and stole the safe. Finally, the eyeglass store that's replacing the Video Forum put up some signage.