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Tuesday
Oct072014

Yogurberry Closed, Luscious Food Closing on Fifth

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Some closing news to report from the north end of Fifth Avenue: Yogurberry, the generic fro-yo shop that opened in May of 2012 on the corner of Prospect, closed up shop last week, and the 10 year-old Luscious Foods, the homestyle prepared foods and sandwich shop between St. Marks and Bergen, will be closing at the end of the month.

"Rumors are true. Luscious Food will be closing this month," owner Christine Zeni said in an email. "Our ten year lease is up and the new lease offer is awful. So we have no choice but to close our doors. We thank all of our customers whom have made us a part of their family. We will miss you all."

Yogurberry, which has locations as far reaching as Nigeria, Paraguay, and India, has had trouble making a go of it in New York, where a Flatiron district location also closed recently. In a market that's been oversaturated with fro-yo shops for years, it really had nothing to separate it from the pack.

As for Luscious, the news comes as a disappointment. The sandwiches (like the Slow Ro, with roast beef, caramelized onions, Swiss cheese and horseradish spread) were creative and tasty, and the rotating menu of prepared salads, sides, and main dishes was always good in a pinch. Zeni's desserts are outrageous as well; make sure you try her oatmeal cream pie cookies before the last day on October 31.

Monday
Oct062014

“Modern Vietnamese Gastropub” Coming to Brooklyn Fish Camp Space

Brooklyn Fish Camp closed up shop after 10 years on Fifth between St. John's and Lincoln last month, and the 1,200-sqare foot space has already been rented. According to The Daily Meal, an as-yet-unnamed "modern Vietnamese gastropub" will be the next tenant.

Here's where it gets good: the duo behind the restaurant, Lien and Edward Lin, spent most of their careers with one of San Francisco's best modern Vietnamese and Asian, in general restaurants, The Slanted Door. Lien spent the past ten years there rising from line cook to executive sous chef, and Edward ran the kitchen at sister restaurant Out the Door and oversaw operations for the parent company, The Slanted Door Restaurant Group.

No more details are currently available, but by all accounts this seems pretty promising.

Friday
Oct032014

Closed for Business: Uncle Arthur's Cafe, 237 9th Street

Uncle Arthur's Cafe, which opened back in April on Ninth Street just west of Fourth Avenue, has closed. A "Closed for Renovations" sign was posted on the front door, but owner Richard Gussoff confirmed that it won't be re-opening.

The restaurant, which doubled as a cafe during the morning rush, was generally well-reviewed, but its off-the-beaten-path location didn't do it any favors. Gussoff, who has met with great success as the chef behind the popular wintertime pop-up The Soup Bowl on Seventh near Ninth Street, added that his business partner promised to operate the business when Gussoff left mid-October to re-open the Soup Bowl but later reneged, saying that he's "at this time unable to take on this responsibiity."

While it's disappointing that this venture didn't work out for Gussoff, who lives in the neighborhood and has won serious praises for his soups, it's good to know that he'll be opening The Soup Bowl for the winter once again later this month in its regular location at 319 7th Avenue. He's also looking into opening a second location this winter on Smith Street.

Photo via Yelp

Tuesday
Sep302014

Closed for Business: A.O.C. Bistro, 259 5th Avenue

A.O.C. Bistro, the French restaurant on the corner of 5th Avenue and Garfield Place, has closed up shop. It's been shuttered for the past few days, the phone has been disconnected, and several tipsters have written in to let me know that it's closed for good.

The restaurant opened in August 2007, and was one of those places that always seemed to be full even though nobody ever talked about going there. It was a popular inexpensive brunch spot with its menu of French classics like croque monsieur and salade Nicoise, and the dinner menu was by-the-book French bistro, with offerings including poulet frites, coq au vin, duck confit, and moules marinere. They also introduced a couple specials in recent years, including a $1 oyster promotion. It wasn't one of the best restaurants in the neighborhood by any means, but it certainly filled a niche.

The space was actually first listed back in January 2012. This joins an increasing number of vacant prime storefronts on this stretch of Fifth, including the ones last occupied by Guvnor's and Terroir. Hopefully the string of vacancies that's taken over the north end of Seventh Avenue hasn't found its way east, but at this rate the space will probably become a nail salon.

Thursday
Sep252014

"Jackets and Jeans" Pop-Up Coming to Trois Pommes Space on Fifth

The space that was the longtime home of Trois Pommes Patisserie has been sitting empty since closing in April of this year, with an asking price of $8,500/month. Many thanks to Warren Lewis real estate salesman Jeffrey Kessler, the broker for the space, for letting me know that a pop-up store called only "Jackets and Jeans Sample Sale" will soon be opening there, and will move out after their three month lease is up.

The original listing called for a 5-year lease, so this is certainly unexpected. With more expensive spaces with comparable square footage sitting empty for much longer than this one, this may be a sign of what we can expect in the future.

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