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Spanky & Darla’s Reopens


Spanky & Darla’s reopened Sunday after being forced to close by the health department, according to an employee of the bar. The health department notice, which cited the bar for operating without a permit, was posted Oct. 3. The Local has left a message for the owner; we’ll let you know if we hear more about the circumstances of the closure.

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. Read more…

Days Before Class, 46 Cooper Gets an Edgy New Awning

IMG_0015Stephen Rex Brown
IMG_0014Stephen Rex Brown

Today construction workers were installing a new awning above the entrance of 46 Cooper Square, which will welcome the Grace Church School’s inaugural class of high school students next week. According to the school’s Web site, 59 students will be in the first ninth grade class. In four years, the school hopes to have maxed out enrollment with 320 students. Next year, the school will expand into the adjacent Village Voice building when the alt-weekly’s lease expires.

Want to Adopt Star the Pit Bull? Talk to Her Lawyers

Lexus Project vets with StarThe Lexus Project. An image posted on Facebook of Lexus Project staff with Star.

Here’s your hourly update on Star, the pit bull shot in the head by a police officer on 14th Street.

The miracle mutt is now in the care of the Lexus Project, which describes itself as “a law firm for dogs” that provides “legal defense on a case by case basis for dogs we believe are improperly or unfairly facing dangerous dog designations or euthanasia.” The organization, based in Kew Gardens, Queens, writes on Facebook that the dog, after losing an eye in surgery yesterday, is bound for a rehabilitation facility “where she can rest and be pampered on until she goes for her behavior assessment. From there, she will be placed into her forever home.”

That means that all the folks clamoring to bring the perseverant pooch into their homes need to hold off. Instead, the Lexus Project urges people to adopt another dog “on death row.” “If everyone of the people who contacted me adopted a dog on death row, there would be 60 — yes 60 — dogs alive at the end of today instead of a lonely and frightening death,” the organization wrote on Facebook. Read more…

He’s Fighting Rats Down There So We Don’t Have to Fight Them in the Park

IMG_0009Stephen Rex Brown A Department of Health worker drops rat poison into the sewer.

The rats might be returning to Tompkins Square Park (depending on who you ask) but don’t think the city is waving the white flag. While walking the beat today we came upon two health department employees dropping poison into a sewer grate at East Seventh Street and Avenue A. One of them confirmed that the bait was meant to thin the hordes of rodents that last year became a media sensation.

Star the Pit Bull Loses an Eye, But Recovering Her Hearing

Star, post-opAnimal Care and Control Star chews on a toy, undeterred by her missing eye.

The pit bull who took a bullet from a police officer on 14th Street and lived to tell the tale had surgery today to remove her left eye, as well as metal fragments still lodged in her skull.

“Star had suffered soft tissue, bone, head trauma, and eye damage as a result of her wounds,” said Richard Gentles, a spokesman for the city Animal Care and Control, which handled care for the dog, Star. “She suffered a significant degree of hearing loss, but her hearing is coming back and the vision in her right eye also seems to be improving.” Another photo…

Here’s the Suspected Chase Bank Robber

Suspect in Chase Bank RobberyN.Y.P.D. The suspect.

The police department has released a surveillance image of the suspect in Saturday’s bank robbery.

The suspect passed a note to a teller at the Chase Bank on Second Avenue near East 10th Street at 12:40 p.m., the police said. The teller then forked over a wad of cash, and the robber made a run for it, toting a black Pullman suitcase.

He is thought to be in his 20s or 30s, 200 pounds and five-foot-10.

C.B. 3 Agenda: New License for Nublu, How Best to Keep Skatepark Open

Next month’s Community Board 3 agenda just landed in The Local’s inbox, and with it comes the list of bars and restaurants that will seek a recommendation in their favor for a license to sell alcohol, along with an assortment of other issues. Here’s a roundup.

Ilhan Ersahin plays the keyboardsVladi Radojicic Nublu.

Nublu will seek approval for a renewal of its wine and beer license. Very little has been heard from the jazz club since the State Liquor Authority temporarily shut the place down due to its proximity to a Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall. Though the club itself has not faced much controversy since then, neighbors who recently spoke out against the sandwich shop, Bikinis, implied that its owners were not trustworthy due to their association with Nublu.

The Lobster Joint will also seek approval for a liquor license at its future location on Houston Street. Two days ago, its owner was on the street seeking signatures in support of his application.

Paulaner Brauhaus, the large Bowery beer hall that has faced its fair share of construction and community board woes, will once again seek approval for a full liquor license.

As has been the case since early this year, Nevada Smiths is on the agenda seeking approval for a liquor license at its new location. The soccer bar’s owner told The Local today he is hoping to open in October.

Vella Market, the gourmet deli bound for the former Kate’s Joint space, will plead its case for wine and beer.  Read more…

Happening Now: TOWN Sidewalk Fest at Astor

Stephen Rex Brown

If photos of the anti-Republican fervor that overcame much of the city in 2004 didn’t make you feel patriotic, perhaps this footage of the TOWN Sidewalk Festival at 26 Astor Place will. Yoga demonstrations, the Standard East Village’s ice cream, and a food truck displaying art were all on hand — set to the soundtrack of Hendrix’s “Star Spangled Banner.” The event continues for another half hour.

