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Thursday
Apr232015

Pavilion Theater to Become Condos, Smaller Theater

The Pavilion Theater, on Prospect Park West between 14th and 15th Streets, will be converted into condos and the one-story building next door will be torn down in the process, The Real Deal has reported.

Ethan Geto, A representative from Hidrock Realty, which has owned the nine-screen theater since 2006, confirmed that the existing building housing the theater will undergo a gut renovation, and the new structure next-door will be primarily constructed with brick and be very much in line with the architecture of the surrounding buildings. "It definitely won't be a glass box," Geto told me.

When all is said and done, the complex will be home to 24 apartments, about 8,000 square feet of commercial space, and, most exciting of all, a new movie theater. According to Geto, the theater will be more "sophisticated" and won't resemble the current theater, which is decidedly run-down at all. The exterior of the existing building will also be restored.

The Pavilion, while certainly having its charms, has been a bit of an ugly duckling in recent years, dealing with issues of poor management and maintenance. It was always a matter of time until the hammer fell, and while it'll be a shame that the remaining interior architectural details will be wiped out, it's good to see this old building getting a second life.

Tuesday
Apr142015

Hugo & Sons Restaurant Coming to 367 Seventh Avenue

The storefront at 367 Seventh Avenue, on the northeast corner of Eleventh Street, has been vacant for years. But like several of the other long-vacant storefronts on Seventh in the past several months its been rented, and the new occupant, an Italian restaurant called Hugo & Sons, is moving in.

The sidewalk shed is down, and the new facade keeps many of the existing architectural details (including some great tilework down by the sidewalk) while adding some new ones, like lettering at the top.

Judging by a preliminary menu posted online (the owner told South Slope News that the pricing is subject to change), this looks like it's going to be a more or less classic "red sauce" Italian joint, but elevated. Appetizers will include Sicilian meatballs and crispy artichokes; Eight pizzas will be available including the Mina (tomato, mozzarella, prosciutto, parmesan, and greens), Fiamma (tomato, mozzarella, sopressata, jalapeno, and pesto), and the Mara (crab, shrimp, gremolata, parmesan, and mizzarella); Pastas will include strozzapreti Genovese (with braised brisket and ricotta), crab linguine, a maccheroni "dome" (wiht meatballs, ham, tomato, and bechamel, wrapped in puff pastry), pappardelle with italian sausage and fennel, and baked gnocchi with tomato and mozzarella; Secondi include chicken Milanese, garlic shrimp, and pork braciole rolled with bread crumbs, pine nuts, raisins, parsley, parm, and hard cooked egg.There's also a children's menu and a brunch menu that's definitely worth checking out.

Considering the care given to the buildout, menu design, and skill that will be required to execute this menu, the odds of this being an opening worth looking forward to are pretty high. While there's no shortage of old-school Italian in the neighborhood, this could potentially rise above them if, for example, the pastas are made fresh, the pizzas are executed properly, and high-quality ingredients are used. For now, though, all signs point to this being a winner.

Photo via South Slope News

Thursday
Apr092015

Fresh Bite to Replace Magic Deli on Fifth and Degraw

Magic Deli, the unassuming bodega on the corner of Fifth and Degraw previously known as Degraw Deli Grocery, closed up shop all the way back in January, and a lengthy renovation has been taking place since then. When it reopens it will be called Fresh Bite, according to a new sign on the sidewalk shed, and it will specialize in "Coffee. Bagels. Salads Grill. Subs. Organics."

The previous incarnation, along with the usual bodega staples, sold a surprisingly expansive (and tasty) array of tamales, tortas, and other Mexican specialties (and even the occasional cow's feet soup), which was very popular with local workers on their lunch break. I've reached out to the email address on the "Now Hiring" sign for more details, and will update if I hear back.

UPDATE: I heard from the owner, Moe, who also owns two similar shops in Manhattan: "We are not the same owners of Magic Deli. We have 2 locations in the city under the name of "The Best Of NY Food." This is our first experience in Brooklyn. What we offer in our stores are the best food products from salads, sandwiches, bagels, and others. We are bringing a place where anyone can go to grab some good fresh food. Although my main focus will be at the food area, I will  carry  all type of healthy organic  snacks."

Tuesday
Apr072015

Dimbulla Tea Shop Coming to Corner Burger Space on Fifth


Corner Burger has been sitting vacant since closing down in December of last year on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Sixth Street. The space has been rented, and the next owner has announced themselves via a sign in the window: It'll be called Dimbulla Tea Shop, and will be opening sometime next month. Many thanks to a tipster for sending along the above photo.

Sadly, no more information is available online, other than the fact that Dimbulla is a famous tea-growing region in Sri Lanka (which is certainly known for its tea).

Both Corner Burger and its neighbor, Chip Shop, were put on the market and later closed at about the same time, and Chip Shop's replacement, a Malaysian fusion restaurant called Al Seabu, also announced its opening a couple weeks ago. I wouldn't be surprised if both new businesses, which unfortunately have minimal online presences, had the same ownership. This certainly sounds unique, however, and definitely has a lot of potential.

Thursday
Apr022015

New Taqueria Papi's Grill Posts Menu Online, Opening Soon on Seventh

Papi's Grill, the forthcoming Mexican spot from the same owners as the Sunset Park institution Las Rosas Bakery, looks like it's getting ready to open on Seventh between First and Garfield in the space last occupuied by wine bar/ pizzeria Piccola Uva. Signage is up, and the menu has been posted on their Facebook page (click for larger versions).

In short, this place looks like it's going to be awesome. The menu closely resembles that of the original, and is similar to what you'll find at taquerias all over the city, but not in Park Slope and other pricier neighborhoods. Tacos, tortas, tostadas, cemitas, burritos, huaraches, picaditas, tamales, pambazos, and breakfast items will all be available; Meats include steak, chorizo and egg, spicy pork, ham, chicken, spicy pork leg, chiicken tinga, carnitas, and goat. And to top it off, tres leches cake (which is very popular at Los Rosas) will be available for dessert.

For those who have been clamoring for a traditional taqueria (no offense to the Tacos Morelos truck on Union Street), this is a welcome and surprising addition to the neighborhood, especially on the north end. Not only that, it's something that's actually needed, and is from the owners of a much-respected institution no less.

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