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Thursday
Jun302011

Then and Now Thursday: When Connecticut Muffin Was A Flower Shop

Remember when the space that's now occupied by Connecticut Muffin, on Seventh Avenue and First Street, was home to the Park Slope Florist? If you lived here in 1978, when the above photo was taken, you probably will. Maybe you were a patient of Dr. Binder's, the dentist on the second floor, as well (in 1982 the dentist's office was replaced by the Chair-Man, who moved shop down to Fifth last year).

Top Photo: BPL

Thursday
Jun302011

Two More Nail Salons Open

Have you ever taken a look around the neighborhood and thought to yourself, "Gee, I wish there were more nail salons around here!" Highly doubtful, but if so, you're in luck. Within the past week, two new nail salons have opened, one on Fifth Avenue and one on Seventh.

On Fifth, we've got ViViNail, which popped up in the space last occupied by the (very short-lived) Platinum Couture, between 11th and 12th Streets.

And up on Seventh, it's Swiss II Nails, between 3rd and 4th, in the former Living on Seventh space.

Not much else to say.

Thursday
Jun302011

UPDATE: Video Forum Frontage Removed, Revealing Ancient Restaurant Signage

The entire facade of the space that was last home to the Video Forum, which closed on March 27th after 15 years in business (on Seventh between Garfield and Carroll), has been ripped off (possibly in anticipation of the eyeglass store that's rumored to be replacing it), and lo and behold, some of a previous occupant's signage has been hiding under there the whole time!

Anyone who's been in the neighborhood for a while have any idea what restaurant might have come before the Video Forum?

UPDATE: The "missing piece" of the former signage has been (magically?) restored, allowing the full "Oasis Restaurant" ghost sign to once again see the light of day:

Wednesday
Jun292011

Know Your Bartender: Jessica Jelliffe, High Dive

High Dive, on Fifth between Garfield and Carroll, has just about everything you could hope for in a pub. It's clean, has great bartenders, a solid happy hour, free popcorn, and a great jukebox. Who can ask for more? It's part of Rory Dwyer's local empire, which also includes Commonwealth, Sharlene's, and the soon-to-open Blueprint, just across the street.

Jessica Jelliffe, who also has run the Banana Bag & Bodice Theater Company with her husband for the past 13 years, can be found behind the bar on Wednesday and Friday during the day, and Monday nights.

HPS: How long have you been working here for?

Jessica: I've been working here since we opened, two years ago as of May 1st.

HPS: What is your favorite thing about this bar?

Jessica: I love the community of this place. The whole intention behind this bar is to have the feeling of a pub. And the literal sense of that word, the public house. And that's what it feels like. The first two years of this job I worked only during the day, and what I got out out of that was a real sense of the neighborhood, as opposed to the nights, which are just all about drinking. And that's a huge part of what a bar is around for, understandably, but what I really got to experience is the community of the place, and this neighborhood. I think it's really taken a foothold in that way, in a manner that a lot of bars just don't have. We open at 3, and that's a great time to be in the neighborhood.

HPS: Can you talk a little bit about the Happy Hour?

Jessica: The Happy Hour is from when we open at 3 until 8. It's a dollar off everything, and $2 PBR drafts, $3 Yuengling drafts, $4 well.

HPS: Have you ever received any really strange drink orders here?

Jessica: Yeah, there's this thing called an Appletini [laughs]. That's just the weirdest drink. I don't think I would ever want to drink one of those. But, you know, everybody's tastebuds are different.

HPS: If you could have a drink with one person from history, who would it be?

Jessica: Oh, God, there's so many! Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, Edith Piaf, Billie Holliday, and the list goes on and on. Any of the Barrymore family, Karl Marx, the Marx Brothers. That'd be a good party.

HPS: Are there any cocktails you make that you really pride yourself on?

Jessica: My favorite, personally, is Overholt Rye on the rocks with two dashes of Angostura bitters. Sort of like a Manhattan with no vermouth. There's a woman who lives around the corner, and since we opened she's been slowly teaching me her ideal Cosmo. It's our secret recipe.

HPS: Which drinks do you pour the most frequently?

Jessica: Well during the day I hardly ever get mixed drink orders, so PBR, Yuengling, Blue Point, Founders, Allagash. As far as liquor goes, Kentucky Gentleman, Jameson of course, Powers.

HPS: Are there any bottles back there that you've never poured from?

Jessica: Yeah. The Rogue Hazelnut Spiced Rum, but I think that people just don't know about it. The Beach Head Peach Liqueur has been here since the beginning.

HPS: If you weren't tending bar, are there any professions that you'd pursue full time? I think I know the answer.

Jessica: Yeah, well we have our theatre company, and it's actually full-time. More than this job, because I'm only here two or three days a week. When I'm here I'm on, but my mind is always thinking about what needs to happen. We're about to go on tour to Europe for August. It's very exciting.

High Dive, 243 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. Phone: 718-788-0401.

Wednesday
Jun292011

Madison Rose Closing on Friday, Fire Sale On

Madison Rose, the popular maternity clothing store on Fifth between Lincoln and Berkeley, will be closing its doors for good on Friday, owner Jillian DiChiaro confirmed. Until then, all items in the store are $20, an average discount of about 50-75%.

"We have another location in Carroll Gardens that was far more successful, so we've decided to close the Park Slope location so we could focus on expanding that one," said DiChiaro. "We'll be offering a lot more kids' clothes, and focus on giving customers what they've been asking for."

As for the Park Slope location, no renter has been found yet (even though signs have been up in the windows for about the past month), so for the time being we can add one more to the list of empty storefronts on northern Fifth Avenue. Until then, that's one hell of a sale they've got going on!