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Wednesday
Jun082011

Avon Cosmetics Coming to 479 Fifth Avenue

 

Have you always dreamed about being an Avon Lady Independent Sales Representative? Well here's your chance! Avon will be opening up a store on Fifth Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets, in the former Sea World Fish Market space, and they're now hiring. 

Wednesday
Jun082011

A Peek Inside Kulushkat Gourmet Falafel

Co-owner Andrew Rowley behind the counter

I dropped into Kulushkat, the falafel restaurant coming to Dean Street just east of Fifth Avenue, and things are really coming along. All the cooking equipment, tables, and chairs are in place (along with a flatscreen TV), and co-owner Andrew Rowley told me that they're just waiting on the final go-ahead from the city, which could come in as soon as two weeks.

We also had a chance to chat about the philosophy behind the restaurant, which uses recipes handed down from co-owner Yagil Kadosh's family.

"I'm not lying when I say that this is the best falafel I've ever had," Rowley said. "We're using the highest quality ingredients we could find, but that's not enough. It's about making each dish as if we're cooking it for ourself. Nothing tastes good if it's not made with love."

Wednesday
Jun082011

Closed for Business: Harry Boland's Pub, 297 Ninth Street

Harry Boland's, the low-key Irish pub on Ninth Street just west of Fifth Avenue, has closed. They were seized by the city for nonpayment of taxes back in February, but re-opened in March thanks to the help of some loyal regulars. Apparently that wasn't good enough, though, as the storefront has been sealed shut for the past week and the its phone has been disconnected.

I had the opportunity to drop in a couple months ago and chat with some regulars as well as bartender Brian Demoy, who filled me in on the bar's history (apparently it goes back to the 40s, and was called C.J.'s). It had a couple great nooks as well as one of the best darts areas I've come across in the city. There was nothing wrong with the bar in particular; it just didn't really differentiate itself from the pack and never drew huge crowds. Combine that with tax evasion, and it's a recipe for disaster.

Believe it or not, this is the first pub in the neighborhood to close since Mooney's a few years ago, which re-opened as the great Sharlene's. Turn-key bars tend to transfer from one owner to another, though, so hopefully some enterprising entrepreneur will come along to take advantage of the opportunity.

Tuesday
Jun072011

Closed for Business: Sandy's Internet Coffee Shop

Sandy's Internet Coffee Shop (formerly Cabana's Coffee Shop), the tiny, below-the-radar cafe on Sixteenth Street just east of Fifth Avenue, has closed and is in the process of being gutted. They served simple sandwiches like turkey with mozzarella, tuna, grilled chicken, etc. along with some Mexican items like tamales, and had computers for customers to purchase time at.

I'd walked past this place a bunch of times and was always intrigued by its quaintness (and because you really don't see too many internet cafes any more), but never saw any customers inside. The poor employees always looked very bored, and the plug has finally been pulled.

Tuesday
Jun072011

As Butter Lane Re-Opens, King of Cupcakes Plots a Comeback

Butter Lane Cupcakes, the East Village-based shop on Seventh Avenue between 4th and 5th, re-opened over the weekend after being closed for about a month due to some illegal plumbing work. The space's last tenant, The King of Cupcakes, however, has regrouped with a new strategy that will place them back in the neighborhood.

I ran into King of Cupcakes owner Garrison earlier today, handing out free cupcake samples outside of the Parkslope Eatery, just up the block from Butter Lane. He told me that they'll be selling their cupcakes out of that storefront, as well as at the Ivy Garden, the new grocery opening on Fourth Avenue, and also "lots of other places nearby."

They had a very rough start, but I'm glad to see that they're giving it another go. Hope they're more successful this time around!