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Entries in Renovations (39)


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).


Sweet Melissa Patisserie Is Most Likely Closed for Good (UPDATE: It Is.)

Sweet Melissa Patisserie, the bakery/ cafe that's been on Seventh between First and Second Streets since 2006, closed unexpectedly earlier this week. All signs point to it being shut down for good: all signage has been completely removed (even scraped off of the front window), windows are papered over, and a commenter on Park Slope Stoop noted that "they have moved all their inventory including all food items into the backyard." The Facebook and Twitter pages also haven't been updated in weeks. Sounds pretty darn closed, right?

Well, not so fast. There was also a sign in the window:

So what's the deal? Would an "electrical problem" really necessitate taking pains to scrape painted lettering from the front window and remove a heavy wooden sign? Whatever happened happened quickly: a bread delivery was hanging on the door all day Tuesday too. I tend to give businesses the benefit of the doubt when they say they're temporarily closed, but this seems like an almost comically ridiculous bluff.

A commenter on FIPS checked in Tuesday night, and apparently the sign in the window had been taken down and a couple tables had "FREE" signs on them. Another added that kitchen appliances were hauled off in a moving truck.

I've reached out to owner Melissa Murphy and will update if I hear back, but based on the evidence it's hard not to think it's closed for good. Sad to see it go?

UPDATE: Many thanks to tipster Dave for sending in the above photo (click to enlarge), of a note from owner Melissa Murphy that was posted in the front window. In the note, she confirms the closure and notes that the business has "struggled to make ends meet for a while, ever since the economy dropped years ago, and we just couldn't hold on any longer." 

Top photos via Park Slope Stoop


Repair Work Finally Underway at 187 7th Avenue

187 7th Avenue, on the corner of 2nd Street, has been the neighborhood's most prominent eyesore for years. The owners, faced with fines upon fines, refused to clean up their act, and the 8-unit building, which was last home to a ground floor bar, sat vacant for years.

Owner Carla Nash finally sold the multi-family apartment building earlier this year for $4.2 million, but not much had happened since. Thankfully, at long last, work is underway in the space. According to a tipster, workers have been in and out of the building for the past couple days, removing debris. Several permits have been issued this year, and the most recent, issued on September 5th to a company called The Hudson Group, approves work on all five floors, reinforces a previous permit to remove debris from inside the building. A good start!

This is obviously a massive job, but when it's over this shabby, derelict building will finally be brought back to life. Thank goodness for that.

Photo via Brownstoner