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Some activity observed around the neighborhood over the holiday.

Pizza, St Mark's/Ave AKim Davis131 St Mark’s Place.

Nino’s, the fixture pizzeria at the corner of St Mark’s Place and Avenue A, was shuttered by the Health Department last month, then seemed briefly to re-emerge as a Lebanese takeaway. A more substantial refurbishment was underway over the weekend: scrawled notices suggested it would become a pizzeria called The Spot. “New menu come 2013.”

IMG_1513Kim DavisBoulton & Watt

Boulton & Watt, the industrial revolution-styled gastropub at the bottom of Avenue A looks closer to opening with each passing day.

Burger Shop/Village JokerKim DavisThe Burger Shop–or is it The Village Joker?.

Meanwhile, also on St Mark’s, the strange Burger Shop stand-off continues. It’s open, the Burger Shop sign still hangs, the menu and beer selection remain the same–but the garish Village Joker signage also glares. An identity crisis? The burgers are good, anyway, so shield your eyes and step inside.

‘Little Italy Pizza,’ Right Here Above Houston

UntitledStephen Rex Brown
UntitledStephen Rex Brown

A new pizza joint opened at 23 Third Avenue today, right around the corner from where 2 Bros. started experimenting with $1.50 slices last week.

St. Marks Pizza is slinging pies in the former home of Tahini. Earlier this year chef Michael Huynh told Eater that he planned to open a restaurant serving cheese steaks in the space, though that idea apparently went nowhere. (Elsewhere in Mr. Huynh’s universe, Eater breaks news that BaoBQ has officially closed on First Avenue.)

Now, St. Marks Pizza is serving fairly standard fare. Several signs trumpet “Little Italy Pizza” (right here in the East Village!) A slice goes for $2.75. Read more…

Pizzapocalypse! $1.50 for 2 Bros. Pizza?

A supreme sliceMelvin Felix The new slice.

What’s more shocking than Michael White’s new pizzeria Nicoletta getting zero stars from The Times? How about 2 Bros. Pizza breaking the dollar barrier?

This week, the celebrated dollar-slice joint unveiled a larger, cheesier “supreme” slice at its 36 St. Marks Place location, where the owners of the original location a few doors down previously experimented with cut-rate Neapolitan pies. The new slice, which goes for a whopping $1.50 after tax, still has the straight-out-of-the-oven taste that draws in the late-night crowds (others, like New York magazine’s Adam Platt, aren’t such big fans.)

If that extra 50 cents is going to break the bank, relax: you can still get the dollar slice at the original location at 32 St. Marks.

The Day | Legal Observer Sues NYPD for Arrest on East 13th

Last day at Kate's JointSuzanne Rozdeba

Good morning, East Village.

The Local snapped the above shot a day before longstanding vegetarian spot Kate’s Joint was seized by its landlord yesterday, presumably due to the back rent it owed.

Gothamist reports that a National Lawyers Guild observer is suing the NYPD for wrongfully arresting him on Second Avenue between East 12th and 13th Streets during an Occupy Wall Street march back in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

A real estate broker tells The Voice that you can still get a deal in the East Village. “You could get a small, two-bedroom apartment [in a walk-up], with a kitchen you could cook in for $3,000 a month,” she says. “I’m not saying the rooms are going to be the size of Texas, but I think that’s a bargain. And you have fantastic restaurants.”
Read more…

L’asso EV Opens for Dinner


Have you abandoned South Brooklyn Pizza ever since it stopped carrying Manhattan Special coffee soda on draft? (We’re assured it’ll return when the takeout parlor expands into a proper restaurant, possibly next month.) Well, there’s a new option just a block away: L’asso has opened its East Village outpost for dinner. Last month, The Local told you what to expect from the NoLIta transplant. Check back here shortly for interior shots as well as the menu, which features a Polish pie with kielbasa, pickles, and mustard oil.

Fire At Lil’ Frankie’s

IMG_3001Stephen Rex Brown Firefighters outside of Lil’ Frankie’s.

A fire in the walls at Lil’ Frankie’s, on First Avenue near First Street, was extinguished this afternoon before anyone was injured, firefighters said.

