Bikinis Brings Tapas, Sandwiches and Churros to Avenue C

Photos: Alexa Mae Asperin

After riding out a wave of opposition in March, Bikinis Eatery will open its doors this Saturday.

The tapas bar on Avenue C isn’t selling two-piece swimsuits; it specializes in the Spanish sandwiches of the same name. According to co-owner Karina Correa, good ones are hard to find in the city, so she’s aiming to “marry both Spanish and American flavors” via menu items like the classic jamon y queso (ham and cheese), a “Gordito” (pastrami, turkey, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mayo) and vegetarian options like a smoky portobello blend and a tomato baguette with sea salt and Spanish olive oil.

Ms. Correa, a former manager at Cafe Gitane in Nolita who spent four years in Spain, said she and her business partner, Petrit Pula, who has lived in Madrid, favored the simple tapas found at Spanish corner cafes over Manhattan restaurants that were “too sophisticated both in concept and price.” They envisioned a relaxed, casual place where one can eat three times a day, as is common in Spain.

In addition to bikinis, the restaurant offers beers such as Moritz and Estrella, a “Bikini coffee blend” made from mixed organic beans, and gluten-free churros concocted in a machine brought straight from Valladolid, Spain thanks to Ms. Correa’s friend Lolo Manso, mastermind behind La Churreria in Nolita.

Mr. Pula, who also works for Nublu, said he didn’t understand why neighbors began an online petition against Bikinis’ request for a beer and wine license back in March. Local residents believed the restaurant would be linked to the club, resulting in an influx of partygoers and disruptive, late-night music. But Mr. Pula reiterated that was never the intention of Bikinis. The restaurant will play only background music and will be open “regular hours” – from 10 a.m. daily, with breakfast served till 1 p.m. and brunch offered on Sundays.

Bikinis Eatery, 56 Avenue C (between Fourth and Fifth Streets); (212) 777-2277