St. Marks Shuffle: Wine Shop Opens, Baoguette Closes, Tattoo Parlor Moves

village 7village 6Daniel Maurer The old and new homes of Village Dream

There’s a lot of action on St. Marks Place today, and we’re not just talking about the incoming Han Joo.

First, our lunch plan was thwarted when we noticed Baoguette was closed, and looking rather emptied out. Michael “Bao” Huynh confirmed to Eater today that he has shuttered the Vietnamese sandwich shop’s location at 37 St. Marks Place.

village 2Daniel Maurer Interior of Baoguette.

Down the block, piercing and tattoo parlor Village Dream is moving from its current cubbyhole at 3 St. Marks Place to 128 Second Avenue, where the Village II smoke shop got new signage today. In the next week or so, Village II will officially reopen as Village Dream, with less tobacco accessories and a new focus on piercing and tattoos. Giesh Heidel, who is a partner in both stores, said he was moving because his lease was up after seven years and his partner planned to move the gem shop adjacent to Village Dream into the space at 3 St. Marks Place. The gem shop’s space, meanwhile, will soon be home to what Mr. Heidel thought would be an Asian food joint.

village 3village 5Daniel Maurer Exterior and interior of St. Marks Liquor and Wine.

Across the street at 16 St. Marks Place, the narrow space that held Dots, a tattoo and piercing shop, will reopen as St. Marks Wine and Liquor. That signage went up today, too. Jesse Avraham, the manager of the store, opened a camera shop prior to this and has also worked in real estate with the family of the shop’s owner, Gina DeSimone. This is his first foray into the wine business. He said the shop would stock about 1,000 varieties of wine and liquor (no beer), with a focus on affordable bottles, a selection of $10-and-under bottles, a selection of alcohol from New York distilleries, and a display rack offering pairing suggestions.

“We intend to be real tough on IDing people,” he said, referring to a concern that the community board had when the shop went before it. (St. Marks is, after all, a hotbed of underage piercing.) The shop, he said, wouldn’t serve “nips” or other types of liquor found in “urban” stores. “We’re going to try to go for the upscale trend,” he said, mentioning the rising office tower at 51 Astor Place, “but not snobby upscale.”

village 4villageDaniel Maurer The Dots sign is discared at 16 St. Marks Place and Village Dream signage goes up on Second Avenue.