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Monday
Dec222014

Closed for Business: 'sNice, Bageltique, Fish and Sip

The last couple weeks of the year always see a flurry of business closures, and this year is no different. 'sNice, on Fifth Avenue and Third Street; Bageltique, on Fifth between President and Carroll; and Fish & Sip, on Flatbush near Bergen, have all closed for good.

'sNice was shuttered by the Department of Health on December 8, and the owners reportedly decided that it was impossible to reopen having had its reputation take such a hit. A rep from the Fifth Avenue BID told me that the landlord was doing work in the building, which caused mice to infest the restaurant right as the DOH decided to pay a visit. The owners cleared out the space last week, reportedly after hearing passersby say that they'd never return. 

5th Ave Bageltique Cafe, the dependable double-wide bagel shop, shut down on Friday. It may not be gone for good, however, as it's re-opening under new ownership at some point next month, according to a notice in the window. No word on what kinds of changes will be in store.

FInally, Fish and Sip, the Mediterranean-inspired fish-oriented restaurant, closed as planned last week as well, as its owners have decided to convert the space into a Mexican restaurant called Don Chingon and reopen sometime this winter. No details about what to expect are forthcoming, except for the fact that they've been granted a liquor license.

Friday
Dec192014

Die Koelner Bierhalle Seized for Nonpayment of Taxes

Die Koelner Bierhalle (The KBH), the gigantic German beer hall on St. Marks Place just east of Fourth Avenue, has been seized by the NYS Dept. of Taxation and Finance for failure to pay taxes. Many thanks to tipster Chloe for sending in the above photo, of the infamous orange sign in the locked-up doorway. According to the government's online database, there's a lien on the property for more than $23,000.

The beer hall opened in August 2012, and was the largest drinking establishment in the neighborhood. There was a solid selection of German beer and sausages, but the vibe has always been a little off, largely idue to the cold and industrial space, spotty service, and somewhat depressing mood. It never really attracted neither a regular clientele nor the Barclays crowd.

The space was rarely empty but also rarely full (save for the World Cup final, when the line to get in stretched to the corner), but it never appeared to be doing exactly well. I'd be very interested in seeing if it re-opens.

Tuesday
Dec162014

A Peek Inside Bricolage, Opening Soon in Brooklyn Fish Camp Space

About two months ago I first reported that a "modern Vietnamese gastropub" from veterans of one of the country's best Vietnamese restaurants would be opening at 162 Fifth Avenue (between St. Johns and Lincoln), in the space last home to Brooklyn Fish Camp. The restaurant has been given a name, and construction is moving along at a rapid clip.

A notice in the window revealed that Bricolage will be the name. The word means "a construction or creation from a diverse range of available things," which most likely reflects the philosophy. Not much in the way of details are currently available, but the duo behind the restaurant, Lien and Edward Lin, spent most of their careers with one of San Francisco's best modern Asian restaurants, The Slanted Door.

Construction was been moving at a brisk pace for the past several weeks, with workers inside the space on a near-daily basis. A look inside reveals that the layout appears to be similar to that of Fish Camp before it, with a narrow bar in front and dining room in the back. The color scheme is low-key, with lots of exposed brick and dark wood.

This restaurant's impending arrival has remained under the radar, but judging by the provenance of the chefs, I have a feeling that we're in for something good.

Thursday
Dec112014

Tea Lounge to Close December 14

Tea Lounge, on Union Street near Seventh Avenue, will be closing for good on Sunday. The owners announced the closure on Facebook, saying simply, "We are sad to announce to the community and our loyal customers that we will be closing Tea Lounge in Park Slope on Sunday 12/14/14. Please stop by so we can say goodbye."

The popular coffee shop began its life more than 13 years ago in the space further up Seventh where Hanco's is now, and moved into this sprawling space several years ago. It was a popular hangout for local moms and nannies, and was certainly one of the largest coffee shops in the neighborhood.
Back in September I discovered that the space had been listed for sale, but the owner contacted me and insisted that the listing was "only intended to help sell franchises," and that it wasn't in fact for sale. That explanation sounded a little fishy, apparently with good reason. It'll be interesting to see what's been lined up to take over this prime space.
UPDATE: Here's a link to the listing. The rental rate for the 3,900 square-foot space has been listed only as "negotiable."
Wednesday
Dec102014

Rare Earth Space on the Market for $8,000/Month

The space on Bergen Street near 5th Avenue that's been home to restaurant Rare Earth since it opened last summer is on the market.

The restaurant had the same owner as Melt before it, Muguette Siem A Sjoe, and was focused on "wholesome, fresh, naturally grown ingredients, served at its peak harvest time." While the menu was creative, nothing about it brought in crowds, and there wasn't much to differentiate it from its predecessor.

The 1,800-foot space is going for $8,000 per month, or $4.44/sf, according to the listing. I'm still holding out hope that City Sub may decide to make a triumphant return.

Photo via Loopnet

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