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Wednesday
Sep172014

Luke's Lobster Finally Makes it Official on Fifth

It was a little over a year ago when Luke's Lobster, one of the city's most popular spots for lobster rolls, first told me that they were planning on opening a location in the neighborhood, and seven months since they confirmed that they were heading to 237 5th Avenue, between Berkeley and Carroll. Little to no work has actually taken place inside the space since then, however, leading some to believe that the deal had fallen through, but now the plywood has come down and Luke's-branded construction paper has gone up in the windows.

A rep for the company told me a couple months ago that the holdup was due to permitting issues, much like the ones that plagued Calexico (which still doesn't have a liquor license), and that as soon as the permits went through the buildout could take as little as a month. Last night he confirmed for me that the papers are indeed all in order, and that an opening date will be set soon.

Photo via Jay S.

Tuesday
Sep162014

UPDATE: The Tea Lounge is NOT For Sale

UPDATE: I just heard from the owner, who informed me that the listing is incorrect and was only intended to help sell franchises, and that the Tea Lounge is in fact NOT for sale. 

 

The Tea Lounge, the cafe that's been on Union Street between 6th and 7th Avenues for more than 13 years, is apparently up for sale. Many thanks to a tipster for directing me to this listing (also found below; click for a larger version), where the 3,900 square foot space, with 8 1/2 years left on its contract, is listed for $9,750 per month.

"Highly successful, long running, internet cafe and bar with full liquor license," the somewhat lo-fi listing reads.  "Apprx 3900 sqft at prime location."

Tea Lounge isn't just a popular hangout for people who work from home as well as those with children in tow, it also recently opened up a location in Kuwait as part of an agressive franchising campaign. A Williamsburg location has also apparently been in the works for some time now, but has yet to come to fruition.

I reached out to the owners about the reasons behind the sale and what their future plans are, and will update if I hear back.


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.

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