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A Paint Job for New Restaurant from Thistle Hill Owner

Last week, HPS broke the news that Thistle Hill Tavern owner David Massoni would be opening up a restaurant on Seventh Avenue and 11th Street with a "modern Asian" twist, to be helmed by Top Chef alum Dale Talde. Now it looks like the corner, formerly part of Hudson Cleaners, has gotten a thorough paint job, covering up the bare wood that had long been a feature of the storefront. The doorway is still intact for now.

Here's how it looked a couple weeks ago; think it looks better or worse now?


Is This Prime Six's "VIP Room"?

It was brought up in March's infamous CB6 meeting--in which local residents had a chance to rail into the owner of Prime Six, the restaurant/club/lounge coming to Sixth and Flatbush--that while there would be no strippers, there would in fact be "a backyard, basement lounge and VIP room."

As construction comes along, I think it's safe to say that the room above, which looks out onto Sixth Avenue, just might be that VIP room. It's got the mirrors, the MePa-inspired brick walls, the little strips of wood along the wall to rest your $15 beer on, and windows that can barely be seen into from the outside (along with a secret doorway out onto Sixth).



Open for Business: Sposabella Couture, 69 Seventh Avenue

You would think that bridal shops would be a dime a dozen in Park Slope, but they've actually been rather hard to come by in these parts. As of yesterday, though, one has planted its flag in the space that was previously home to Dolly Lyla, on Seventh between Berkeley and Lincoln.

The shop, called Sposabella Couture, is run by Alice Sena, who spent the past 26 years running the store in Bay Ridge before a fire last year caused her to close up and move to our neck of the woods. She's brought a fleet of seamstresses and designers with her, and this full-service shop promises "everything but the groom."

It's a strikingly elegant space, and dresses start at $600. Also for sale are jewelry, veils, shoes, and just about everything else brides (and their bridesmaids) generally require.

Sposabella Couture, 69 Seventh Avenue Brooklyn NY 11217. Phone: 917-992-0819.


After 41 Years, David's Laundry Closing Today

The "arenafication" of the North Slope has officially begun.

David's Laundry, the 41-year old dry cleaners on Fifth Avenue between Bergen and St. Marks, will be closing for good today. The shop, which closed for several months last year due a landlord dispute but re-opened with a new lease on life in January, will shutter for good this afternoon, and all clothes not picked up by then will be donated to charity.

Susan, the shop's friendly proprietor for all 41 years of its existence, was in the process of cleaning the space out when I dropped in yesterday to discuss the closure.

"The landlord sold the building," she told me, her accented voice heavy with disbelief and resignation. "They're forcing me out. We're closing forever tomorrow."

I always got a kick out of the old hand-lettered sign above the doorway, along with the painted lettering on the front windows (complete with backwards "N"s). The interior clearly hadn't ever been modernized, and the neatly stacked piles of freshly laundered clothes packaged in brown paper waiting to be picked up were decidedly quaint.

It's these small, fairly anonymous businesses, run by hard working folks, that give life to neighborhoods. Once they're gone, what will replace them? In this case, it will most likely be a chain that can afford the rents rising in anticipation of the arena going up across the street. I have a feeling that in this part of the neighborhood, there's plenty more where this came from.

Susan (via Gary Sloman)


Tonio's Closes After 19 Years, To Possibly Be Replaced by Dunkin Donuts

After nineteen years in business on Seventh Avenue between Seventh and Eighth Streets, Tonio's restaurant has closed. The owner, Antonio Gaita, has decided to retire, and there's a rumor that his restaurant, a classic old-school red-sauce joint, where Antonio himself could usually be seen going table to table greeting his loyal regulars, will be transformed into a Dunkin' Donuts.

Tonio's was never known as a great restaurant, but that old world charm (imported, along with Antonio, directly from Avellino, a little town near Naples) attracted many a devoted follower over the years, who would show up near-nightly for baked clams, shrimp oreganate, scungilli marinara, chicken marsala, and other traditional Italian fare. It's layout, a dining room nearly invisible from the street along with a small bar in the back, was about as old-school NYC Italian as it gets.

It's just a rumor as of right now, but someone tweeted to FIPS that a Dunkin' Donuts will be moving into the space. I'll keep you updated as to whether that's true or not, but as of right now there's no reason to doubt it.