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Han Joo Brings Tabletop Korean Barbecue to St. Marks Next Week

Photos: Nicole Guzzardi

Han Joo, the Korean barbecue joint that’s been going into the Sox in the City space on St. Marks Place, will open Tuesday.

According to manager Kitae Um, the Manhattan offshoot will serve the same menu as the Queens original, with one addition: soju cocktails.

Oh, and there’s one other big difference. “This space is a lot more trendy,” said Mr. Um, “and even has a bar.” A sleek marble bar, at that, with hot red stools.

Each of the 22 tabletops is equipped with a grill where chefs will prepare food as visitors dine. Check out the no-joke ventilators via The Local’s slideshow.

Han Joo, 12 St. Marks Place, near Third Avenue

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…

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.

Nightclubbing | The Dead Boys

Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong are sifting through their voluminous archive of punk-era concert footage as it’s digitized for the Downtown Collection at N.Y.U.’s Fales Library. Here’s this week’s trip down memory lane, starting with a word form Jeff Magnum, bassist for the Dead Boys.

dead boys stivEmily Armstrong/NightclubbingStiv Bators

I was working in a record store, it was horrible. Farmers would come in demanding John Denver, or say, “Do you have that record they play on the radio…” But at least there was Rocket From the Tombs. They were the only good band in Cleveland in the early 1970s, and I went to see ’em play a lot! I heard they were breaking up but they were playing one last gig (Bators and Cheetah were gonna start a new band). I went to that last gig and I walked up to Cheetah, who I never met, and told him, “I’m the bass player yer lookin’ for!” That new band was called Frankenstein (Bators, Cheetah, Blitz, Zero, and me).” [In 1976, the band left for New York without Magnum, and booked a gig at CBGBs. They came back for him, and returned to the city as the Dead Boys.] We went on this 20-hour car ride, the whole time them telling me how great it will all be, that they had a place and that we would be playing at the greatest club in the world. I got to the club and said, “What a shit-hole.” But it became our living room. We were there every night and when we played, we kicked ass. — Jeff Magnum

The Dead Boys held a special status at CBGBs. They were managed by the club’s owner, Hilly Krystal, and played there more than any other band. Read more…

Photos: Dance Parade Shimmies, Shuffles, Tangos, and Twirls Through the East Village

Photos: Tim Schreier

The annual New York Dance Parade brought pretty much the entirety of the East Village over to St. Marks Place this afternoon to gawk at a colorful cacophony of fantastic attire, expert moves, and in the case of the Webster Hall float, scantily clad ladies escorting one of the parade’s grand marshals, DJ Jonathan Peters. In case you escaped to Rockaway Beach, where Caracas opened its boardwalk outpost today, these photos should give you an idea of what you missed. If you have your own shots, add them to our Flickr group.

Rockit Scientist Records Packs Up Its Crates

Joe BarbosaSuzanne Rozdeba Joe Barbosa had been selling records outside of the store.

Earlier today, John Kioussis hauled a turntable and a few remaining crates of records out of an empty, darkened storefront at 33 St. Marks Place. Before locking up the narrow nook that has housed Rockit Scientist Records since 2003, he said he had closed in part because of squabbles with one of his landlords.

Mr. Kioussis let forth a litany of complaints about Amnon Kehati, a co-owner of the building (which is for sale) and of Mark Burger next-door: he had set up tables in front of his store without asking, made unreasonable complaints about garbage bags being left out, and accused the record store of attracting rats.

“The reason we have rats in the building, according to the landlord, is because I have records downstairs and rats are attracted to records,” Mr. Kioussis said as he cleared out his shop. “I wonder what scientist would tell you that Bob Dylan and Sex Pistols records attract rats as opposed to bags of tomatoes and onions all over the floor.” Read more…

St. Marks Place, Circa 1944

UntitledStephen Rex Brown Extras on the set of “Kill Your Darlings”

Anarchists to Meet at Sixth Street Community Center Again

openforumJared Malsin

Local anarchists are planning to hold an “Open Forum” at the Sixth Street Community Center Tuesday night, just days after alleged anarchist demonstrators broke a window at a 7-Eleven on St. Marks Place.

According to a flyer spotted by The Local on Avenue A last week, the New York Anarchist Forum is “a gathering where we meet other anarchists and discuss anarchist ideas, events projects and whatever else comes up.” Past notices for the forum indicate the meeting is a monthly event.

Police arrested three people after Saturday night’s violence, in which demonstrators also attempted to break windows at the Astor Place Starbucks using metal pipes. At least one of those arrests took place outside the Sixth Street Community Center, where an after party for the NYC Anarchist Book Fair was taking place. Two police officers suffered minor injuries while scuffling with protesters.

