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Entries in Open For Business (215)


Open for Business: The Soup Bowl, 321 7th Avenue

Opened this morning in the Uncle Louie G's space at 321 7th Avenue (between 8th and 9th), The Soup Bowl of Park Slope will take over the space with fresh homemade soups until March first, when the ice cream shop will move back in. 

Run by chef Richard Gussoff (above, right), the small soup stand will offer a rotating selection of standbys such as split pea and chicken vegetable as well as unique (and delicious) sounding soups such as sweet Italian sausage, salmon and tricolor peppers, and the most popular item so far, lobster butternut squash bisque. Prices are reasonable; a medium-size soup runs around 5 bucks, and a large-size (big enough to feed 2) will come out to around 8.

Gussoff is no stranger to soup; as chef/owner of Sag Harbor and Rachel's in Manhattan, his soups would fly off the menu, leading him to write his own soup-centric cookbook. He's also the chef at The Frying Pan's sister restaurant, Pier 1 Cafe. His culinary skill certainly comes through here. Mark my words: you'll be craving this place come winter, and will be sad to see it go in March.


Open For Business: Crespella Crepe and Espresso Bar, 321 Seventh Avenue

A tiny Italian espresso and crepe bar started their incremental soft opening Saturday on Seventh Avenue, just north of Ninth Street. Called Crespella, it'll be open from 7 AM - 10 PM every day, and will feature French Pressed Stumptown coffee, Illy espresso, and homemade sweet and savory crepes, as well as muffins, pastries, and imported Italian sweets.

Owned by newcomer Santina Andragna (above, left), who makes the crepes to order, its location-- right next to the F/G stop-- has it poised to become a go-to spot for commuters looking for an early-morning pick-me-up. The space is small but well-appointed, and standing at a marble counter is the established Italian way of drinking an espresso.

As they're still in soft open mode, the full menu won't be rolled out until next week (only sweet crepes are available at the moment). Also, Tag Collective (which created the logo and interior design) will be installing Italian-inspired wall art soon; a rendering is below. 

Crespella Crepe and Espresso Bar, 321 Seventh Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-788-2980.


Open for Business: The King of Cupcakes

The King of Cupcakes opened on Tuesday in the old Firefly Children's Boutique space at 240 Seventh Avenue, between 4th and 5th, and already it's made quite a splash. When I dropped by today it was mobbed with kids, and I imagine that they were in absolute heaven. 

The space is bright and clad in white, black, and pink, with a small seating area up front. The cupcakes themselves are available in two sizes, which in my opinion is brilliant. Sometimes you're just not in the mood for a muffin-sized cupcake. 

The King of Cupcakes himself is named Sean King, and he runs the shop with his cousin Garrison. They have backgrounds in baking and catering, and it's clear that they know what they're doing: cupcakes are available in at least 15 varieties at any given time, in such creative flavors as cookies & cream, nutella, blueberry pancake, and peanut butter banana. Also on offer are gelato (echoing Sean's previous career as a gelato distributor), cakes and pies, and coffee and espresso.The cupcake menu is below.

It looks like they also do custom cakes, pies, and cupcakes, on request. Everything's baked on premises, so the word "stale" most likely isn't in their repertoire.

The King of Cupcakes, 240 Seventh Avenue. 718-369-0466.


A Wireless Internet Store Opens in Stoned Space

Clear, apparently specializing in wireless 4G internet, opened today in the space formerly occupied by rock and crystal store Stoned, at 82 5th Avenue. Let's see if this catches on; this kind of thing can be useful.


Open For Business: Taro Sushi, Flatbush Ave & St. Marks Place

The much-hyped new Taro Sushi has officially opened, and it looks good. 

The restaurant, a much larger version of the previous sushi bar on Fifth and Dean, will be serving some hard-to-find delicacies like giant clam, sea eel, and raw octopus, as well as over 30 types of fish. Appetizers include monkfish liver and wagyu beef tataki, and special rolls include fluke with plum paste and shiso leaf as well as fermented soy beans, or natto. Lunch specials will be offered for around $11 every day from noon- 3:30. A 6-piece omakase is available for $20, and that looks like the way to go.

Their 12-seat sushi bar is bound to fill up, but there's tons of seating in the adjacent dining room. No liquor license yet, but sake is on its way. 

Taro Sushi, 244 Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn NY 11217. 718-398-5240.

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