“It would have been a good fire in about 45 minutes if people hadn’t smelled it,” said Battalion Chief Steve Deloughry.

Twelve trucks and 60 firefighters arrived at the popular pizzeria at 21 First Avenue at around 2:10 p.m. after a resident on the third floor smelled smoke. Mr. Deloughry said that his crew “poked around for a while” trying to find the source of the smell, and at times suspected it was just coming from the wood burning oven at the restaurant. Eventually, firefighters did find the fire behind the ceiling and walls near the oven, and declared it under control at around 4 p.m.

An employee at Lil’ Frankie’s said the pizzeria will be open, but that as much as half of the dishes on the menu may not be available.

L’asso EV in Fall

The lines are sure to get longer at Motorino now that its Williamsburg location has closed. Fret not: DNAinfo has more on earlier reports that NoLita pizzeria L’asso is opening an outpost at 107 First Avenue. Partner Greg Barris admits “there’s an endless amount of pizza in that neighborhood,” but wants in anyway: “The East Village is more classic New York City.”

Three Laps, Hold the Anchovies

Pizza Run, 2Chelsia Rose Marcius Nick Corbin, 24, of Hoboken, during the race.

Grab, bite, chomp, chew, drink, swish, swallow, run.

That was Miriam Weiskind’s strategy today at the second annual New York City Pizza Run in Tompkins Square Park.

“I took really quick bites and washed it down with a little water,” she said, raising an imaginary slice to her mouth, showing just how she did it. “People who shoved the entire thing in just choke.”

Nearly 100 runners registered for the 2.25-mile run that required three pit stops for one slice of Margherita pizza, said race founder Jason Feirman, 26, of the East Village.

Ms. Weiskind, 31, of Park Slope, came in first for the women, clocking in at 18 minutes and 6 seconds. Peter O’Rourke took men’s title with a time of 15 minutes and 24 seconds.

While a dim weather forecast kept some participants from showing, those who live for saucy pieces of dough had no problem wolfing down 40 pizza pies from Pizza by Certe in Midtown.

To prepare for inhaling mouthfuls of basil leaves and mozzarella, triathlete Jonathan Blyer, 29, of Park Slope, spent three weeks chewing saltine crackers without water. He said what ruined him last year was a dry pallet.

“My main problem was getting my salivary glands going,” he said.

Most runners gave the choice of pizza a standing ovation — except perhaps Erin McInrue, 27, of the West Village.

“It was good but a bit crusty,” Ms. McInrue said. “That’s no good when I’m trying to eat for speed.”

Grading The Cleanliness Of Pizzerias

Pizza at Ray'sRobyn Baitcher Pizzas on display on the counter at Ray’s on St. Marks Place near Third Avenue. In July, city officials released a new cleanliness rating system for restaurants. Some of the revised grades for local pizzerias were released this month.

The East Village is home to myriad iconic late-night eateries, from 5 a.m. nachos on Avenue A to curry-sauced Belgian fries on Second Avenue. But for all our dining options, many of us share a common snacking obsession: The hot, cheesy pizza slice.

In July, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released a new cleanliness rating system for restaurants in New York City. Residents around the East Village have no doubt seen the department’s laminated cards – displaying letter grades of “A,” “B” or “C” – propped up in restaurant windows around the neighborhood.

Pizza shops in the area have had a tough time scoring well under the new system, in part because storing pizza slices on open display before reheating them can be a Department of Health violation.
Read more…

The Day | A Celebrity Pizza Party

Amato OperaMichelle Rick

Good morning, East Village.

NYU Local has photos of the rapper Lil’ Jon and the actor Gary Busey selling pizzas Tuesday afternoon at Eighth Street and Broadway. Neighborhoodr has a post about a new exhibit by the photographer Cary Conover. (While you’re at Neighborhoodr these images are worth checking out, too.) Nice photograph here over at EV Grieve. The Villager offers up a story about one man’s theory on those explosives that were found in a cemetery earlier this month. And I Love East Village has a Halloween-themed sketch by the artist Terry Galmitz.