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Entries in Scoops (329)


What to Expect: The Crab Spot, Opening Soon on Union Street

Back in August I received word of a short New York Times article that mentioned (without embellishment) that a new restaurant called something along the lines of "Crab's Pot" would be opening in the space last occupied by PSbklyn, and before that Bussaco, on Union Street just west of Seventh Avenue. That restaurant, actually called The Crab Spot, has been under construction for a few months now and should be opening within a couple weeks.

I had a chance yesterday to sit down with the restaurant's chef, Ignat Kostov (who was previously chef at Flatbush Avenue's Piquant), and he filled me in on all the details.

The Crab Spot is owned by two brothers, Steve and Alex, whose are related to the owners of Brighton Beach boardwalk standby Volna (there's no connection between the two restaurants, though. It'll be "a casual restaurant with casual prices" according to Kostov, with a menu focused on (you guessed it) crab. Lobster and Dungeness, King, and Snow Crabs will all be shipped directly from Alaska with no middleman to keep prices down, and they'll be served in creative combinations out of pots brought directly to the table. "We'll have a wide variety of combo pots with all different types of seafood, and it'll be a lot of fun," said Kostov, who's been a chef in the city for over 12 years."Most shellfish is overpriced and fried. Ours will be healthy and affordable."

It's certainly a novel concept, and a completely unique style of restaurant for the neighborhood (Kostov told me that a custom freezer was built in the basement to keep the shellfish on ice during the off-season). This space has been home to several failed restaurants in recent years, but this approach will most likely bring plenty of curious townsfolk. They've removed the odd barrier that PSbklyn's owners installed between the front and back rooms (as well as the child-centric theme), and now it's just a large space with a bar, plenty of booths and tables, and a vaguely nautical theme to go along with mural-painted faux-brick.

The liquor license has already been acquired (it came with the space), and the first shipment of shellfish will be arriving on December Fifth. They hope to be open by then.


Open for Business: Poppy, 217 Fifth Avenue

The second location of popular Nolita boutique Poppy, which has been in the works since August in the space last occupied by Bob and Judi's Coolectibles, opened earlier this afternoon on Fifth Avenue between Union and President Streets.

The Nolita outpost, which has been on Mott Street since 2003, is well-known for its rotating, well-curated selection of casual women's clothing. This location takes the same approach, showcasing predominantly lesser-known designers and introducing some new ones. The racks are still in the process of being stocked (and the sign has yet to go up), but there's certainly enough there to get a good idea of the quality of the merchandise.

Poppy, 217 Fifth Avenue Brooklyn NY 11215. 347-599-1793.


New Restaurant in the Works on Union Street

It's been a while since Classy Nails closed in the small one-story outcropping of 847 Union Street, just east of Seventh Avenue, but construction is now underway in the space and permits indicate that a restaurant is in the works.

The storefront shares a building with Chef Mark Simmons' New Zealand-inspired gem Kiwiana, and not much more information is forthcoming at this time. But if it's a hit, and if whatever is in the works in the space last occupied by PSbklyn takes off, we could have another mini restaurant row on our hands.


Poppy Getting Close to Opening on Fifth

I have to admit, it's been tough to walk past the under-construction storefront where Bob and Judi's Coolectibles used to be since they closed up shop and moved to California over the summer. The couple's vintage knick-knack and antique store was so unique, and owners Bob and Judi Pheiffer had been such a regular presence there over the past 14 years, that there's been a gaping hole in the block without them.

Time marches on, though, and thankfully the space, on Fifth between Union and President, was rented very quickly. Poppy, the popular Nolita women's boutique, will be moving into the space, and construction appears to be wrapping up. The sidewalk shed has been removed, revealing an entirely new facade, the front window's got some signage, and they plan on opening for business on Saturday.

Poppy, which has been on Mott Street since 2003, has quite a following, and sells "a well-edited mix of indy and established contemporary collections," according to their website.

Many thanks to a tipster for sending the photo along.


Banhmigos in the Works at 178 Lincoln Place

It was back in July that I first got confirmation that a Vietnamese sandwich/ bubble tea shop would be coming to the small storefront next to the new Leaf & Bean on Lincoln Place just east of Seventh Avenue, and now the shop, with the awesome name of Banhmigos, is getting close to opening.

It's a small place with very little, if any, seating, but between having Berkeley Carroll right across the street and folks passing by on their way home from work, something tells me they won't have much trouble attracting customers (aside from the off-the-beaten-path location). This will be the neighborhood's fifth banh mi shop, continuing a trend started by Hanco's back in 2009.

Here's the full menu (click for larger versions). Plenty of varieties of bubble tea, solid-looking spring rolls and salads, and nine varieties of sandwiches.