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Entries in Scoops (338)

Friday
Feb272015

Cyprus Avenue and Black Sheep Pub May be Closed for Good

Since Monday, both Cyprus Avenue, on the corner of Fifth and Bergen, and Black Sheep Pub, around the corner on Bergen, have been closed. A tipster let me know that they've also not been clearing the sidewalk in front of their storefronts, and all signs point to them being potentially closed for good.

A call to Cyprus, the cozy Irish pub that's been open since 2009, revealed that the number had been disconnected, never a good sign. And nobody's been answering the phone at Black Sheep Pub, the no-frills local bar that has the same owners (and kitchen) as Cyprus and has been open for even longer.

Both bars have surprisingly minimal internet presences. Both Black Sheep and Cyprus have never posted anything to their Facebook pages, and neither have websites or Twitter handles, so it's always been very difficult to get in touch with the owners (in 2012 Cyprus closed unexpectedly for about two months for "minor renovations," and no explanation was ever offered). Because the owners are essentially impossible to contact, we'll just have to wait and see whether the bars re-open. I'll keep on it, but considering the fact that both of the bars are closed at the same time for the first time ever, the odds of them opening exactly as they were appear to be slim.

Wednesday
Feb182015

Ollie & Ry Now Open in Bageltique Space on Fifth

A new bagel and sandwich shop with a cheffy twist opened last week in the space that was last occupied by Bageltique, on Fifth Avenue between Carroll and President Streets. It's called Ollie & Ry, and it's owned by two chefs who named the restaurant after their young children.

The the northern half of the double-wide storefront is a coffee bar selling a nice selection of coffee drinks, the southern half is a seating area, and like Bageltique orders are placed at a counter in the back. Just about everything is made in-house: there are two varieties of lox, one made from salmon and the other trout; bacon, roast beef, and pulled pork are all fresh-made; and bagels (which sell for $1) are made locally by one of the owners' friends.

You can get all the familiar bagels and toppings here, as well as breakfasts like eggs and pancakes and sandwiches including roast beef with Korean barbecue sauce and kimchee slaw; pulled pork with Chinese five-spice, hoisin, and cabbage slaw; pulled chicken with chimichurri, lettuce, tomato, and mayo; top round roast beef melt with melted cheese and onions; chicken salad; and even grilled cheese with Spam. There are also several salads and fresh-squeezed juices.

This restaurant elevates your usual bagel shop a bit; the bagels are tasty, the sandwiches are well-prepared, and the housemade bacon and cured salmon are definitely a nice touch.

Friday
Feb132015

Piccola Uva Moves into Tutta Pasta Space, Taqueria Las Rosas Grill Replacing It

Italian restaurant Tutta Pasta was put on the market last month, and the space has been snatched up by the same owner. There's some shuffling afoot on Seventh between First and Garfield; wine bar/ pizzeria Piccola Uva has moved across the street into the Tutta Pasta space, and a new taqueria called Las Rosas Grill will be moving into the former Piccola Uva space.

The owner of Tutta Pasta, Martino Pisani, opened Piccola Uva in November 2012 at 161 Seventh Avenue, serving pizza, pasta, and other Italian dishes, and he told me that while he quietly up and moved across the street earlier this week, some renovations are in store for the coming weeks.

As for the former Piccola Uva space, real estate agent Jeffrey Kessler passed along the tip that it has been leased to the owners of long-running neighborhood favorite Las Rosas Bakery, a 24-hour Sunset Park institution that specializes in tortas, tacos, tamales, pupusas, and baked goods like tres leches cake. Because of the small size and the name change to Las Rosas Grill we can assume that the bakery element will probably not be following them to Park Slope, but by the looks of it, this is going to be a welcome (and somewhat surprising) addition to the neighborhood.

An old-school lunch counter that's been in business for decades (it used to go by the name Lisette's), Las Rosas has a loyal following and is about as classic as it gets. We can only assume that many of the same menu items will be on offer here, adding some much-needed variety to a neighborhood whose only solid traditional taqueria is the Tacos Morelos truck on Union Street.

Bottom photo via Yelp

Tuesday
Feb032015

Buttermilk Bakeshop Opening New Location in Trois Pommes Space on Fifth

One bakery moves out, another bakery moves in. Nearly a year since Trois Pommes Patisserie moved out of its storefront at 260 Fifth Avenue (between Garfield and Carroll), there's some exciting news to report: A second, larger location of the incredibly popular Buttermilk Bakeshop, which opened nearly exactly a year ago on Seventh Avenue near Ninth Street, is coming to the space.

Run by pastry chef Katie Rosenhouse, Buttermilk specializes in cakes, pies, cupcakes, cookies, breakfast pastries, ice cream, and killer chocolate croissant bread pudding, all made fresh throughout the day. The original shop is only 300 square feet, so this 850 square foot space will be much roomier.

According to Rosenhouse, the new location will "have all the favorites from the Seventh Avenue shop, along with a variety of cakes available for pickup," and "the center of the bakery will be reserved for on-site baking classes," which will be taught often. There will still be room for a handful of tables and chairs.

If all goes to plan, the bakery should be open by early March at the latest.

Friday
Jan162015

Elberta Restaurant & Bar Seized by Taxman

Elberta, the New American restaurant on Flatbush Avenue opposite Seventh that opened in July 2012, was seized by the state for nonpayment of taxes last night. The restaurant was run by the same owners as previous occupants Heights Coffee and the short-lived Velvet Peach Cafe, the husband-and-wife duo of Erica Phillips and Irwin Caesar.

The restaurant had loyal clientele, but may have overextended itself; it expanded into the adjacent space last year as a private party room but closed that down after a "grand closing party" on New Year's Eve.