Han Joo Korean Barbecue Shooting for Opening Next Month

IMG_1223Stephen Rex Brown Han Joo is close to opening, pending city

A popular Korean barbecue joint in Flushing, Queens aims to open an outpost on St. Marks Place next month.

Co-owner Daeyoung Kim said that construction of the East Village location of Han Joo is on schedule, but that he was still waiting on an assortment of city permits. Previously, a sock shop named Sox in the City occupied the space at 12 St. Marks Place.

Taking a break from building the restaurant, Mr. Kim touted the Flushing location’s reputation, noting its crystal grill, and the naeng-myun cold noodle soup. The latter is the restaurant’s specialty, though an assortment of reviews rave about the grilled pork belly.

“It’s really famous,” Mr. Kim said of the restaurant that opened in 2001.

Photos: When the Republican National Convention Came to the East Village

With the Republican National Convention underway in Tampa, Fla., photographer Matthew Kraus shares some thoughts and images of a convention that hit closer to home.

The few years following 9/11 were an interesting time in New York City. There seemed to be a closeness among New Yorkers that only such an event could foster. And there was certainly more than a little dissatisfaction in what our government was doing, partially in the name of that day. So when the Republican Party chose New York as the location of its convention during its 2004 bid to reelect Bush, there was a sizable amount of protest in all the usual places (the U.N., City Hall, Wall Street, etc.). Meanwhile in and around the East Village, I started noticing more and more signs, posters and predominantly stickers.

In those days, I would walk my then three-year-old to school from 14th Street and Avenue C to Second Street and Avenue A, and if I took a different route every day, I could photograph no less than 20 unique versions of these “protests.” They went up with shocking volume and speed and ranged from direct confrontation with Bush, to specific 9/11 references; from general rejection of the Republican Party to actual calls for action. Read more…

Star the Pit Bull, in Happier Times


A Facebook page set up in Star the pit bull’s honor features photos of the pooch before she was shot by a police officer in the middle of 14th Street. The photos show the dog lounging on the street with humans and other mutts, and in one photo checking out a rat. The Facebook page also includes chatter about Star going into surgery tomorrow, possibly to have an eye removed. A spokesman for Animal Care and Control did not respond to a question regarding further treatment for the dog. Meanwhile, The Daily News reports that the dog is “recovering at lightning speed.”

Video: Police Officers in Showdown With 12th Street Resident

Police officers climbed a fire escape on East 12th Street today to calm a man who had been causing a disturbance.

A resident of the block between Avenues A and B, who did not want to identify herself, witnessed the commotion. “I came out and saw a man who seemed to be agitated on the top floor hanging out his window, yelling down to the cops,” she said. “The cops didn’t seem too concerned about it, but apparently he didn’t want to let them into his apartment so they had to go up the fire escape.”

As police officers climbed to the top floor of 513 East 12th Street, the man locked the window; after a few minutes, they talked the man into opening it and letting them in. Read more…

Public Theater Ribon-Cutting Set for Oct. 4, Mayor May Show

IMG_0060Melvin Felix
IMG_0001Stephen Rex Brown A peak inside Mr. Carmellini’s new restaurant
on Lafayette Street.

Does Mayor Bloomberg have an East Village trip penciled into his schedule?

A spokesperson for Joe’s Pub let slip that the mayor would be attending a ribbon-cutting at the Public Theater on Oct. 4. In a subsequent e-mail she said she couldn’t confirm Mr. Bloomberg’s attendance (mayoral plans are fickle, after all), but it’s clear the re-dedication ceremonies are going to have some star power. The theater broke ground on what was expected to be a $40 million renovation project in March. Earlier this month, ArtsBeat reported that the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust, founded by the parents of Eliot Spitzer, gave $4 million to the theater.

It’s uncertain whether Andrew Carmellini’s hotly anticipated mezzanine lounge, The Library, will be in full swing for the celebrations, which come exactly a year after an upgraded Joe’s Pub reopened; the chef didn’t respond to an e-mail inquiry. This week, Eater reported The Library would open in the second week of October.

Just one block south on Lafayette Street, work continues on Mr. Carmellini’s somewhat mysterious French restaurant in the former Chinatown Brassiere space, as you can see in a photo we snapped earlier this week.

Merchant’s House Hearing Set for Sept. 4

Proposed Hotel

A critical hearing regarding the proposed nine-story hotel abutting the Merchant’s House Museum is scheduled for September 4, the museum just announced in an e-mail. Following the hearing, the Landmarks Preservation Commission will either give the green light for the controversial hotel, or send the developer back to the drawing board. Supporters of the museum consider the proposal dangerous because construction could undermine the structure of the 180-year-old building, as well as its aesthetic. Still, there’s no guarantee the hearing will take place on the scheduled date — it’s been postponed four times already. “Hopefully we don’t have a fifth postponement,” said Emily Wright, a museum spokeswoman. “We’re still of course very concerned, the potential for damage is very serious.”

