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Tuesday
Jul152014

Excelsior to Close, Looking for a New Home

The building that's been home to Excelsior, one of the area's only remaining gay bars, since 1999, has been sold, and it will be closing soon, a bartneder there confirmed.

The venerable establishment has outlasted plenty of other nearby watering holes, and along with Ginger's it's the only local one geared toward the LGBT community. While they're being forced to close, it's not due to a rent increase or the like; the building was sold and needs to be delivered vacant, and while a closing date hasn't been set yet there's a good chance that they'll be sticking around until August 31.

While they'll no longer be in the same space by the time cooler weather rolls around, they're not gone for good; the bartender told me that the owners are actively searching for a new home nearby.

Photo via Foursquare

Thursday
Jul102014

Signage Going Up at Doughnut Plant Brooklyn

It was first announced only about a month ago that a location of the popular (and delicious) Doughnut Plant, which has two locations in Manhattan (including the original near the Manhattan Bridge) and one in Tokyo, would be opening in the building on Flatbush opposite Sixth last occupied by Yummy Taco. Construction has already begun in earnest, and signage has gone up along the corners of the triangular building.

Construction paper has also gone up in the windows, and it looks like we can expect an awning to be going up any day now. With construction going this quickly, we might be closer to getting some of the city's best doughnuts than we might have thought.

Wednesday
Jul092014

Bogota Owners Bringing Miti Miti Taperia to 138 5th Avenue

It was announced back in November that the owners of popular Latin restaurant Bogota would be opening a new arepa shop in the space on 5th Avenue between Butler and Douglass last occupied by Voodoo Lounge, but it appears as if the concept has changed: signage has gone up in the front window for a new restaurant called Miti Miti Taperia.

Miti Miti shares a name with a line of sauces and plantain chips owned by the same duo who own the perpetually-packed Bogota, Farid Ali Lancheros and George Constantinou, and judging by the name it looks like they've scrapped the arepa concept for one centered on tapas, which certainly works for me.

Here's a post about the new restaurant that was recently posted on Constant Contact:

"We are excited to share the news of our upcoming restaurant with an expected opening date of sometime in September of 2014.  Nine years in the making, Miti Miti Taperia will be located just a hop, skip and a jump away from our current location on 5th Avenue. The name comes from the spanish slang for "half and half" ("mitad y mitad"). The menu will consist of small and large plates meant to be shared. The Miti Miti experience is meant to evoke not just sharing of food, but sharing of good times, laughter, joy, friendship, great conversation, and memories. Yes, the concept will be different but the values that have made Bogota Latin Bistro a popular dining destination both within and outside of the community will remain the same."

I've reached out to Lancheros for additional details and will update if I hear back.

Tuesday
Jul082014

Facade Revealed, Signage Up at Flatbush Avenue Shake Shack

Construction has been progressing on the second Brooklyn location of Shake Shack, coming to Flatbush Avenue between Dean and Pacific Streets, since soon after the rumors were confirmed back in February, and it appears that they're getting ready to open.

The sidewalk shed has come down (revealing an attractive restoration of the facade, which had been covered with metal sheeting for decades) and signage has gone up.

The understated sign is standard for the chain, with a Neutraface font that will light up in neon. There's also a smaller burger-shaped vertical sign jutting from the brick at far left.

Meanwhile, the interior appears to be nearing completion. It looks like the majority of fixtures (including at least two televisions) have been installed, with just the finishing touches remaining. Here's a peek above the contstruction paper:

The entrance (at right) will most likely lead right up to the metal counter, with a large seating area to the left (with benches seating 4-6 along the far left wall) and more seating up against the front windows, facing the Barclays Center directly across the street.

Monday
Jun302014

New Mural Unveiled on Fifth Ave and Union Street

It was a bit disheartening to see the old "Who's Your Uncle?" mural on Union Street near 5th Avenue painted over last summer right after Mavi Jeans moved into the building; what was once a scrappy and charming neighborhood landmark was reduced to a brown wall. But apparently Mavi's management realized that it was a bad move, and last weekend a new mural was unveiled on the same spot.

The company held a competition called "What's Your Brooklyn?," and out of all the entrants, Carrol Gardens artist Kate Wilkes took the win, and the opportunity to put her own mural up. It's a cool little hodgepodge of familiar Brooklyn sights, from the three bridges to the Brooklyn Bridge Park carousel, the Williamsburg Savings Bank tower, the Arch, the Brooklyn Museum, and a lot of brownstones. It's certainly a charming addition to the streetscape; no word on whether the adjacent bench that Mavi removed will be returning.

Click on the top image for a larger version.

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