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Entries in Open For Business (213)


Open for Business: Duman Home, 159 5th Avenue

A new home goods store opened last week on the corner of Fifth Avenue and St. Johns Place. Called Duman Home, it's the second location of a shop that owner John Duman opened on Court Street in 2013.

The charming boutique sells plenty of items for the home, ranging from sheets, pillows, and towels to tote bags, Fishs Eddy tableware, candles, and bathroom items. Aprons and some other kitchen tools are also for sale, and come the Holidays there will also be ornaments and decorations on offer.

With the sprawling Laytners closing recently after a nearly six year run on Union Street, there was a major hole in the market for high-quality home goods in the North Slope, and this fills the gap nicely. You might even recognize a familiar face or two from the Laytners staff here if you shopped there regularly.


Open for Business: Five Spice, 52 5th Avenue


Today brings the grand opening of Five Spice, a casual Vietnamese spot on the corner of Fifth and Bergen, in the spsce that was last home to Irish pub Cyprus Avenue.

While small, the space looks homey and nicely-appointed, and the menu looks like a lot of fun (click for a larger image, pardon the glare). It's more street food-oriented than the neighborhood's other Vietnamese spots, Bricolage and Ha Noi, which is okay in my book.

There are five varieties of pho ($9); summer rolls, spring rolls, and dumplings ($6); tacos in varieties including ground pork and shrimp, grilled five spice pork chop, fried clams, claypot caramel pork belly, and braised short rib (two for $8); banh mi ($7-9); and rice vermicelli salads ($10-15). The "tacos" are in bánh xèo, traditional Vietnamese pan-fried rice flour-based pancakes, instead of tortillas, owner Mike Khuu told Park Slope Stoop.

Khuu is also the owner of The Boil on the Lower East Side and Saigon Shack on Macdougal Street. According to Khuu, no alcohol will be served here because he "wants this to be kid-friendly."


Open for Business: The Perfect Potato, 172 Fifth Avenue

A Belgian-style fry shop called The Perfect Potato has opened at 172 Fifth Avenue, betwen Degraw and Sackett. There's a rather limited menu, as can be expected: just fries, poutine, and milkshakes.

European-style fries are fried to order and served in cones, and there's a wide selection of sauces: ketchup, Dijon mayo, mayo, and malt vinegar are free; coconut curry, zucchini basil, heirloom tomato, gorgonzola tarragon, wasabi mayo, sriracha ketchup, thai chili lime cashew, miso roasted red pepper, and Moroccan tagine with apricot sauces are are available for $2.

There are also several varieties of poutine (the uber-popular Canadian dish of fries topped with brown gravy and cheese curds): classic (with curds made specially for the shop), mushroom, roast pork, and "hangover cure" (with gravy, curds, fried eggs, onions, peas, and candied bacon). As for milkshakes, they're available in creative flavors including peanut butter and jelly, preserved lemon, mango lassi, banana cream pie, plain vanilla, and Bourbon pecan.

The shop was absolutely packed when I dropped by on Sunday, and while nothing looked especially healthy, it all looked delicious; the fries were golden brown and freshly-fried, and the poutine looked gutbustingly tasty.So far, Yelp reviews have been overwhelmingly positive.

Belgian-style frites shops aren't easy to come by in this city; the most popular one, Pommes Frites, was sadly destroyed in the East Village explosion in March and is still working to get back on its feet. That shop was nothing short of beloved, and this seems set to be a success as well.

The Perfect Potato, 172 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn NY 11217. Phone: (917) 909-0465.


Open for Business: Brooklyn Burgers & Beer, 259 Fifth Avenue

Park Slope's newest burger joint, Brooklyn Burgers & Beer, opened a week ago today on the corner of Fifth and Garfield. Thankfully, it looks like some real care went into both the menu as well as the design.

The dimly-lit restaurant is run by two friends, and they've sourced their ingredients from a host of local purveyors, including Baked in Brooklyn, Balthazar, and Brooklyn Brine. Grass fed meat comes from Boerum Hill-based butcher Dellapietras, and is a 50% chuck, 50% brisket blend. All patties are eight ounces.

The menu is fairly expansive; you can choose from a wide variety of patties, buns, toppings, and sauces, or choose from one of their creative burger options. Those include their flagship B&B Burger (bacon, brie, onion ring, special sauce, and arugula on brioche); The Motherload (bison patty, truffle mac and cheese, and bacon on brioche); and the Blue Moon (topped with turkey bacon, blue cheese, garlic aioli, and a sunny side up egg). Other options are made with lamb, tuna, black bean, and kobe patties, as well as fried chicken. There's also plenty of of appetizers (wings, maple bacon, fruit guacamole), sliders (pork belly, crisy fish, falafel), and sldes (three fries, corn on the cob, onion rings, cucumber apple slaw). It's really clear that it's all about the burgers here, which is a good thing.

The space is smartly laid out, and there's a very solid selection of beers on tap as well as cocktails, many of which are beer-based. So long as there's a market for burgers in this neighborhood (which there certainly is, even though there's plenty of competition), I see this place doing very well. Cheeburger Cheeburger this ain't.


Open for Business: Fresh Bite, 168 Fifth Avenue

A new corner deli called Fresh Bite opened on Sunday on the corner of Fifth Avenue and DeGraw Street, in the space last occupied by bodega Magic Deli.

It's a fairly straightforward if no-frills sandwich shop, with a decent selection of Boar's Head cold cuts, cold salads, and other supplies needed to make a wide variety of hot and cold sandwiches. There's also a small selection of hot foods in the steam table. All breads and other baked goods (including bagels, which looked surprisingly decent) are delivered daily from a wholesale bakery in Long Island City.

Along with sandwiches, there's a decent variety of sodas and other beverages as well as chips and salsa and other snack foods, with an emphasis on healthy and organic items. The owners are friendly and seemed quite happy to be open and serving the neighborhood. While there's certainly no shortage of places like this in the area, that doesn't mean that they're not good to have around.