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The Day | New Italian Spot on East Sixth

LitroSuzanne Rozdeba

Good morning, East Village.

According to a tipster, signage for an “Italian restaurant bar,” Litro, has gone up in the old Zerza space at 308 East Sixth Street. Stay tuned for more.

Paper reports that Max Fish is opening an outpost on the Asbury Park boardwalk. “Max Fish at the Beach Bar, located on the boardwalk, will be open weekends starting this Saturday through Memorial Day, and then open every day after that.”

In The Times, Winnie Varghese, the priest in charge of St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery, argues that churches should be tax-exempt. “Moderate and progressive religion is overwhelmingly formed in the U.S., and it is an essential voice in national and international discourse,” she says. “We are an important moral and ethical voice for society as a whole, a voice that has to be religious to respond to other kinds of religious movements.” Read more…

The Day | Targeting Stolen Bikes

Bicycles on 6th Street, East VillageAdrian Fussell

Good morning, East Village.

The Times reported that the police conducted an undercover sting operation in the East Village trying to find people who would purchase stolen bikes. The sting targeted bike messengers, specifically mentioning those at S’MAC on 12th Street and Haveli on Second Avenue. Gothamist said that the sting, which lead to three arrests, should be called “Operation Bark Up The Wrong Tree.” Sting operations are not uncommon, and the Department of Consumer Affairs is currently recruiting public participants to help them catch supermarkets who are overlooking basic requirements.

The most publicized bar in the neighborhood — Mars Bar — is set to be demolished next month. The owner, Hank Penza, and his associates are taking bricks from the walls and the cinderblocks from the exterior wall to use in his rumored new bar.

While Jeremiah continues to lament the loss of the “Chow Mein” sign, Off The Grid has a really lovely post on the oft-overlooked fire escapes that greatly impact our urban landscape. In addition to taking a serious look back at the history and need for fire escapes at the turn of the century, the post also includes pictures of some of the more artistic instances of such “iron in the sky.”

Even though the rats in Tompkins Square Park may be over-publicized at the moment, the issue is still alive and well in the East Village. Rat traps were spotted by an EV Grieve reader outside of the new BMW Guggenheim lab which is set to open next Wednesday. The public’s distaste for rats is so evident that it has lent the sentiment to a new reality series: The Animal Planet is going to air a six-part reality series called “Rat Busters NYC” which focuses around two managers of an extermination company that “tackle rat families bigger than their own, and other metropolitan pests like roaches, mice, bedbugs, raccoons and pigeons.”

The Day | All Eyes on the Park

Tompkins Square ParkAdrian Fussell

Good morning, East Village.

Ratstravaganza is taking over! The seemingly massive rat population in Tompkins Square Park, which Neither More Nor Less has given an apocalyptic nickname, has hit all of the mainstream New York media outlets at this point. Photographers and reporters from The Post, Fox, WABC, and NY1. The takeaway from a handful of the reports was that the decision by the Parks Department to stop using rat poison in order to protect the local red-tailed hawks, coupled with parkgoers who litter, has led to the rise in our furry foes.

DNAinfo reports that popular mac-and-cheese eatery S’MAC will be opening a second locale at the hut on Houston Street and First Avenue this fall. The original store, which also has an attached sit-down area, is located on 12th Street and First Avenue. Their Ukrainian neighbor, Veselka, is also expanding and will be opening its second restaurant on First Street near Bowery in four to six weeks.

Jeremiah called in experts to talk about the removal of the longtime neon “Chow Mein” sign that used to hang on Second Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets. The sign originally came down on Monday as a construction crew is renewing the façade of the building that was Jade Mountain until 2007. Jeremiah goes on to worry about the safety of the Jade Mountain sign, since it is currently “popped up, like a body suddenly sitting upright in its coffin.”

While the historic significance of the neighborhood is well established, the new architectural gems that have been sprinkled in are the ones gaining attention from realtors. One relatively recent arrival, 40 Bond Street, located between Lafayette Street and Bowery, was named the seventh best building of the last decade. Luckily for those who are particularly flush, there are still units for sale- and one just lowered its price tag to $7.5 million.

A Guide to Gluten-Free Eating

Tu-lu'sGrace Maalouf A customer orders at Tu-Lu’s Gluten-Free Bakery, which is dedicated specifically to providing treats without the protein found in wheat, oats and barley that causes illness for those sensitive to it.

In the sprawling East Village dining scene, there’s no shortage of choices: cheap or exorbitant, healthy or indulgent, quick or leisurely, deciding on a meal is a culinary choose-your-own-adventure. There are plenty of options for meat-eaters, for vegetarians, even for vegans. But for the rising number of people intolerant to gluten, a protein found in wheat, oats and barley, what’s the best way to navigate the pizza- and dessert-lined streets of the neighborhood?

Enter the spate of restaurants ready to guarantee every last corner of the masses has access to a few of their favorite things. More and more are adding special gluten-free menus or dishes, and others are altering their entire line of offerings to make them friendly to those who can get sick from certain grains and flours.

At East Village comfort-food headquarters S’MAC, for example, the entire mac-and-cheese menu is available in gluten-free varieties. So whether diners want the gruyere-bacon “Alpine” dish or the manchego-fennel-onion “La Mancha,” all the pastas can be ordered sans gluten.
Read more…