Some lighter news: the Mediterranean wrap group Wrapido has opened an outpost on 9th Ave, taking over the long-time vacant former home of Phở 66. Wrapido opened their first store in 2009, and have a spot on 23rd St near 7th Ave, and one on 8th Ave near 15th St, and now this one on 9th Ave between 46th & 47th:
We’re pretty late to this one, but a few months ago Je & Jo on W 47th St sadly closed their doors. As of July though, The Jolly Goat has taken over the place, bringing coffees, “melt” ice cream sandwiches (!!), sodas, and various locally-baked goods along with them.
From all reports the coffee and staff are great, so if you’re up for hiking all the way out past 10th Ave, give them a try! They’re open from 7am to 7pm seven days a week. And be sure to tell us how the ice cream sandwiches are.
Continuing our catch-up on a few things we’ve missed over the past few weeks…Westway Diner – on 9th Ave just south of 44th St, and famous for being the place Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David more-or-less came up with the idea of Seinfeld – closed their doors for renovations almost two weeks ago, and it turns out are going through a pretty major gut renovation.
It all looks the same from the front, but behind the paper is a different story:
In just two weeks though they’ve already made good progress:
They’re posting updates on the renovation on their Facebook page, so head over there to see all the details. Once the papers come down in a few weeks it’s going to be a very different diner.
And if you want to remember what the place used to look like (because it’s already been so long), Eater spent 24 hours in the place in 2012 and live-blogged the whole thing. The final bill: $555.
Get ready to hear all about bubble tea. Vivi Bubble Tea have opened a new store on 9th Ave, just north of 43rd St, bringing tapioca ball-filled teas to the area.
For their opening celebrations, they’re doing a two-for-one promotion, so if you get in quick you can probably still take advantage of that:
The spot used to be an outpost of Coup de Coeur – a group of women’s clothing stores – which shut down several months ago.
Vivi Bubble Tea has a number of stores all over the city, but this is their first outpost in the neighborhood. If you’re interested in finding out what this whole “bubble tea” thing is all about, stop by soon to get the two for one deal.
Marston Station only opened at the start of this year, after a long wait. The place always seemed pretty nice, and had good reviews online, but was never really able to take off. It also spent a good portion of its time hidden under scaffolding, which didn’t help things.
Meanwhile, just a few stores down, new arrival Room 53 seems to be doing rather well, so all hope isn’t lost for that section of 53rd St. Still, it’s sad to see Marston’s go – they were one of the first places we covered back in the day, so held some significance there.
Grilled cheese-lovers will have something new to look forward to with an outpost of Melt Shop coming soon to 8th Ave. Crews have been in and out of the place over the past few weeks, and now signage is up at the incoming store:
The exterior is basically ready to go, so hopefully not long to go inside…
Previously, the spot was home to Rino Trattoria, which closed for renovations around this time last year from which they never reopened. Melt Shop have several locations around the city – including one just a few blocks away around 50th & 7th – so should have some luck in that spot.
Thanks Stanley Conrad for the heads up!
Lots of events on today, making the most of the last few weekends of summer. We’ll get straight into them:
On right now over at Pier 84 (next to the Intrepid) the 15th annual Hudson River Park’s Blues BBQ Festival is happening. The event has a number of top American blues and roots musicians performing alongside three top BBQ restaurants from around the city. It’ll be on all afternoon, with the last performer taking the stage at 7:30pm.
Once you’ve had enough BBQ and music, right next door on the deck of the Intrepid the first of three Astronomy Nights at the Intrepid Museum is on. Running from 7:30pm to 10:30pm, the night will feature a number of local astronomers with high-powered telescopes showing the night, as well as talks and demonstrations throughout the museum. Tonight is significant because Saturn and Mars will apparently be very close together in the sky, so should be an interesting sight. The night is free, requiring online registration to attend, but the site still says “registration coming soon”, so your guess is as good as ours… It’ll also be on again in two weeks, and again another two weeks after that.
Alternatively if astronomy isn’t your thing, there’s another food-related festival on tonight. If there’s one thing 9th Ave is known for (other than roadwork) it’s Thai food, so tonight’s Thaithentic Food & Culture Festival should be popular, bringing together over 30 Thai restaurants, as well as other Thai brands and vendors. It’s $45 for admission at 8pm, which gets you samplings of food from the range of vendors there, as well as access to the open bar. Alternatively, $70 buys a VIP ticket, which gives you early access at 7pm, as well as access to the VIP lounge. It’s all happening inside the Atelier building on W 42nd St, between 10th & 11th Aves, so not to far from the other things on over by the river.
