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Tuesday
May192015

Brooklyn Burgers & Beer Coming to AOC Bistro Space on Fifth

While walking down Fifth Avenue during their annual Fabulous Fifth Avenue Fair this past weekend, I noticed that temporary signage has gone up on the scaffolding around the under-renovation 259 Fifth Avenue, on the corner of Garfield Place (previously home to AOC Bistro). Called Brooklyn Burgers & Beer, the restaurant's focus will be "crazy good burgers and craft beer."

According to their Facebook page and a Craigslist listing, they're currently hiring and hope to be open by early June. A floorplan reveals that the restaurant will seat 32 at 12 tables and six more at the bar, and there will be outdoor seating as well. The decor is heavy on reclaimed wood and subway tile, and overall it looks like a pretty homey spot.

Just when you throught the Park Slope Burger Boom was over, here comes one more entrant, right in the heart of burger and beer central. Bonnie's Grill, which serves some of the best burgers in Brooklyn, is a block away, as is Pork Slope, which serves mighty good burgers as well as a great selection of craft beer (Good beer can be found right next door at High Dive as well, and Beauty Bar). Slightly further afield, Burger Bistro, 200 Fifth, and Stone Park all serve quality burgers, and that's just Fifth Avenue. Needless to say, the market for both burgers and beer in Park Slope is certainly saturated, so these guys' product must be spectacular, with a clear differentiation from the competition.

Tuesday
May122015

Something Else to Close Original Fifth Avenue Location in July

The original Fifth Avenue outpost of Something Else, the clothing store on the corner of Fifth and Union that also has locations in Bensonhurst and Smith Street, will be shutting down in July and merging with its new location a block further up the avenue on Berkeley Place.

There's currently a sale going on to clear out the inventory, and an employee confirmed that while it will be closing, it won't be for a couple more months. The new location opened late last year, shortly after the space's last tenant, Italian restaurant Campo de Fiori, closed up shop.

The storefront (along with the adjacent space on Union Street) was put on the market in February, so if it's been rented we should expect the new owners to make their presence known shortly after Something Else moves out.

Monday
May042015

Bar 718 Owner Opening New Bar in Black Sheep Space

http://www.totalhappyhour.com/preview/500-450/content/files/mod.happyhour/fa649674d3f645dca30580cfadc33f17.jpg

It's been a couple months since Black Sheep Pub and Cyprus Avenue, two adjacent bars from the same owner on the corner of Fifth and Bergen, closed for good. It looks like at least one of those spaces is going to remain a bar; the owners of Bar 718, further down Fifth Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Streets, will be opening a new bar in the former Black Sheep space.

Many thanks to a tipster for noticing that a liquor license application was discussed at the most recent CB6 meeting. The narrow fove year-old Bar 718 is a popular low-key neighborhood spot, with a solid beer list, good cocktails, and ample wine selection, and sports (and Mad Men) on the TV. Black Sheep was a good neighborhood bar, and this looks like it'll be following in its footsteps. No word on what's to come of the former Cyprus Avenue, though.

Friday
May012015

Shamisen Closes on Fifth Avenue, Tofu on Fifth Moving In

 

Shamisen, the Pan-Asian restaurant on the corner of Fifth and Fifth, has closed, and is in the process of being turned into an authentic Szechuan restaurant that also serves Japanese food.

According to the small print on the awning, the name of the restaurant will be Tofu on Fifth, which would seem to indicate that it'll be a second location of Tofu on Seventh, the very good Szechuan restaurant on Seventh near Fourth Street. But while an employee I spoke to at Tofu on Seventh knew that this restaurant was opening, she also said that it will have "a different owner," apparently one who's decided to also serve Japanese food.

The tipster who sent the above photo also told me that a "Closed for Renovation" sign was posted in the window, so the odds of the "new" owner being the same as Shamisen's seem pretty high. Shamisen was never able to pull in crowds, even after launching an all-you-can-eat-and-drink sushi, Chinese food, beer, and sake promotion a few months ago. Its menu was primarily Japanese, but there were also Chinese, Thai, and Malaysian dishes on the menu as well.

It's still a bit confusing as to what the ownership situation is, but if the Szechuan food here is as good as it is up on Seventh, the then that's a very good thing.

UPDATE: Thanks to a commenter for pointing out that Tofu on Seventh is in fact closing and moving into this location, not opening a second location here.

Wednesday
Apr292015

Japanese Restaurant Wasan Coming to Melt/ Rare Earth Space 

The space that had been home to Melt for 10 years before closing and being replaced by the short lived Rare Earth, on Bergen Street near Fifth Avenue, will next be home to the second location of the Michelin-recommended Japanese restaurant Wasan, Commercial Observer reported.

The original Wasan, located on West Fourth Street since 2010, focuses on showcasing local and seasonal ingredients, with a menu that changes regularly. The menu is different from what you might expect from your standard Japanese spot, and is much more homsetyle and authentic Japanese: both red and white miso soups are made to order, appetizers include house-pickled vegetables, chawan mushi, smoked monkfish liver, crispy soba shrimp tempura, and wagyu beef tartare; entrees include lava stone-grilled sirloin, barbecued eel, chirashi, and several rice bowls; there's a five-course chef's tasting menu, and (yes!) late-night ramen.

No word on how much of this menu will be replicated here, but it's promising to say the least; There's no reason for them to change anything up, especially considering the fact that it's Michelin-recommended. For folks who have been craving a restaurant like this since Kappa Sake House closed in 2011, this appears to be well worth the wait.

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