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Bait & Hook Opens On 14th Street: How It’s Looking, What It’s Cooking

Photos: Annie Fairman

While one seafood shack prepares to open on the southern border of the East Village, another opened yesterday up on 14th Street.

In the former Meatball Factory space, lobster traps now hang from the ceiling, the bar is embellished with rope, and a captain’s wheel is mounted on the white-tiled west wall. Div Patel, 38, said he and his partners wanted to “open something that this neighborhood didn’t have: seafood.” (Better not tell him about Mermaid Inn).

Executive chef Joe Bachman, 28, was born in Florida, where his family works in commercial crabbing and fishing, and lived in South Carolina before moving to New York eight years ago. There are a couple of nods to those southern roots on the menu (jumbo shrimp and grits with kale, smoked gouda hush puppies), but the fish comes from the Bronx Terminal Market and the raw bar and fried Ipswich clam bellies are pure New England, with most produce coming from the nearby Union Square Greenmarket. Read more…