Lots to do!
The newest addition to the 9th Ave bar scene has arrived, with The Jolly Monk bringing Belgian beers and meals to the area. We first heard of the place back in April, so it’s been a quick process getting the place together.
We haven’t had a chance to stop by while it’s open yet, but here’s a glimpse inside:
While the place has been up and running for about a week, their official grand opening celebrations are happening next Friday, August 1st, where they’ll have discounts, free appetizers and tastings of their range of craft beers, including nine imported from Belgium:
The place is from the New York Beer Company on W 44th St, who also are behind the two House of Brews in the area, so they know the neighborhood well. After all the dramas with Traffic here before, it’s good to have someone who’s a little more invested in the community in that prominent spot. We’ll see you at the opening party.
A little bit behind on this one, but the American restaurant Zuni on 9th Ave was repossessed by the marshals last month, and is now up for rent:
Their website has a heartfelt farewell message:
We here at Zuni just wanted you to know that we truly enjoyed serving you for all these years. Your business was much appreciated, and for that, we are most grateful. Due to the economy we regretfully inform you that we have to closed our doors.
Thank you from all of us here at Zuni!
A slightly different version of events, but still well-meaning.
Zuni has been around since 2006, and the impression seemed to be the place was okay. Still, never good seeing places get hit by the marshals. Anyway, with the for-lease sign up in the window it’s only a matter of time before someone else takes the place over.
The city hit “peak froyo” a few years ago, and ever since it’s been on the slow decline. Now, Wonder Berry on 9th Ave has succumbed to the decline, and closed its doors:
The place is being taken over by Urban Deli, sister-store to the semi-new Urban Market literally just around the corner on W 47th St. While Urban Market is more-or-less your standard bodega/groceries store, Urban Deli should have a lot more pre-prepared food to go. Here’s their announcement on the window:
Meanwhile, back to the present, the gutting of the store has begun, and the froyo machines are already cleared out (much to my disappointment):
From happier times:
If you still need your froyo fix, don’t worry, there’s still Pinkberry a few streets down, and Tutti Frutti a few streets up on 8th Ave. You can never escape froyo.
Room 53, a new café and bar on W 53rd St, has just opened this week. The new place – in between the comedy club and recent addition Marston Station – looks like it’ll have a pretty casual atmosphere, and in addition to the not-yet-online food menu will be serving “speciality” coffee, wines and beer.
They’ve also stated that “Hell’s Kitchen has a piano bar at last”, having received their new piano just a few weeks before opening:
Room 53 is open all day for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, so there’s plenty of opportunities to stop by and try it out, or even just to check out the piano.
Thanks Stanley for the info!
In October last year, Casa Havana on 9th Ave was reborn as Havana Libre. Less than six months later, Havana Libre closed their doors. After sitting dormant for a few months, the place is now gearing up for its third take on the Havana “brand”, with Havana Social:
A quick stroll down memory lane:
The awning banner lists it as a “restaurant, bar & tapas lounge”, which is pretty close to what Havana Libre had, so not sure what the new version will have different to try and make it more of a success, but we’ll keep an eye on how it goes (and whether the car survives the transition).
Annabel, the new “artisanal pizza restaurant” coming to 9th Ave, is opening its doors tomorrow, as noticed by HK regular Stanley Conrad:
Per their site, here’s what you can expect from the new place:
We wanted to create a neighborhood restaurant that invites you to stay for a while: our menu features artisan pizzas, New American appetizers & entrees and homemade desserts by Executive Chef Manuel Honrado. Also join us at the bar for an extensive selection of wine, craft beer & cocktails lovingly curated by our Beverage Director, Alison Boyd. The rustic-modern space was built for comfort and we pride ourselves in genuine, uncomplicated service. And oh yeah, the music is good too!
After the signage went up last month, we’ve been watching the place come together quickly, and tomorrow you’ll be able to try it out.
The rather plain (that’s being generous) building Annabel is in has sat empty since going up, so it’s good to finally have something happen there. The new place will be open from 3pm till 2am every night, and the menu is online now, so you can see what to expect.
Thanks for the info Stanley!
No word on an opening date at this stage, but the interior of the store is already looking close to ready, so it shouldn’t be too long before they’re here:
We lost an Indian restaurant towards the end of last year much further up on 53rd St, so soon the balance will be restored.