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Entries in Under Construction (201)

Tuesday
Jan262016

Construction Underway on Union Market, SoulCycle Coming to 342 Flatbush Avenue

The promised revitalization of the stretch of Flatbush Avenue between Sterling Place and Grand Army Plaza hasn't quite been all it was cracked up to be back when Franny's opened in April 2013; whole buildings on that block have been vacant for years. But the impending addition of a Union Market and SoulCycle to the stretch was very welcome news when was first announced by Commerical Observer in September, and activity inside the space last week seems to indicate that work is underway. 

This will be the fifth location of Union Market; there are two additional locations in Park Slope (at Sixth and Union and Seventh Avenue near 13th Street), one in Cobble Hill, and another on East Houston Street in Manhattan. It'll be opening in the existing building, and pricey spinning studio SoulCycle will be opening its third Brooklyn location on a to-be-built second floor.

The building, which was fornerly a dialysis center and has been used as a pop-up Halloween costume shop in recent years, is actually a lot larger than it appears to be from the outside; it continues all the way to St. Johns Place. No word on whether this new incarnation will resemble the site's previous occupant.

Wednesday
Jul292015

Signage Up at Artichoke Pizza, Coming Soon to Fifth 

There was much rejoicing when it was announced that mini-chain Artichoke Pizza would be opening a location on Fifth Avenue between St. Marks and Bergen (in the space last occupied by prepared foods shop Luscious Foods), and now the pizzeria looks like it's getting closer to opening.

Signage has gone up at the storefront that's essentially identical to that of its other locations, also revealing that (as expected) there'll be plenty of beer. The menu will most likely be similar to that of its other locations as well, with unique pies with toppings including their cult favorite flagship artichoke pie (artichoke hearts, spinach, cream sauce, and cheese), crab, burnt anchovy, and twice-baked Sicilian. "Not Pizza" items include a stuffed artichoke, meatballs and ricotta, and homemade garlic breadsticks.

Thursday
May282015

Cafe/ Sandwich Shop Coming to Boing Boing Space on Sixth

It's been nearly a year since Boing Boing, the maternity shop on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Union Street, shut down after nearly 20 years in business. The next tenant has been lined up, and construction has begun inside the space. When I ducked my head in and asked what was in the works, a man who identified himself as the owner told me that a deli is on its way.

I asked him for further details ("deli" can mean everything from delicatessen to bodega, after all), he told me that he'd be serving coffee, sandwiches, salads, and other simple fare, and the ample front yard would have outdoor seating. Those were all the details he was willing to part with at the time.

This corner gets a ton of foot traffic, but is still off the beaten path enough to make it an ideal spot to sit outside and enjoy a light lunch. Construction is continuing along at a brisk pace, so it'll be interesting to see the finished product.

Tuesday
May192015

Brooklyn Burgers & Beer Coming to AOC Bistro Space on Fifth

While walking down Fifth Avenue during their annual Fabulous Fifth Avenue Fair this past weekend, I noticed that temporary signage has gone up on the scaffolding around the under-renovation 259 Fifth Avenue, on the corner of Garfield Place (previously home to AOC Bistro). Called Brooklyn Burgers & Beer, the restaurant's focus will be "crazy good burgers and craft beer."

According to their Facebook page and a Craigslist listing, they're currently hiring and hope to be open by early June. A floorplan reveals that the restaurant will seat 32 at 12 tables and six more at the bar, and there will be outdoor seating as well. The decor is heavy on reclaimed wood and subway tile, and overall it looks like a pretty homey spot.

Just when you throught the Park Slope Burger Boom was over, here comes one more entrant, right in the heart of burger and beer central. Bonnie's Grill, which serves some of the best burgers in Brooklyn, is a block away, as is Pork Slope, which serves mighty good burgers as well as a great selection of craft beer (Good beer can be found right next door at High Dive as well, and Beauty Bar). Slightly further afield, Burger Bistro, 200 Fifth, and Stone Park all serve quality burgers, and that's just Fifth Avenue. Needless to say, the market for both burgers and beer in Park Slope is certainly saturated, so these guys' product must be spectacular, with a clear differentiation from the competition.

Tuesday
Apr142015

Hugo & Sons Restaurant Coming to 367 Seventh Avenue

The storefront at 367 Seventh Avenue, on the northeast corner of Eleventh Street, has been vacant for years. But like several of the other long-vacant storefronts on Seventh in the past several months its been rented, and the new occupant, an Italian restaurant called Hugo & Sons, is moving in.

The sidewalk shed is down, and the new facade keeps many of the existing architectural details (including some great tilework down by the sidewalk) while adding some new ones, like lettering at the top.

Judging by a preliminary menu posted online (the owner told South Slope News that the pricing is subject to change), this looks like it's going to be a more or less classic "red sauce" Italian joint, but elevated. Appetizers will include Sicilian meatballs and crispy artichokes; Eight pizzas will be available including the Mina (tomato, mozzarella, prosciutto, parmesan, and greens), Fiamma (tomato, mozzarella, sopressata, jalapeno, and pesto), and the Mara (crab, shrimp, gremolata, parmesan, and mizzarella); Pastas will include strozzapreti Genovese (with braised brisket and ricotta), crab linguine, a maccheroni "dome" (wiht meatballs, ham, tomato, and bechamel, wrapped in puff pastry), pappardelle with italian sausage and fennel, and baked gnocchi with tomato and mozzarella; Secondi include chicken Milanese, garlic shrimp, and pork braciole rolled with bread crumbs, pine nuts, raisins, parsley, parm, and hard cooked egg.There's also a children's menu and a brunch menu that's definitely worth checking out.

Considering the care given to the buildout, menu design, and skill that will be required to execute this menu, the odds of this being an opening worth looking forward to are pretty high. While there's no shortage of old-school Italian in the neighborhood, this could potentially rise above them if, for example, the pastas are made fresh, the pizzas are executed properly, and high-quality ingredients are used. For now, though, all signs point to this being a winner.

Photo via South Slope News