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Entries in Scoops (365)


Open for Business: Shanghai Spa, 241 Fifth Avenue

Shanghai Spa, a nail salon/ spa, opened recently on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Carroll Street, in the space last occupied by Rita knox Realty, which closed in December after 27 years.

The spa specializes in lots of different varieties of manicures and pedicures, facials, waxing and threading, eyelash/ eyebrow treatments, microdermabrasion, and massages. They also offer a few spa packages, which include treatment combos like mani/pedis, massages, and facials. Prices are reasonable; a manicure starts at $12, a pedicure starts at $20, a bikini wax costs $18, and their most expensive offering, a seaweed body mud wrap, costs $280.

The space seems nicely laid out, divided into lots of smaller rooms but with a waiting area that seems pretty relaxing. It's open seven days per week, from 10 AM- 9:30 Monday-Saturday and on Sundays from 10- 8:30. 

Shanghai Spa, 242 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-788-8387.


Pierre Loti Wine Bar Coming to Canaille Space

The North Slope certainly has no shortage of wine bars, but it looks like an outpost of Pierre Loti, which has three locations in Manhattan, will be opening up in the space last occupied by Canaille Bistro, on Fifth between St. Marks and Warren. Ironically, Canaille revamped itself as a wine bar shortly before closing earlier this year.

Pierre Loti's three existing locations are on 15th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, Irving Place between 17th and 18th Streets, and 52nd Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues.

The descriptions are full of superlatives ("The best wine bar in NYC," "The best cocktails in NYC," and "The best Mediterranean restaurants NYC has to offer"), but a look at the menu should let us know what we can actually expect for this small space. Salads, Greek-style tapas, moderately priced entrees, a fairly straightforward brunch, wines by the glass ranging from $7-13, and bottles ranging from $26-76.

Many thanks to a tipster for sending the above photo, of a sign in the window clearly revealing the next tenant's name and desire to secure a liquor license.


Closed for Business: Impeccable Attire, 172 Fifth Avenue

It only opened last November, but Impeccable Attire, the high-end t-shirt/ "street culture"-oriented apparel shop on Fifth between Degraw and Sackett, has already closed.

When it first opened, owner Wayne Fortune, a British transplant, told me that the merchandise, focused on the flagship $40 "Brooklyn Bloke" black and white t-shirt, would be "adult-oriented and classy, something you can wear in the evening." He kept his shop sparse and signless, apparently in an effort to keep it edgy and gallery-like, but it ended up just keeping it anonymous and curb appeal-free. The merchandise also didn't really have much of a market, which didn't help.

This storefront was the previous home to Fifth Eye Optix, and is presided over by a notoriously difficult landlord. Hopefully the next tenant has better luck.


Fornino Park Slope Auctions Itself Off

If we needed any more proof that the Fornino on Fifth Avenue between Garfield and Carroll was closed for good, it presented itself yesterday in the form of an auction.

The restaurant, which opened to great fanfare early in 2010 but was most likely just too big to maintain, closed rather suddenly in the beginning of February and the owners didn't take much with them. According to the auction's web page, on offer were "200 chairs, 50 tables, cooking equipment, refrigerators, work tables, sinks, Hobart mixers, and more."

It really appears as if literally everything in the restaurant was up for grabs; the 80-plus photos on that page show the ice machine, computers, liquor, the sound system, dishes, pots and pans, lighting fixtures, beer taps, canned goods, high chairs, and even chef's whites. The photo up top is from Saturday afternoon, when it was being set up.

There have been plenty of rumors floating around about a potential new tenant lined up for the space, but from what I can gather nothing has yet been set in stone. This is a big, high profile space, though, right in the middle of one of the city's main restaurant rows, and the next occupant could have the potential to alter the character of the whole strip.


Closed for Business: Filfila Falafel, 310 Ninth Street

Filfila, the falafel shop that opened back in September of 2011 on Ninth Street just west of Fifth Avenue, has closed. Signage has been removed, the space has been cleared out, and the phone line has been disconnected.

The shop, which was previously occupied by Pita Hut, was run by two longtime friends, Salah and Emad, and Salah's mother could be found in the kitchen near-daily preparing her old family recipes, which included falafel, shawarma, kebabs, lentil soup, and baklava. Tahini and hot sauce were also made from scratch, and falafel sandwiches sold for a very reasonable $3.50.

I first tried their falafel right after they opened, and found it fresh, crispy, and (nearly) comparable to what you'd find at Mamoun's in Manhattan (in fact, one of the owners previously worked at the legendary shop).

The listing notes that it closed suddenly "due to family emergency, and partner disagreement," and also mentions that the $2,600/month rent is a "very cheap lease for [the] area," which is certainly reasonable for a storefront, even though the space is only 450 square feet.