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Thursday
Jun112015

Delicias Urbanas to Bring Latin Breads, Unique Ice Cream to 86 Fifth Avenue

Delicias Urbanas, an "urban bakery," is in the works at the tiny 86 Fifth Avenue, between St. Marks and Warren, and should be openby mid-July. I spoke with the owner, Felix Castro, and he filled me in on what to expect.

While the finalized menu is still in the works, the main draws will be homemade Latin breads, sandwiches, and ice cream. Offerings will include Cuban sandwiches (made on homemade bread), Latin pastries, Colombian cheese bread, and a rotating selection of extremely intriguing-sounding ice creams and sorbet. Ice cream options will include dulce de leche, avocado, corn elote, Mexican crema with strawberry, spicy tomatillo, fermented pineapple and cactus (tepache-nopal), quinoa horchata, café tres leches, Tajín, coconut, and cucumber jalapeno. Sorbet options will include mango margarita, passion fruit, melon mojito, and lychee margarita.

Between this, Sky Ice across the street, and Culture and L'Albero dei Gelati further up Fifth, the avenue very well might as well be dubbed Ice Cream Row.

Thursday
Jun042015

Artichoke Basille's Pizza Coming to 59 Fifth Avenue

Artichoke Basille's Pizza, which opened on 14th Street in 2008 and today has six locations, will be opening its next one on Fifth Avenue, in the space between St. Marks and Bergen that was last occupied by takeout shop Luscious Food, which closed last October. The news was first reported by Park Slope Stoop, and confirmed by the company on Twitter

Along with Shake Shack and Patsy's, this represents one of a handful of chain restaurants (albeit a small one) to arrive on this side of Flatbush Avenue since the Barclays Center opened. The nightlife scene on this stretch of Fifth Avenue is pretty hopping even when there's nothing going on at Barclays, so it makes sense that Artichoke (which has a reputation for being a post-drinking destination) would decide to put down roots here. In short: It's really good drunk food.

The pizzeria is best known for its rich and filling artichoke slice, which is essentially cheese-covered spinach artichoke dip on pizza crust; a slice sells for nearly $5 and a pie for $30 at the East Village location. The owners, Sal Basille and Francis Garcia, are also known for the Cooking Channel shows they host, Pizza Cuz and Pizza Masters.

Wednesday
Jun032015

Retro Ghost Signage Revealed on Ninth Street

S&S Cleaners, which was founded on Ninth Street near Sixth Avenue in 1925 by recent Chinese immigrants and is today run by the third generation of the same family, very well might be the oldest cleaners in the neighborhood; It's certainly one of its oldest surviving businesses. They recently removed their rather ordinary awning, revealing some vintage signage that's in excellent condition and appears to date from the 1940s or 50s. Many thanks to reader Dave for sending in the photo.

Every time I see something like this I wonder what kind of ghost signage is lurking under the hundreds of other awnings in the neighborhood. On a separate note, can anyone think of any Park Slope businesses that are more than 90 years old?

Thursday
May282015

Cafe/ Sandwich Shop Coming to Boing Boing Space on Sixth

It's been nearly a year since Boing Boing, the maternity shop on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Union Street, shut down after nearly 20 years in business. The next tenant has been lined up, and construction has begun inside the space. When I ducked my head in and asked what was in the works, a man who identified himself as the owner told me that a deli is on its way.

I asked him for further details ("deli" can mean everything from delicatessen to bodega, after all), he told me that he'd be serving coffee, sandwiches, salads, and other simple fare, and the ample front yard would have outdoor seating. Those were all the details he was willing to part with at the time.

This corner gets a ton of foot traffic, but is still off the beaten path enough to make it an ideal spot to sit outside and enjoy a light lunch. Construction is continuing along at a brisk pace, so it'll be interesting to see the finished product.

Wednesday
May202015

Closed for Business: Yogurtland, 207 Seventh Avenue

Yogurtland, the chain fro-yo shop that opened in December 2012 on the prime corner of Seventh Avenue and Third Street, has closed. Thanks to a tipster for sending the bottom photo, of the sign posted by management announcing that yesterday was their last day in business.

This intersection has changed quite a bit since Yogurtland, which replaced the long-running restaurant Sette, first opened. The unfortunate Cheeburger Cheeburger has closed and been replaced by the more upscale Burger Village; the middling pan-Latin restaurant Casa Ventura has closed and been replaced by Sushi Katsuei, which is arguably one of the best sushi spots in the borough; and Ocean Fish Market is being replaced by the much-lauded Blue Bottle Coffee.

If you're still in the still in the mood for frozen yogurt in the area, may I suggest you walk down the hill a couple blocks to Culture, which makes all their yogurt in-house and is among the best you'll ever try. Or if you're feeling lazy there's a Pinkberry two and a half blocks to the north, which may have had something to do with this closure.

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