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Closed for Business: La Taqueria, 72 7th Avenue

La Taqueria, the 20-year old cantina/ burrito joint on Seventh between Berkeley and Lincoln, has closed up for good, a sign posted on Sunday announced.

After closing down their bar/ restaurant half in September and keeping only the take-out side with a small seating area in the back, I had a feeling that the effort wouldn't be enough to keep the struggling restaurant afloat. They were one of the first restaurants around to serve the gargantuan Mission-style burrito, but over the years competition has grown. A misguided renovation last summer drove away some longtime regulars, and with rents along this stretch growing to astronomical proportions, a take-out business just wasn't sustainable. 

Add these two now-vacant storefronts to the still-for-rent Slope Sports space, and that's three empty storefronts on a block that last year at this time had none.


Dao Palate Gets a Sign

Dao Palate, the pan-Asian vegan restaurant that opened a month ago on Fifth Avenue near Union, installed some signage last week. Is it just me or does it look a little off-kilter?


Freddy's Sets Opening Date

Freddy's, the Dean Street bar with a history dating back to Prohibition that was demolished last summer to make way for the Atlantic Yards, has announced that February 4th will bring the opening of their new location, on Fifth between 17th and 18th Streets. 

Owner Donald O'Finn, via Village Voice
The new spot, which was formerly home to Ellis Bar, will most likely have a completely different look and feel from the original, which was inimitable. Donald O'Finn, the bar's longtime manager, is now an owner, though, so the vibe and general atmosphere should at least be familiar to regulars, who will now have to trek to the other end of the neighborhood to visit. They're also planning on keeping with tradition by hosting live music.

The new location


Chain Restaurant Cheeburger Cheeburger for Miracle Grill Space

Over the weekend signage went up on the old Miracle Grill space (at Seventh Ave and 3rd St) for "Cheeburger Cheeburger," a 1950s-style Florida-based chain similar to Johnny Rocket's. The construction worker who told me it was going to be a Chinese restaurant was apparently making things up. 

They serve about 80 different milkshake varieties, and burgers come in six sizes: kid burger, classic, semi serious, serious, delirious, and "pounder." According to Wikipedia: "Cheeburger Cheeburger's menus claim it to be famous for its "Pounder" burger, which is 20 ounces of beef before cooking. Anyone who finishes the entire burger can have their picture taken holding a stuffed fabric "Pounder" and hung on that restaurant's Wall of Fame. There is also a Wall of Fame for children, where children under 12 years old may appear if they eat a half-pound burger."

Let's encourage our children to eat 20 ounces of ground beef in one sitting! I think I'll be sticking to Five Guys for my fast food burger fix, but with a kid-friendly vibe and a menu that also includes an "invent your own salad" section, I don't see this place failing. 


Open For Business: Rachel's Tattoo and Beauty Salon, 477 5th Avenue

Rachel's, the beauty salon and tattoo parlor with the funky handmade sign on Fifth between 11th and 12th, opened up shop on Saturday. It's actually pretty swanky-looking inside, with some couches up front, a few hairdresser stations, and a tattoo/piercing area in the back. There's also a pretty nice DJ setup, for some reason. 

Rachel's Tattoo and Beauty Salon, 477 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-788-2704.