Yesterday, the owner of the 7-Eleven that’s due to open on St. Marks Place tomorrow jokingly offered Saturday’s vandals a “peace treaty Slurpee.”

Morning Fire on St. Marks Place

stmarksfireDaniel Maurer

A fire broke out this morning on the first floor of a building at 17 St. Marks Place, between Second and Third Avenues. A Fire Department spokesman said the blaze – which was not thought to be major – was reported at 6:45 a.m. and was under control by 7:11 a.m.; one person was taken to New York Hospital with a minor hand injury. The cause of the incident is still under investigation.

Two months ago, a mattress fire broke out in a building across the street, at 26 St. Marks Place.

Abigail Mott Doles Out Poetry on St. Marks Place

Stephen Rex Brown The poet at work.

A 20-year-old itinerant poet was offering up stanzas on the cheap today, and she even penned an ode to St. Marks for The Local.

Abigail Mott had set up at St. Marks Place and Third Avenue with a typewriter and a sign saying, “Name a price, pick a subject, get a poem.” A four-person film crew shot her every move. Read more…

Under St. Marks Given New Life

The entrance to Under St. MarksIan Duncan The entrance to the theater at 94 St. Marks Place.

One of the neighborhood’s bastions of avant garde theater has been pulled back from the brink and will remain open for at least the next seven years.

Under St. Marks, the basement theater that hosts offbeat productions like “Naked Girls Reading,” “Basterdpiece Theatre,” “God Tastes Like Chicken” and “Thank You Robot,” has signed a new lease — allaying fears that the venue would be given the boot after its landlord put the five-story building on the market for $5.75 million.

“We are so happy and relieved to have come to this agreement,” said Heidi Grumelot, the artistic director for Horse Trade Theater Group, which operates the theater. “We doubt that any other basement in this city enjoys as much continual creative activity as Under St. Marks.”
Read more…

On St. Marks, NY Tofu House Will (Literally) Show You How Tofu is Done

Steve Kim at his Tofu HouseJamie Larson Mr. Kim outside of NY Tofu House.

The East Village isn’t exactly starved for Asian food, but that’s not stopping Steve Kim from opening NY Tofu House. Having just received a new awning, it’s set to open later this month at 6 St. Marks Place, the building that once housed Mondo Kim’s and, less memorably, Cafe Hanover. (Mr. Kim owns the building with his brother Tan and other investors.)

“Around this area we have a lot of junk food,” said Mr. Kim. “We’re trying to get healthier food to the younger generation.” That means tofu dishes, but also Korean-style dumplings and barbecue short ribs. Read more…

Oven Briefly Aflame On St. Marks

IMG_3696Lauren Carol Smith

A fire broke out in a stove at 107 St. Marks Place at around 6:25 p.m. today, and was under control within 20 minutes. According to a fire department spokesman, 60 firefighters responded to the fire in an apartment on the first floor of the six-story building between First Avenue and Avenue A. Only one fire hose was needed to extinguish the blaze and there were no injuries.

Traces of De La Vega

DLV - China Star_3Kevin McLaughlin
DLV - Stromboli_2Kevin McLaughlin Pieces by James De La Vega.

The thick white chalk etched on an East Village sidewalk read:


East Village artist James De La Vega once brought this existential aesthetic — and his occasionally controversial thoughts — to the streets of the East Village and then for five years to his “Museum” on St. Marks Place, which closed last year citing rent increases.

A self-described “pessimistic optimist,” his presence in clever quotes and imagery remain part of the neighborhood’s urban adornments; goldfish holding umbrellas underwater and his signature “Realiza Tu Sueño” (“Become Your Dream”) are still found throughout the area. Places including the facade of The China Star restaurant on First Avenue, the garbage cans outside Stromboli pizza shop and Porto Rico on St. Marks Place all bear the traces of his noticeable absence.

Mr. De La Vega has since moved on to new projects and has bittersweet feelings about the area: “The East Village is a powerful neighborhood,” he told us. “The locals were my favorite but I don’t miss the neighborhood.”

Mr. De La Vega’s work resonates with simple, but profound, images and rhetoric, yet he also addresses various socio-political controversies, often through illustrations and commentary on behalf of his Latino heritage. He once addressed the gentrification of East Harlem through a painted a mural stating: “Don’t think for a minute that we haven’t noticed the 96th Street boundary moving further north.”
Read more…

The Day | Tags

Number 9Scott Lynch

Good morning, East Village.

Hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July celebration last night.

The folks over at EV Grieve have two sets of vandalism photos this morning; in one series, someone has spray painted cars parked along East First Street. In the second photo, someone has spray painted the Subway restaurant that will be opening soon on Avenue B.

