The Day | 51 Astor Place’s ‘Funky Area’

Tofu HouseSuzanne Rozdeba Free samples outside of NY Tofu House during its first night.

Good morning, East Village.

Why was it so easy for Edward Minskoff to secure a $160 million construction loan for his futuristic office building at 51 Astor, despite not having a single tenant? Mark Edelstein, the chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Global Real Estate Finance Group, explains to Globe St. that “it is adjacent to Cooper Union, mass transit hubs and NYU. It’s a funky area. Edward Minskoff has an amazing knack of finding locations ahead of its time and being extremely successful.”

The Post and DNA Info report that John Martinez, an ex-con who robbed women with an ice pick in Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town, will likely have his sentence reduced by two years, to 18 years, since he returned an engagement ring to one of his victims.

Meanwhile, more on the outcry over the ice skating rink that’s coming to the Stuy Town. A Website advertising the rink promises that it will be solely for tenants and their guests, but Stuy Town Living writes that “these events are often attended by the public and a growing base of tenants feel they are for the public, a dog and pony show to attract new tenants with seemingly little regard for the current tenants.”

According to The Times, “Once,” an adaptation of a 2007 Irish film opening at the New York Theater Workshop Dec. 6, is “being eyed by theater pundits as a potential Broadway entry.”

A couple of forthcoming restaurants now have possible opening dates: Bowery Boogie gets word from construction workers that Gasoline Alley, a “sipping spot” paying homage to NoHo’s history as an auto-repair destination, will open at 331 Lafayette Street on Monday. And EV Grieve notices signage indicating that Japadog, the Vancouver-based Japanese hot dog stand, will open at 30 St. Marks in December.

Christos Valtzoglou tells The Villager that he’ll reopen Heartbreak, his short-lived Swiss-German restaurant on Second Avenue and Second Street, as “a Greek, small-plate-style eatery.”