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RESTAURANT - The Local East Village Blog - NYTimes.com


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On St. Marks, Saints Tavern Comes Marching In


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Care for a Malibu Barbie with that plate of frickles? You can now order just that on St. Marks Place.

Its red-and-gold exterior may be loud, but Saints Tavern opened rather quietly last week, boasting 20 beers on tap, cocktails with names like The Grapeful Dead, and a touch of Americana (a pinup photo of Marilyn Monroe faces a replica of Joe DiMaggio’s Yankees uniform).

Alfonso Londono, who owns the tavern along with partners Richard Romano and Aida Levinshon, comes from a restaurant family. He opened his first place Hoops, a college sports bar, at the age of 21, and went on to operate a Mexican restaurant and an Asian fusion concept as well as The Copper Barrel in the Financial District.

Mr. Londono thought the American vibe would help distinguish Saints Tavern from its Asian neighbors. He and his partners scoured flea markets and local shops such as Obscura Antiques to find decor such as a bear head with boxing gloves and a big fish with a soda can. On the ground floor customers can draw all over tables made of chalkboard.
See the menu


Japanese Spot Bound for St. Marks


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Untitled

On Monday The Local heard a rumor that a sushi restaurant would take over the long-vacant storefront next-door to Whole Earth Bakery. That turned out to be partly true. Gary Auslander, the broker who handled the deal, said that a “very exclusive” 15-seat Japanese restaurant would be moving in. Like another newcomer, Bugs, it will indeed serve sushi, among other things. Mr. Auslander added that it won’t be competing with Sushi Lounge a few doors away, rather, it will be “more like Momofuku.” The owners of the restaurant, who will appear at this month’s Community Board 3 meeting, are bringing over a well-regarded chef from Japan, according to the broker.


Are You Stylish Enough to Work at The Standard East Village?


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NYC - East Village: Cooper Square HotelWally Gobetz

The changes are coming fast at The Standard East Village (formerly the Cooper Square Hotel). A post on Craigslist calls for applicants for a variety of positions at the hotel that was officially purchased by Andre Balazs last month. The openings include “bartenders, barbacks, bussers and hosts for all shifts” in the restaurant. Appropriately enough, applicants should be able to “thrive in a stylish, fast-paced environment.”

Just yesterday the hotel finished removing a four-story mural by Shepard Fairey.


Fringe Fest Briefly Revives 45 Bleecker as Theater, But Could It Become a Bar?


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Almost a year after 45 Bleecker Street ceased to operate as a theater due to a dispute between the landlord and the production company that leased the space, the New York International Fringe Festival is reviving it as a temporary headquarters. Starting this Friday, the venue will host productions such as “Jersey Shoresical: A Frickin’ Rock Opera” and “Theater of the Arcade: Five Classic Video Games Adapted for the Stage.” However, it’s uncertain how long the space’s life as a theater will last.

The landlord Fred Rogers, a retired New York City electrical engineer who now lives in Las Vegas, is aggressively trying to find a new tenant. He said that of the potential renters, “a couple” were interested in turning the space into a restaurant, another couple hoped to turn it into a bar, and just one was interested in keeping the building as a theater.

Mr. Rogers said he doesn’t care what type of business eventually occupies the space: “I’m an owner, period, and I’m looking for steady tenants.” Read more…


The Day | Film and Food


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At the moviesScott Lynch

Good morning, East Village.

Last night, fans of the Harry Potter series flocked to the premiere of the final movie while moviegoers in the East Village enjoyed the free showing of “The Warriors” in Tompkins Square Park.

This weekend is the last chance for diners to enjoy Counter, a vegetarian bistro on First Avenue, which will close on Sunday, Gothamist reports. The space will be occupied by a second site of Empellon, a Mexican restaurant in the West Village, according to Gothamist.

But there are still plenty of dining options in the East Village and the cheapest choices are highlighted in the just-released Cheap Eats list by New York Magazine. Nearsay gives the local rundown here.

The photo above comes from Scott Lynch, a contributor to The Local’s Flickr group. Check back this afternoon for an expanded photo layout by Mr. Lynch.

And just in case you missed it, The Local’s Joshua Davis offered a video highlight of the work of Paul and Monica Shay, East Village community activists who were shot in Pennsylvania on July 2.


The Day | A Matter of Taste


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16 HandlesScott Lynch

Good morning, East Village.

To help cool you off from this summer heat, the folks who made People’s Pops at the Brooklyn Flea and Chelsea Market are opening an East Village location this afternoon. The new ice pop stand will open at 5 today at 118 First Avenue near East Seventh Street. Eater NY reports that the location is a former flower cabana that sits between Caracas Arepa Bar and a corner deli.

In other neighborhood news, DNAinfo reports that HBO will soon release unaired footage that pertains to two former NYPD officers acquitted of rape charges. The footage, which was deleted from the network’s movie “Sex Crimes Unit,” will go to defense attorney Joseph Tacopina. Mr. Tacopina represents Kenneth Moreno, 43, one of the men acquitted in late May. Mr. Moreno’s partner, Franklin Mata, 29, was also acquitted. The officers’ charges stemmed from a December 2008 incident in which the officers were accused of raping a 27-year-old woman in her East Village apartment.

The Post reports that Fu Sushi restaurant on Avenue B has been serving customers despite New York City’s Department of Health ordering the business to close. The department closed Fu Sushi June 23 after logging 99 health violations, including the presence of mice and roaches in the restaurant. Department officials posted a closed sign on the restaurant’s storefront; however, Fu Sushi employees have obscured the sign and continued business as usual, The Post says.


Health Code Violations Shutter Barbone


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Albert Ibrahimi in the Garden at BarboneIan Duncan Albert Ibrahimi in the garden at Barbone. The restaurant was closed over the weekend for health code violations.

Albert Ibrahimi was hoping to spend Thursday night celebrating the five years in business at Barbone, his first restaurant, an Italian place on Avenue B. Instead, he spent it sitting with a health inspector who was in the process of closing the restaurant down for sanitary code violations.

Mr. Ibrahimi said his restaurant was “spotless” certainly no vermin and not a single fly. His undoing was a refrigerator that failed in the strain of Thursday’s heat shortly before the inspector came knocking at 10 p.m.

“I was in shock that he was closing me down,” Mr. Ibrahimi said. “I actually planned to go out and meet some friends.”

What followed was a scramble to get a new refrigerator online and fill in the health department’s paperwork to get inspected again the next day and have permission to reopen for the weekend.
Read more…


Damage From Sixth Street Fire Lingers


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507 E. 6th St.Suzanne Rozdeba

More than a week has gone by since a fire blazed through a restaurant on East Sixth Street, and residents who live above it are still without house and home.

“We’ve been sleeping on a friend’s couch on the Upper East Side. It’s still unclear when we’ll be able to move back in,” Paul Canetti, a tenant on the third floor at 507 East Sixth Street, told The Local.

The fire on Jan. 4 occurred around 7:30 a.m. inside 6th Street Kitchen, a restaurant on the first floor. All tenants were evacuated, and the restaurant was destroyed. Read more…