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Entries in Renovations (41)


Is Cubana Cafe Closed for Good?

By all accounts, Cubana Cafe, the popular six year old Cuban restaurant on the corner of Sixth Avenue and St. Marks Place, looks like it's closed for good. The windows are covered over in black plastic, the signage has been taken down, and there hasn't been any activity inside in well over a month. But when the restaurant closed down just before the holidays, signs in the windows indicated that it was only closing for some renovations and would be re-opening soon, and the restaurant's Yelp page mentions (oddly specifically) that it'll be reopening on February 20. The website is still up and the phone like is still connected.

The restaurant's Smith Street location closed for nearly four months last year before re-opening with a new chef and brunch menu, so there's a chance that this could all still be going according to plan. An email sent to the owners hasn't been replied to and an employee at the Smith Street location didn't know if it would be reopening, so it looks like we'll just have to wait and see with this one.


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.


Eric Shoes, Pure Essentials Open up on Fifth

Second outposts of two local businesses have opened next door to one another inside two newly renovated storefronts on 5th Avenue between President and Carroll Streets: Pure Essentials, which has been open on the corner of 7th Avenue and Second Street for the past 5 years, opened a couple weeks ago, and Eric Shoes, which has been open on 7th between Second and Third Streets since 2008, opened yesterday.

Pure Essentials is more of a health and beaury shop than a pharmacy, specializing in hair care, skin care, over-the-counter medicines, and baby products. Next door, Eric Mudick has opened a second location of his popular shoe shop Eric (formerly Girl on Seventh). The merchandise is essentially the same as the other location, classic and high-quality with an emphasis on smaller brands.


The New O'Connor's Finally Revealed

One year and eight months since it closed, the newest incarnation of beloved classic dive bar O'Connor's, on Fifth between Bergen and Dean, has been revealed. If you were a fan of its old-school throwback scrappiness, avert your eyes:

The new facade has been revealed, and it looks like just about every other standard Irish pub in the city. An improvement over the previous sparse black-panted brick? Sure. Anything special? Not really.

As for the interior, the folks at the Brooklyn Eagle got a look last week (above). All traces of its past have been scrubbed clean, and even the 80 year-old antique bar and back bar have been needlessly banished to the junk heap. The new bar is a plain slab of walnut, with some knee-scraping stone underneath. It's hard to tell, but by the direction of the sunlight it looks like the bar has also been moved to the other side of the room.

There are also "some walls with walnut paneling, others with newly exposed brick, a stone fireplace and leather upholstered banquettes," according to the newspaper, as well as a big room in the back, and a second floor where they'll host "small weddings, First Communion and christening parties." No sign of the antique phone booth owner Mike McMahon removed and promised me he would return.

There's a kitchen, and food including corned beef and cabbage will be on offer. A name change is also in store; when it opens it'll no longer be called O'Connor's, which is probably for the better.

Park Slope needs an Irish pub.... We want a place you can bring your mother, your grandmother, and the kids,” owner Mike McMahon said, without a trace of irony.



Joe's Pizza on Seventh Closed for 'Renovations'

Joe's Pizza, the traditional pizzeria on Seventh between Carroll and Garfield, has closed up shop, with a sign in the front doorway saying that they're "temporarily closed" and reopening soon.

The pizza here is good if not spectacular, and the space is no-frills and old-school. They've never really stood out from the pack, so the owners probably decided to invest in an upgrade more substantial than a new sign, which is a couple years old at this point. Construction paper is up, which also indicates that something is actually going on inside (as opposed to the owners bluffing, which is somethimes the case).