Grieve also reports that there will soon be a new bakery on St. Marks Place. The new bakery, which an on-site worker said will open in two weeks, will be located at a spot that previously held thrift store-boutique Junk. Junk closed in early March.

St. Marks Place in 20 Years of Photos

Jesper Haynes 2Stephen Rex Brown A new gallery exhibit by Jesper Haynes chronicles 20 years of living in the East Village.

Plenty of longtime locals love talking about the good old days in the East Village, but Jesper Haynes can point to his photography as proof of what a great time he had in the neighborhood.

“St. Marks: 1986-2006” is an exhibition of Mr. Haynes’ photographs taken inside his two-and-a-half bedroom apartment at the corner of First Avenue and St. Marks Place that is opening this evening at Gallery Onetwentyeight on the Lower East Side. A diverse group of close friends, pretty girls and kooky characters are shot in various states of undress, intoxication, and exuberance.
Read more…

… And the Yippies on St. Marks

P5300082Jesse FishThe Yippie movement started in the basement of this building at 30 St. Marks Place.

“New York is naturally fantastic — especially where I live — just one gigantic happening,” wrote the young 1960’s political activist, Abbie Hoffman, while living on Avenue C and 11th Street. Hoffman, the counterculture, anti-war advocate had recently arrived in the city divorced, jobless and estranged from his family in Worcester, Mass. Feeling free and ambitious, Hoffman promptly set out to organize political and spiritual movements which he believed would change the warring Western world.

Hoffman, along with Jerry Rubin, went on to establish the Yippie — short for Youth International Party — political group while residing in a basement apartment at 30 St. Marks Place, until recently home to the Japanese restaurant Go. In Hoffman’s mind, the Yippies would be an answer to the hippie movement, which he believed was aimless and too drug-centered to accomplish any real change in United States policy.

Hoffman once affirmed that a “Yippie is a hippie who’s been beaten up by the cops,” and thought that the neighborhood was the perfect launching pad for his alternative faction. Abbie spoke of the East Village as “the real hip underground, the successor to Greenwich Village as the heartland of bohemianism.”
Read more…

Luca Bar Closed For Back Taxes

Screen shot 2011-06-03 at 3.06.07 PMStephen Rex Brown Luca Bar, 119 St. Marks Place.

State officials have seized Luca Bar, the upscale bar and restaurant at 119 St. Marks Place, for non-payment of taxes. The bar, known for its European flavor, was seized last night, according to those who work on the block; a bright orange sign announcing the seizure had been taped to the bar’s front window. The Local has reporters working on the story and we will provide more information as it becomes available.

Fire at St. Mark’s Comics

St Mark's Comics FireIan Duncan Owner Mitch Cutler, right, surveyed the damage caused by a fire at St. Mark’s Comics.
Fire ext 1

Fire officials are investigating the cause of a blaze on St. Marks Place Thursday afternoon. The fire, at St. Mark’s Comics at 11 St. Marks Place, began shortly after 1:30 and it was declared under control about a half hour later. Officials said that one person sustained minor injuries in the fire but refused medical treatment.

Witnesses at the scene said the fire started in the building’s basement. After the blaze, the basement was dark, damp and smelled strongly of smoke but the only visible damage was a few wooden beams that had been knocked down. Most of the damage was caused to St. Mark’s Comics, a store on the building’s first floor.

James Kwiecinski, the building manager, said a man he described as a “caretaker” uses part of the basement as an art studio. Numerous landscape paintings hung on the basement’s wall.

Partially damaged comics and a wrapped Superman t-shirt littered the entrance to St. Mark’s Comics. Mitch Cutler, the owner, said he stocks potentially valuable vintage comics but he added it was “too soon to tell” the extent of the damage.

Yoshi Onoyuri, a chef and manager at Udon West, also on the building’s first floor, said fire fighters had knocked through the wall between his restaurant and the comic store.

Mr. Cutler, who has owned St. Mark’s Comics for 27 years, said water, smoke and sawdust could all damage comics. “Firemen were here with lots of water,” he said, adding that he planned to reopen the store later today.

Mr. Onoyuri said his electricity and gas were still working. “We’re waiting for the insurance company so we can reopen,” he said.

Mr. Kwiecincski said he was fully insured but could not estimate the cost of the damage.

Fire on St. Marks Place

Fire officials are investigating the cause of a blaze on St. Marks Place this afternoon. The fire, at St. Mark’s Comics at 11 St. Marks Place, began shortly after 1:30 and was declared under control about a half hour later. Officials said that one person sustained minor injuries in the fire but refused medical treatment. —Ian Duncan