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Entries in Scoops (365)

Monday
Oct262015

Open for Business: Five Spice, 52 5th Avenue

 

Today brings the grand opening of Five Spice, a casual Vietnamese spot on the corner of Fifth and Bergen, in the spsce that was last home to Irish pub Cyprus Avenue.

While small, the space looks homey and nicely-appointed, and the menu looks like a lot of fun (click for a larger image, pardon the glare). It's more street food-oriented than the neighborhood's other Vietnamese spots, Bricolage and Ha Noi, which is okay in my book.

There are five varieties of pho ($9); summer rolls, spring rolls, and dumplings ($6); tacos in varieties including ground pork and shrimp, grilled five spice pork chop, fried clams, claypot caramel pork belly, and braised short rib (two for $8); banh mi ($7-9); and rice vermicelli salads ($10-15). The "tacos" are in bánh xèo, traditional Vietnamese pan-fried rice flour-based pancakes, instead of tortillas, owner Mike Khuu told Park Slope Stoop.

Khuu is also the owner of The Boil on the Lower East Side and Saigon Shack on Macdougal Street. According to Khuu, no alcohol will be served here because he "wants this to be kid-friendly."

Monday
Aug102015

Laytner's on Union Street Closing August 23

Laytner's Linen and Home, the sprawling outpost of the home goods chain located on Union Street neat Seventh Avenue, will be closing for good on August 28th. There's a currently a major sale going on — everything in the store is at least 20 percent off — and it's selling fast.

For those looking for a great deal, there are currently plenty to be had. Some sheets and bedding are 50 percent off, and furniture is also deeply discounted. This location opened in 2008, and is one of the only places in the area where staple home items like towels, shower curtains, kitchenware, and bedding could be found. Below is the note announcing their farewell.


Monday
Aug032015

Pastificio Flora Coming to Eighth Avenue

A pasta-focuced Italian restaurant called Pastificio Flora is coming to the corner of Eighth Avenue and 11th Street. Many thanks to tipster Jeremy for sending the above photo of their logo in the window. Pastificio translates to "pasta factory."

While the owners have set up a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter page, there's an oddly small amount of information actually published on those sites. The best I could find was the Twitter description: "Italian designer & his partners, leaving hometown in south Italy for make their dream come true: A real Fresh Pasta Restaurant in Brooklyn, NY."

That's honestly all the information I need to be intrigued.

Thursday
Jul232015

Astoria's Namaste Indian Opening Second Location in Fifth Avenue Zito's Space

When Zito's Sandwich Shoppe closed its only remaining Park Slope location last month, owner Marcello Bucca assured me that a "fantastic Indian" restaurant would be opening in its place. Well that indeed seems to be the case: Many thanks to a tipster for sending the above photo, of signage that's gone up for Namaste Indian.

This will be the second location of the popular Astoria, Queens restaurant of the same name. Upscale yet still reasonably priced, the Halal Indian restaurant has four stars on Yelp with 300 reviews. It's known for its $10.99 lunch buffet as well as popular menu items like tandoori chicken (made in a real tandoor oven), goat curry, biryani, tikka masala, and homamade naan. The restaurant also regularly offers solid Groupon deals.

Solid Indian has been difficult to come by in these parts; Aarpan was on to something good but its replacement isn't as popular, and many other Indian spots have come and gone. This part of Fifth Avenue is also decidedly lacking in the Indian department, so this is an opening that all signs point to being most welcome.

Along with Williamsburg's popular Ramen Yebisu opening a second location up on Seventh, this could be the beginning of a trend. Hopefully Xi'An Famous Foods decides to pay us a visit next.

Tuesday
Jul212015

Closed for Business: Urban Wellness, 72 Seventh Avenue

Urban Wellness, the supplement shop that opened on Seventh Avenue between Berkeley and Lincoln in late March, has closed for good. The shop is in the process of being cleared out and was locked up over the weekend.

The blink-and-you'll-miss-it shop sold specialty health foods as well as a variety of vitamins and supplements. It also sold fresh juices (or "elixirs") and some housemade foods like salads and crostini.

While the shop had a Facebook page, its low-key signage never did a good job of communicating what was for sale (or even if the shop was open or not), and with competition incluing Back to the Land and the Park Slope Food Coop nearby it never really found a niche. Even though it didn't just sell vitamins (supplement offerings ranged from non-psychoactive vaporized cannabidiol to herbal mixtures intented to kill off parasites), the market was just too niche, and many potential customers probably didn't even know it existed.

At four months in business, this closed a full three months sooner than the shop that came before it, The Walk-In Cookbook, which was around from August 2013 to March 2014. While it's nice to see the landlord giving niche local businesses a shot in this high-rent space (The Walk-In Cookbook sold recipes along with perfectly-measued ingredients), neither of those businesses seemed exactly destined for success.

These two storefronts were renovated and restored at great expense by the building's owner in 2012 after restaurant La Taqueria moved out. The last incarnation of Ozzie's Coffee (Renamed Noella Brew Bar) and DIY pottery studio The Painted Pot were quick to move in after the renovation, but The Painted Pot soon moved up the avenue, so now both of these attractive storefronts sit vacant.

With such a poor track record, it'll be interesting to see whether the landlord fills these spaces with yet more risky tenants, opts for something potentially more stable like a chain, or simply allows them to sit vacant.