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Entries in Open For Business (208)

Monday
Mar302015

Open for Business: The Estaminet Brooklyn, 107A Seventh Avenue

A new French cafe called The Estaminet has opened on the corner of Seventh Avenue and President Street, in the space last occupied by eyeglass shop Spectacles on Seventh.

“A hug in a mug, coffee, and more” is the shop's tagline, and the small space only fits a counter and a handful of tables. The coffee menu includes espresso, ristretto, macchiato, afogatto, Americano, cappuccino, latte, mocha, hot chocolate, and frappe. Prices range from $2.50 (espresso) to $6.50 (large hot chocolate).  There's also a selection of savory and sweet crepes averaging about $8, juices ($5-9), and yogurt and oatmeal for breakfast.

Unfortunately there's no Facebook or Twitter page and the website is inexcusably bad (95 percent of it still seems to be a generic "cafe" template, complete with lorem ipsum text), but at least the shop itself seems to be well-planned. There are several other places in that general area to get a cup of coffee (including Cafe Dada and Cafe Regular du Nord), and the small space doesn't really invite hanging around with your laptop, so it'll be interesting to see if another grab-and-go coffee shop will do well here.

Wednesday
Feb182015

Ollie & Ry Now Open in Bageltique Space on Fifth

A new bagel and sandwich shop with a cheffy twist opened last week in the space that was last occupied by Bageltique, on Fifth Avenue between Carroll and President Streets. It's called Ollie & Ry, and it's owned by two chefs who named the restaurant after their young children.

The the northern half of the double-wide storefront is a coffee bar selling a nice selection of coffee drinks, the southern half is a seating area, and like Bageltique orders are placed at a counter in the back. Just about everything is made in-house: there are two varieties of lox, one made from salmon and the other trout; bacon, roast beef, and pulled pork are all fresh-made; and bagels (which sell for $1) are made locally by one of the owners' friends.

You can get all the familiar bagels and toppings here, as well as breakfasts like eggs and pancakes and sandwiches including roast beef with Korean barbecue sauce and kimchee slaw; pulled pork with Chinese five-spice, hoisin, and cabbage slaw; pulled chicken with chimichurri, lettuce, tomato, and mayo; top round roast beef melt with melted cheese and onions; chicken salad; and even grilled cheese with Spam. There are also several salads and fresh-squeezed juices.

This restaurant elevates your usual bagel shop a bit; the bagels are tasty, the sandwiches are well-prepared, and the housemade bacon and cured salmon are definitely a nice touch.

Thursday
Jan222015

Open for Business: Miti Miti Taperia, 138 Fifth Avenue

The owners of the popular Bogota Latin Bistro have quietly opened their latest venture, Miti Miti Taperia, on Fifth Avenue between Butler and Douglass, in the space last occupied by bar Voodoo Lounge.

The cool and colorful front room is dominated by an undulating bar on one side and a funky mural on the other, and the back dining room has a fair amount of seating, with mismatched chandeliers, exposed brick, and a turquoise banquette. It's definitely a funky space, and when it gets dark out the magenta lights come on.

There's a nice assortment of cocktails ranging from $11-13, sangria, and a handful of beer, cider, and wine.

Onto the food. The opening menu is still limited (smart while the kitchen is still getting up to speed), and is devoted to small plates intended to be shared. There's a predominantly Spanish influence, but there are also some Asian and Middle Eastern-inspired options. Bar snacks include pan con tomate, deviled eggs with bacon, guacamole, shishito peppers, and frito mixto; tapas options include tortilla Espanola, garlic chorizo, lamb meatballs, and Korean pork belly tacos; there's a small selection of cheese and charcuterie; as well as a few salads and desserts. Bar snacks average about $6, tapas ranges from $5-16. "Paellas, seafood, lamb, rabbit, steaks, and vegetables" are all on their way, according to the website.

If time has told us one thing, it's that the Bogota team knows what they're doing; that place is hopping just about every night. While the design of Miti Miti channels some of that spirit, it's a much smaller space with a different energy, but something tells me that this "taperia" should have no trouble drawing a similar crowd.

Miti Miti Taperia, 138 5th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11217. Phone: 718-230-3760

Photos via Facebook.

Wednesday
Jan142015

Loki Lounge Reopens in Half of Previous Space

Loki Lounge, the bar that's been on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Second Street since 1999, closed up shop a couple months ago, about eight months after the owners put the space on the market. They didn't close for good, however; while about two-thirds of the space (facing Fifth Avenue) is still for rent, the remaining space, accessible via a staircase around the corner on Second Street, has reopened with a brand new concept.

The cozy new space, above, is certainly an improvement from the rather dour previous one, and the owners probably should have given it a new name to separate it from its past. There's plenty of exposed brick, a working fireplace, and light woods, with a bar that seats eight and a handful of tables. There's a solid selection of craft cocktails made with fresh-made juices, as well as a food menu of small bites and sandwiches that looks pretty good: dishes include soy-glazed chicken wings, bay scallop tacos, BBQ pork sliders, lamb flatbread with olives and gryuere, a burger, a shaved Italian beef sandwich, fried baby chicken, and cheese and charcuterie, topping out at $13.

The new bar is a little difficult to find, hiding behind a small door with no sign, but it's hard to argue that it's not an imprevement from its previous incarnation.

Thursday
Nov132014

Hungry Ghost Opens New Location in Prospect Perk Space

Hungry Ghost, one of the most popular and well-respected coffee shops in the area, has opened a new location a couple blocks further up Flatbush Avenue, in the space last occupied by Prospect Perk just off the avenue on Sterling Place.

While it may seem like Prospect Perk closed and Hungry Ghost moved in, in fact it's more of a rebranding, as both cafes have the same owner, Murat Uyaroglu. Hungry Ghost currently has three additional locations: on Flatbush and Sixth (the two year-old flagship), in Fort Greene, and in the BRIC Arts Media House.

The small space has gotten a remodel and gray paint job to match the other locations, and the menu matches to boot. There's a nice selection of pastries and baked goods made at the Flatbush Ave. location's production kitchen, as well as coffee from Stumptown, sandwiches including egg salad and tarragon chicken salad, and panini filled with things like roasted mushrooms, smoked mozarella, spinach, and sundried tomatoes; chicken, fontina, arugula, and pesto mayo; and ham, brie, and mango chutney. Hale & Hearty soups are also available.

The space is small and there are only a handful of seats, and while it's not as charming and cozy as Prospect Perk, both the coffee and food offerings are upgrades.