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Entries in Scoops (349)

Thursday
Feb072013

Mandala Tibetan Store Closed for Renovations

When I noticed that the windows of Mandala Tibetan Store, the shop that's held down the corner of Seventh Avenue and Lincoln Place since November 2007, had been covered over, I was admittedly afraid that it had closed for good. It's such an offbeat store that I assumed that the increasing rents had finally caught up with it. But fear not: owner Zumki Lama assured me that it will be opening back up within three weeks, as she's only knocking down a wall to allow for a little more floor space.

Lama runs the shop along with her brother Kunga, and the money brought in by this and the sister shop on St. Marks Place in the Village (which opened ten years prior) allowed her to bring her entire family over from Tibet.

Their assortment of authentic Tibetan merchandise, produced in India and Nepal due to trade restrictions, is quite intriguing, and makes for a unique shopping experience. Clothing, rugs, antiques, jewelry, decorative items and fabrics, and spiritual items are all unlike anything else in the area, and Kunga, who is usually the one behind the counter, can tell you the backstory and significance of any item in the shop.

Even tough the styles of clothing and jewelry sold there never had the mass appeal of some of the neighborhood's other boutiques, centered on Fifth, the merchandise has one quality that the others don't: uniqueness. And while there are countless examples of businesses being "closed for renovations" that are in fact closed for good, I think we can rest assured that this one will re-open, and when it does it'll look better than ever.

Thursday
Jan312013

Closed for Business: Sun Bo Bo, 451 Fifth Avenue

Sun Bo Bo, the Chinese restaurant that's held down its storefront on Fifth Avenue between 10th and 11th Streets for at least fifteen years, closed up shop recently. While the phone line seems to still be working, it's been closed for quite a while now and the interior appears to be in the process of being dismantled.

Its Yelp reviews make clear this this wasn't a run of the mill Chinese restaurant, even though it might have appeared to be; apparently they used white meat chicken, the food wasn't too greasy, portions were huge, it was run by a father and son, and even the won ton soup stood above the pack.

Wednesday
Jan302013

Body Unique Moving into Arias Park Slope

Body Unique, the fitness studio that opened almost exactly a year ago on Fifth Avenue between Fifth and Sixth Streets, will be moving at the end of February to a new home at 150 Fourth Avenue, between Butler and Douglass, in part of the ground floor retail space of the new 12-story, 95-unit Arias Park Slope.

According to a Body Unique representative, the reason for the move was "ongoing issues with the building and the landlord's lack of response to the issues." When they re-open in March, they'll continue to offer services including personal and semi-private training, boot camps, and fitness programs for kids and teens.

The Arias already has a fitness center, and other amenities in the building include a putting green, a rooftop terrace with fire pits, a dining area, and private cabanas. The building opened in April 2011, and rents range from $2,538 to $4,740 per month. The ground floor has about 6,000 square feet of retail space, a rarity among new construction on the avenue.

                                                                                       Brownstoner

Tuesday
Jan292013

Prospect Bar Launches Brunch Menu

Prospect, the spacious pub that opened last July on Fifth Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets, has been working hard since then to get their kitchen up to full speed. The first step has finally been taken, as they began offering brunch on Sunday.

It's a fairly straightforward brunch menu, and $14 gets you your choice of entree and either a Bloody Mary or mimosa.

There are still a few more hurdles that need to be jumped before they begin offering dinner (which is still most likely a couple months off), but this is a pretty good start. Once the full menu is up and running, I have a feeling that this bar will finally cement its reputation as one of the neighborhood's finest.

Friday
Jan252013

Stoop Juice Coming to 443 Seventh Avenue

A new juice, smoothie, and healthy snack shop is in the works on Seventh Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets (right next door to Thistle Hill Tavern), in a space last occupied by a nail salon.

It's called Stoop Juice, and they'll be serving up "delicious juices and smoothies made of fresh organic/minimally treated fruits and vegetables while simultaneously protecting our environment by using sustainable, biodegradable food packaging, utensils and paper products," according to their website. There's an obvious focus on insanely healthy offerings, and along with juices and smoothies they'll offer a vegetable spring roll, salads, hummus, gazpacho, an almond butter and banana sandwich, and dark chocolate bars.

Everything's vegeterian, and most items are also vegan. Basically, if you were to decide to live entirely off of their offerings, you'd be the healthiest person on earth. It also looks like they'll be offering juice cleanses.

Many thanks to a tipster for sending in the above photo.