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Wednesday
Jan142015

Loki Lounge Reopens in Half of Previous Space

Loki Lounge, the bar that's been on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Second Street since 1999, closed up shop a couple months ago, about eight months after the owners put the space on the market. They didn't close for good, however; while about two-thirds of the space (facing Fifth Avenue) is still for rent, the remaining space, accessible via a staircase around the corner on Second Street, has reopened with a brand new concept.

The cozy new space, above, is certainly an improvement from the rather dour previous one, and the owners probably should have given it a new name to separate it from its past. There's plenty of exposed brick, a working fireplace, and light woods, with a bar that seats eight and a handful of tables. There's a solid selection of craft cocktails made with fresh-made juices, as well as a food menu of small bites and sandwiches that looks pretty good: dishes include soy-glazed chicken wings, bay scallop tacos, BBQ pork sliders, lamb flatbread with olives and gryuere, a burger, a shaved Italian beef sandwich, fried baby chicken, and cheese and charcuterie, topping out at $13.

The new bar is a little difficult to find, hiding behind a small door with no sign, but it's hard to argue that it's not an imprevement from its previous incarnation.

Tuesday
Jan132015

Tutta Pasta Space on Seventh is For Rent

Tutta Pasta, one of those restaurants that always seems to have people in it even though nobody ever admits to going there, has been put on the market. The 3,000 square foot space, on Seventh between First and Garfield, is for rent for a negotiable rate that's "currently $45 PSF below market," according to a listing that Park Slope Stoop first spotted.

The no-frills red sauce joint has served standard Italian fare, heavy on the olive oil, cheese, and fried stuff, for well over a decade, and was apparently doing well enough that the owners opened a (now closed) second location in Hoboken and a pizza spot, Piccola Uva, across the street. While the restaurant is certainly a dependable standby for some, it's not exactly breaking new culinary ground, and you'd be hard-pressed to find many people surprised by the news.

With seating for 140 plus sidewalk seating, a full bar, and a liquor license, this is a prime spot for a deep-pocketed restaurateur who's looking to make their stamp in Park Slope. I could see Sarabeth's doing quite well in this spot.

Tuesday
Jan062015

Blue Bottle Coffee Coming to 203 Seventh Avenue

Happy New Year, Park Slope! Some good news to report for coffee lovers: Blue Bottle Coffee will be opening a location at 203 Seventh Avenue, between Second and Third Streets, in the space last occupied by Ocean Fish Market.

Eater is reporting that the Oakland, Calif.-based roaster, which opened its first New York location in 2010 after developing a rabid following on the West Coast, will be opening in the spring with a food menu, and that they'll also be taking advantage of the small outdoor space on the corner of Third Street.

Blue Bottle focuses on single-origin beans brewed within 48 hours of roasting, and they're fiercely dedicated to brewing coffee properly, and there are currently seven New York locations.

Monday
Dec222014

Closed for Business: 'sNice, Bageltique, Fish and Sip

The last couple weeks of the year always see a flurry of business closures, and this year is no different. 'sNice, on Fifth Avenue and Third Street; Bageltique, on Fifth between President and Carroll; and Fish & Sip, on Flatbush near Bergen, have all closed for good.

'sNice was shuttered by the Department of Health on December 8, and the owners reportedly decided that it was impossible to reopen having had its reputation take such a hit. A rep from the Fifth Avenue BID told me that the landlord was doing work in the building, which caused mice to infest the restaurant right as the DOH decided to pay a visit. The owners cleared out the space last week, reportedly after hearing passersby say that they'd never return. 

5th Ave Bageltique Cafe, the dependable double-wide bagel shop, shut down on Friday. It may not be gone for good, however, as it's re-opening under new ownership at some point next month, according to a notice in the window. No word on what kinds of changes will be in store.

FInally, Fish and Sip, the Mediterranean-inspired fish-oriented restaurant, closed as planned last week as well, as its owners have decided to convert the space into a Mexican restaurant called Don Chingon and reopen sometime this winter. No details about what to expect are forthcoming, except for the fact that they've been granted a liquor license.

Friday
Dec192014

Die Koelner Bierhalle Seized for Nonpayment of Taxes

Die Koelner Bierhalle (The KBH), the gigantic German beer hall on St. Marks Place just east of Fourth Avenue, has been seized by the NYS Dept. of Taxation and Finance for failure to pay taxes. Many thanks to tipster Chloe for sending in the above photo, of the infamous orange sign in the locked-up doorway. According to the government's online database, there's a lien on the property for more than $23,000.

The beer hall opened in August 2012, and was the largest drinking establishment in the neighborhood. There was a solid selection of German beer and sausages, but the vibe has always been a little off, largely idue to the cold and industrial space, spotty service, and somewhat depressing mood. It never really attracted neither a regular clientele nor the Barclays crowd.

The space was rarely empty but also rarely full (save for the World Cup final, when the line to get in stretched to the corner), but it never appeared to be doing exactly well. I'd be very interested in seeing if it re-opens.