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Thursday
Sep112014

Met Supermarket on Seventh to Close

Some major developments this week from the corner of Seventh Avenue and Second Street: The long-dilapidated building on the corner, which has (slowly) been prepped for a major rehab, has lost its sidewalk shed, and the next-door Met Supermarket has announced that it will soon be closing.

First, 187 Seventh Avenue. Owner Charla Nash finally sold the building to a developer back in early 2013 for $4.2 million, and progress on the space has been slow-going since then. It's been gutted, and we can probably expect full scaffolding to go up sometime soon as exterior work gets underway (it certainly needs it).

As for the Met, many thanks to a tipster for sending the above photo and letting me know that there's currently a sign in the window announcing the closing as well as a 50 percent off sale. After it closes, those in need of groceries will have to walk a few blocks further north, to the Key Food.

Monday
Sep082014

Would You Eat at an All-Nutella Restaurant? And Is It Even Legal?

A Nutella-themed restaurant called Nutelleria is slated to open soon on 5th Avenue between St. Marks and Warren (in the space last occupied by a cell phone store), and if nothing else, it sounds hilarious.

The owners, two guys named Andre and Gleb, are self-proclaimed "Nutella enthusiasts" who have a menu of crepes, croissants, breakfast pizzas, burritos, Nutella-bacon-banana waffle sandwiches, and more in the works, all using the popular chocolate-hazelnut spread, according to Park Slope Stoop.

They appear to have a fairly well-thought out business plan (there already seem to be Los Angeles and Miami locations in the works), but there's one potentially fatal flaw: its questionable legality. Ferrero, the parent company of Nutella, hasn't sanctioned the use of their name or likeness, and can potentially put a damper on the enthusiasm with one cease-and-desist letter. The company so far hasn't publicly commented on it, but you can only imagine that they're plotting a course of action, especially because there's already an officially-sanctioned Nutella Bar in Eataly.

Any legal experts out there care to chime in?

Photo via Instagram

Friday
Sep052014

Closed for Business: Brooklyn Fish Camp, 162 5th Avenue

After ten years, Brooklyn Fish Camp, the seafood restaurant on 5th between St. John's and Lincoln, has closed up shop. It hasn't been open since last weekend, and the now-defunct website says simply, "Our 10-year lease is up." A tipster told me that a rent increase was the reason for the closure, and indeed the new rent seems to be significantly higher than the previous one.

The restaurant, an offshoot of the West Village's popular Mary's Fish Camp, was put on the market briefly last February, but that appeared to be a false alarm. The asking price back then was $6,333 per month, which was  reasonable for the location considering that there was enough room for a bar area and backyard. Now, the 1,200 square foot space is on the market for $10,500. "Suggested uses" on the listing include "restaurant, specialty food retail, retail clothing, shoes and accessories, cosmetics, jewelry."

Fish Camp wasn't cheap, but the food was consistently high-quality and the concept was novel for the neighborhood. They offered a decent happy hour and occasionally had fun specials like all-you-could-eat-and-drink peel-and-eat shrimp and beer, but apparently that wasn't enough to sustain it.

Wednesday
Sep032014

Burger Village, Organic Burger Joint, Coming to Cheeburger Space on Seventh

Out with the old burger, in with the new burger. The second location of Great Neck-based organic burger restaurant Burger Village will be opening in the space last occupied by Cheeburger Cheeburger, on Seventh Avenue and Third Street. Many thanks to a tipster for sending the below photo of a sign that's gone up in the window.

Burger Village's offerings seem to be about as high-quality (and high-minded) as it gets, with a whole page devoted to explaining the virtue of the ingredients. All meats are organic, grass-fed and cage-free, the produce is local and organic, breads are all-natural and handcrafted, the dairy is from grass-fed cows, the beverages are sweetened only with natural cane sugar, and so on. Not to resort to stereotypes, but this place is perfect for Park Slope.

It's not just beef on the menu, either; there are also six-ounce bison, turkey, elk, ostrich, wild boar, salmon, and lamb patties, with grilled chicken sandwiches, a BLT, and a hot dog rounding out the meat options. There are also several "un-meat" burger options (mushroom, black bean, and veggie patties, all vegan), as well as sides like fries, onion rings, wings, and chicken tenders, salads, and shakes.

Burgers range from $10 (beef) to $13 (ostrich), with salads averaging $10 and vegan burgers costing $9. These prices are also taken from the Great Neck location's website, so they may change.

If all this sounds vaguely familiar, that's probably because it is: Bareburger is only two blocks away, and has a very similar menu, even down to the six-ounce patty size and meat options. Bareburger's menu is a bit more creative and expansive, but at the end of the day it appears as if their offerings are more or less identical, with a similar price point as well. Interesting decision to open a location so close to such obvious competition, but it could certainly attract some overflow from what's one of the most popular restaurants in the neighborhood.

Monday
Aug252014

Nunu Chocolates Coming to Caramello Space at 179 5th Avenue

Nunu Chocolates, the successful Brooklyn-based chocolatier whose offerings are sold nationwide, will be opening up a cafe and shop in the space on Fifth between Lincoln and Berkeley last occupied by cannoli shop A'Putia, and before that Caramello.

I ran into Andy Laird, who runs the company with partner Justine Pringle, and he told me that the new shop will feature a wide selection of truffles and caramels, a cafe, and 10 different craft beers on tap. There's another brick and mortar location, on Atlantic between 3rd and 4th, which is also their flagship and factory.

Nunu Chocolates are a staple at specialty stores citywide (locally, they're available at Annie's Blue Ribbon, Blue Apron, Bierkraft, The Ploughman, and Union Market), and has a stellar reputation. Each (addictively good) chocolate is made by hand, and the single-origin cocoa comes from a sustainable family-run farm in Colombia. Their salt caramels are super-popular, along with absinthe, raspberry, and hazelnut ganache-filled chocolates, and their hot chocolate. 

The Chocolate Room is in the process of moving into a larger space a half-dozen blocks away and has a similar business plan, but something tells me that there's plenty of room for Nunu in the neighborhood, especially with such a stellar reputation.

If everything goes to plan, Laird told me, the cafe should be open within a month.