The Day | New Signs, New Storefronts

house painterMichelle Rick

Good morning, East Village.

It was a big day for the visual landscape of the East Village. EV Grieve takes us on a tour of the area, showcasing the new signs on the Thai food restaurant BaoHaus, soon to open on 14th Street between Second and Third Avenues, and smoothie maker Xoom, due to open on Thursday on the same stretch of 14th Street. One sign that came down overnight was the famed Chow Mein sign that used to light up Second Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets, even though the restaurant it belonged too — Jade Mountain — closed in 2007. And finally, the last of the bunch comes in the form of a “closed” sign on Company Bar and Grill, located on 10th Street near First Avenue, as the Department of Health temporarily closed it for lacking the proper permits.

Jeremiah also took a minute to reflect on the area’s changing signage, looking back at the seedy history of the new IHOP on 14th Street between Second and Third Avenues.

BaoHaus and Xoom are only two of a handful of restaurants due to open on 14th Street. Plans for a new location of 5 Napkin Burger and The Meatball Shop on the block have been well publicized, prompting 14th Street to be known as a “foodie haven”, if it weren’t already.

The future of signage and construction in the East Village will come to a vote tonight as the Community Board meets to consider whether part of the neighborhood should be designated as a historic district. The issue has divided residents, with some seeing it as an opportunity to retain the East Village of old, while others are concerned about what the designation might mean for maintenance costs and their ability to make changes to their properties. The City Room blog at The Times examined some lesser-known historic districts only to find that they had little to show for the title.