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Entries in Scoops (311)

Wednesday
Jul232014

M&S Prime Meats to Close in August, Russo's Taking Over the Space

Some sad news to report: The neighborhood's last old-school pork store, M&S, will be closing its doors for good in August. Owner Mel Diaz sent me the below photo of the note that he's posted on the front door.

M&S Traces its origins to 1948, when Anthony Schiccitano opened A&S Fine Food and Pork Store (his initials) up the avenue at 274 5th, now home to nail salon Reedchy. Brothers Mel Diaz and Sal Bonello took over the store in 2005 and gave it their own initials, and due to a rent dispute with Schiccitano's daughter they were forced to move into the current space, between 2nd and 3rd Streets, in 2008 (here's a full history). The brothers, who honed their skills at Little Italy's Italian Food Center, continued turning out freshmade mozzarella and ricotta, antipasti, homemade sausages, fresh pasta, freshly-butchered meats, and some outstanding sandwiches in the old-school tradition, and Mel took full ownership after Sal's untimely passing in 2010 at age 40.

Mel's own health problems are now forcing him to close the shop's doors for good, after a 66-year run. Thankfully, though, it doesn't end here. Russo's, which traces its lineage all the way back to a still-extant shop on Manhattan's 11th Street that's been open since 1908 (and a second location up on 7th Avenue and 10th and 11th Streets since 1996), will be taking over the location. Now run by Jack Russo, they're known for their fresh pasta and homemade mozzarella, ricotta, prepared foods, and antipasti; no word on whether they will continue M&S' tradition of selling fresh meats here, but they'll most likely sell sausages, like they do at their other locations.

A handful of businesses based on Seventh Avenue, like Eric Shoes and Pure Essentials, have opened second locations on Fifth within the past year. While it's sad to see M&S shutter after all these years (and I hope that Mel's health issues aren't too serious), it's nice a century-old Italian deli join them.

Monday
Jul212014

El Pollito Mexicano Expands into Space Next Door

El Pollito Mexicano, the Mexican restaurant on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Sterling Place, has expanded into the space next door, a room which was previously home to a recording studio named Translator Audio.

The restaurant, which was a mediocre Italian spot called Trattoria Mangia for several years before the owners decided to switch concepts in 2009, has become one of the more popular Mexican restaurants in the area, thanks in part to its inexpensive lunch special, edible food, outdoor seating, and bottomless brunch.

The expansion, which is right next door on Sterling, seats about 30, and will be used for overflow and private parties.

Wednesday
Jul092014

Bogota Owners Bringing Miti Miti Taperia to 138 5th Avenue

It was announced back in November that the owners of popular Latin restaurant Bogota would be opening a new arepa shop in the space on 5th Avenue between Butler and Douglass last occupied by Voodoo Lounge, but it appears as if the concept has changed: signage has gone up in the front window for a new restaurant called Miti Miti Taperia.

Miti Miti shares a name with a line of sauces and plantain chips owned by the same duo who own the perpetually-packed Bogota, Farid Ali Lancheros and George Constantinou, and judging by the name it looks like they've scrapped the arepa concept for one centered on tapas, which certainly works for me.

Here's a post about the new restaurant that was recently posted on Constant Contact:

"We are excited to share the news of our upcoming restaurant with an expected opening date of sometime in September of 2014.  Nine years in the making, Miti Miti Taperia will be located just a hop, skip and a jump away from our current location on 5th Avenue. The name comes from the spanish slang for "half and half" ("mitad y mitad"). The menu will consist of small and large plates meant to be shared. The Miti Miti experience is meant to evoke not just sharing of food, but sharing of good times, laughter, joy, friendship, great conversation, and memories. Yes, the concept will be different but the values that have made Bogota Latin Bistro a popular dining destination both within and outside of the community will remain the same."

I've reached out to Lancheros for additional details and will update if I hear back.

Monday
Jun162014

Mr. Lime Fruit and Vegetables Coming to Kim's Grocery Space on 7th

Kim's, the dependable 24-7 bodega on Seventh Avenue between 8th and 9th Streets, has been closed for the past couple months, and now we know what's replacing it: a new shop called Mr. Lime Fruit and Vegetables.

Last month, Park Slope Stoop reported that Kim's owners, who'd run the shop for the past 30 years, had decided to retire, and that the new owners "plan to keep the space much the same as it was, but may add some food prep." A tipster also let me know that the space has been gutted, and a new wall has been constructed in the middle of the store.

Friday
Jun132014

"Nailbeds" Coming to Royal Video Space on Flatbush

A new tenant has been lined up for the space on Flatbush Avenue opposite Seventh that was last occupied by DA Ken Thompson's campaign office (and before that Royal Video), and — you guessed it — it looks like it's going to be a nail salon.

Called Nailbeds, it's taking the place of one of the last video stores in the area, which in 2007 moved there from the huge storefront on Sixth and Flatbush now occupied by Woodland. There's no information available online about it, but I can't really think of any other type of business that can be possibly called Nailbeds, except for maybe a place that sells these.

Is there still anyone in the area who's in need of a new nail salon?