Nine-Story Dorm Bound for 35 Cooper, But Whose Is It?

35 Cooper Square From Feb. 2011 to May 2011Claire Glass and Stephen Rex Brown The demolition of 35 Cooper last year.

So, what university is behind the dormitory planned for 35 Cooper Square?

EV Grieve first spotted the plans, filed with the Department of Buildings yesterday, which call for over 30,000 square feet of student housing.

But which students will stay there?

“Not N.Y.U.’s,” wrote university spokesman John Beckman of the dorm.

“We already have a dorm on Third Avenue,” said Jolene Travis, spokeswoman for Cooper Union.

“We’re already building a dorm on Fifth Avenue,” said Sam Biederman, a spokesman for The New School. Read more…

Bar Veloce Gets New Neon, Preps for Court Showdown

New Bar Veloce signageDaniel Maurer New signage at Bar Veloce.

Those flyers calling for a boycott of Bar Veloce have disappeared from the neighborhood – and the wine bar got a spiffy new sign today  – but rest assured there’s drama on the horizon: the bar on Second Avenue is gearing up for a courtroom fight with the disgruntled ex-employees who sued it in April 2011. A series of court filings made as recently as yesterday reveal that both parties will go to trial before a federal judge on November 5.

You’ll recall the twists and turns of the case: three employees sued Bar Veloce for unpaid wages and labor violations. In February, Frederick Twomey, the owner of the bar, filed a countersuit alleging that one of the plaintiffs, ex-employee John Sawyer Preston, defamed him and damaged his business by posting flyers urging customers to avoid Bar Veloce and other restaurants he owned. In turn, Mr. Preston filed a counter-counter suit alleging that the defamation suit amounted to unlawful retaliation in response to the original claim of backwages.

But now a layer of litigation has been peeled away: late last month Mr. Twomey filed a motion to withdraw his defamation suit (a hearing regarding that case is scheduled for Thursday) and yesterday, Mr. Preston withdrew his counter-counter suit as part of an agreement that paves the way for November’s trial. Read more…

Star the Pit Bull Showing ‘More Signs of Improvement’

A dog kennel on the trunk of cop car.Melvin Felix After the shooting, this cop car with a kennel in the trunk likely hauled the wounded pit bull to a veterinarian.

The pit bull that took a bullet in the middle of 14th Street last week continues her remarkable recovery. “She is showing more signs of improvement,” wrote a spokesman for Animal Care and Control. “Her swelling has gone down and she is more alert.”

Meanwhile, the debate continues on The Local’s Facebook page regarding whether the shooting was justified. Graphic video of the incident shows that the dog, named Star, did indeed lunge at the police officer who shot her. But most commenters believe that deadly force was unnecessary. “Star was doing what she was suppose to do,” wrote one reader. “If you watch the video in entirely you see for 9 min they did not even attend to her owner still on the ground. This was not justified.”

“That cop will remember this for the rest of his life and if he owns dogs at home I hope he doesn’t do this to his own pets,” wrote another. “I smell a huge lawsuit against that cop and the N.Y.P.D. for not helping Star and his owner.”

‘Neighbors Of IHOP Say Enough,’ Form N.O.I.S.E. Committee

Sandy Berger, a neighbor of IHOP, continues her journal chronicling the sights, sounds and smells of the restaurant that has outraged her and others in her building for the better part of a year. In today’s installment, Ms. Berger reveals the name of the committee they’ve formed to fight the “International House of Putrid Odors.”

bacon diaries

Monday, August 13, 2012
I stopped in at IHOP and asked to speak to Ed Scannapieco, the owner of the franchise. I was told by the day manager he wasn’t there. I gave her my telephone number and said I would appreciate hearing from him. I was just trying to find out what was going on. Naturally, I never heard from him, which is bothersome since he has said, “We want to be a good neighbor.” But I guess that doesn’t include talking to his neighbors! Read more…

Star the Pit Bull Showing Signs of ‘Slight Improvement’

A dog kennel on the trunk of cop car.Melvin Felix The scene on Monday.

Star the pit bull is still hanging on for dear life after being shot by a police officer on 14th Street Monday.

On Tuesday, a police source said the dog’s prognosis was not good, but yesterday a spokesman for Animal Care and Control of New York City told The Local that the feisty mutt was still in stable condition at a shelter in Harlem. Today that spokesman said, “Star’s condition is still serious, but thankfully she is showing signs of slight improvement.”

It’s still unknown whether the dog, if it survives, will be returned to its owner, who was passed out on the sidewalk when the shooting occurred and was arrested for an open warrant related to an open container charge.

On The Local, commenters debated about who was to blame for the shooting.

“That’s a sad story. But I wouldn’t want to get bit by that dog,” wrote Delphine Blue, apparently sympathizing with the police officer who fired the shot. Read more…