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Entries in Scoops (333)

Friday
Dec192014

Die Koelner Bierhalle Seized for Nonpayment of Taxes

Die Koelner Bierhalle (The KBH), the gigantic German beer hall on St. Marks Place just east of Fourth Avenue, has been seized by the NYS Dept. of Taxation and Finance for failure to pay taxes. Many thanks to tipster Chloe for sending in the above photo, of the infamous orange sign in the locked-up doorway. According to the government's online database, there's a lien on the property for more than $23,000.

The beer hall opened in August 2012, and was the largest drinking establishment in the neighborhood. There was a solid selection of German beer and sausages, but the vibe has always been a little off, largely idue to the cold and industrial space, spotty service, and somewhat depressing mood. It never really attracted neither a regular clientele nor the Barclays crowd.

The space was rarely empty but also rarely full (save for the World Cup final, when the line to get in stretched to the corner), but it never appeared to be doing exactly well. I'd be very interested in seeing if it re-opens.

Tuesday
Dec162014

A Peek Inside Bricolage, Opening Soon in Brooklyn Fish Camp Space

About two months ago I first reported that a "modern Vietnamese gastropub" from veterans of one of the country's best Vietnamese restaurants would be opening at 162 Fifth Avenue (between St. Johns and Lincoln), in the space last home to Brooklyn Fish Camp. The restaurant has been given a name, and construction is moving along at a rapid clip.

A notice in the window revealed that Bricolage will be the name. The word means "a construction or creation from a diverse range of available things," which most likely reflects the philosophy. Not much in the way of details are currently available, but the duo behind the restaurant, Lien and Edward Lin, spent most of their careers with one of San Francisco's best modern Asian restaurants, The Slanted Door.

Construction was been moving at a brisk pace for the past several weeks, with workers inside the space on a near-daily basis. A look inside reveals that the layout appears to be similar to that of Fish Camp before it, with a narrow bar in front and dining room in the back. The color scheme is low-key, with lots of exposed brick and dark wood.

This restaurant's impending arrival has remained under the radar, but judging by the provenance of the chefs, I have a feeling that we're in for something good.

Thursday
Dec112014

Tea Lounge to Close December 14

Tea Lounge, on Union Street near Seventh Avenue, will be closing for good on Sunday. The owners announced the closure on Facebook, saying simply, "We are sad to announce to the community and our loyal customers that we will be closing Tea Lounge in Park Slope on Sunday 12/14/14. Please stop by so we can say goodbye."

The popular coffee shop began its life more than 13 years ago in the space further up Seventh where Hanco's is now, and moved into this sprawling space several years ago. It was a popular hangout for local moms and nannies, and was certainly one of the largest coffee shops in the neighborhood.
Back in September I discovered that the space had been listed for sale, but the owner contacted me and insisted that the listing was "only intended to help sell franchises," and that it wasn't in fact for sale. That explanation sounded a little fishy, apparently with good reason. It'll be interesting to see what's been lined up to take over this prime space.
UPDATE: Here's a link to the listing. The rental rate for the 3,900 square-foot space has been listed only as "negotiable."
Monday
Dec012014

Chip Shop to Close December 24th, Corner Burger This Week

Both Chip Shop and Corner Burger, on the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue and Sixth Street, will be closing soon.

Last month, a Craigslist ad went up advertising the "double wide corner space," and a realtor's sign went up in Chip Shop's windows shortly after that. Representatives from both Corner Burger and Chip Shop told me that the primary reason behind the closures is flagging sales.

Corner Burger was a no-frills burger joing that actually served some pretty good burgers, as well as the best poutine this side of Mile End. They're currently offering all beers for $3, and may close as soon as tonight.

Chip Shop opened in 2001, and quickly became popular for its fish and chips and traditional British fare as well as novelties like deep-fried pizza and Mars Bars. There's a second location on Atlantic Avenue which will be staying open, but this location will be closing for good on December 24 at 5 pm. Here's the note they've posted on their windows and Facebook page:

 

 

Thursday
Nov202014

Aperitivo Closes, Henri on Fifth Moving In

Some dramatic restaurant news from Fifth Avenue to report: Aperitivo, the Italian restaurant on the corner of First Street, closed down suddenly yesterday, and a new restaurant, with a new owner, will be opening there within a month.

Aperitivo was opened seven years ago by the same owners as Sotto Voce up on Seventh Avenue, and according to a note on the Facebook page they’re closing this down to focus exclusively on that. The bottomless brunch and events like clam bakes will be carrying over to Sotto Voce, and the owners “will also meld many of your favorite dishes and wines with a revamped menu, wine program and expanded bar.”

So what’s in store for the space? Real estate agent Jeffrey Kesler put me in touch with new owner Binh Douglas, who has more than 20 years of hospitality industry experience and has managed bars, restaurants, and clubs in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York, and will be running the restaurant with his wife Lauren.

“I’m half Vietnamese, a quarter Native American, and a quarter black, and my wife has a French background, so we decided to name the restaurant after our newborn son, Henri, and the menu is an amalgam of his heritage,” Douglas told me when reached by phone. The seasonally-changing menu will be comprised entirely of small plates intended for sharing, with influences ranging from French to German to Asian. Several types of grilled cheese will be available (Le Classique, melted gruyere and caramelized shallots on garlic bread toast with sherry thyme "au jus," sounds pretty good), as well as salads, sliders, salads, and other shared plates like Vietnamese summer rolls, banh mi tacos, and fresh pretzels with fondue dipping sauce. 

The menu seems fun and not too complicated, and with a couple TVs, an expanded bar program, and board games like Jenga and Connect 4 available, it’s intended to be a low-key and reasonably priced place for locals to hang out and share some food. Cocktails will average $9-11, beers will range from $5 to $8, and dishes will average around $6-9.

If all goes to plan, Henri on Fifth should be open by Mid-December.