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Comings & Goings: Burgerhead, Slutty Vegan, Claude82, Poets Travelers & Friends

BY CAROLINE BENVENISTE | We were excited by two reopenings. One fish restaurant closed and another opened. Same with cafes. One plant-based spot opened and another is coming, and a couple of bars and wine bars are on the horizon. As soon as the weather warmed up, people thronged to the outdoor seating, giving the Village a more festive atmosphere.

Top Openings:

Burgerhead — 353 Sixth Ave., between W. Fourth Street and Washington Place

William Djuric closed Balkan StrEAT in October, but promised he’d be back with a new concept. That concept is burgers, and Burgerhead’s small but delicious menu features a regular charburger, a double charburger and an Impossible Burger. The burgers come with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, pickles and something that approximates McDonald’s special sauce (in a good way), all on a griddled bun. There are also hot dogs and fries (thin and cooked in beef fat). Everything is available with chili on top, and you can also get just the chili. I am looking forward to trying the beer-battered onion rings the next time I go. The decor has not changed much other than the addition of large burger murals, and mustard and ketchup squeeze bottles on the tables.

Claude82 – 187 W. Fourth Street, between Barrow and Jones Streets

Pablo Valdez, who had taken over from Claude, decided that he no longer wanted wake up in the middle of the night to bake pastries, and so turned over the store to Gordon Fairclough, a reporter at The Wall Street Journal based in London. The store was closed briefly for renovations. Now that it has reopened with a slightly new name, the large display cases in the front are gone and the pastries are arrayed in a more scattered and artistic fashion. While not everything from the old Claude is there, many things are, and they are still delicious. Ace, the manager, is extremely friendly, and has been keeping a list of requests from customers. His sister, Paris, is the pastry chef. And, for the time being, Pablo still comes in for a few hours a day to help with a smooth transition. Pablo’s assistant, Adriano, will be staying on.

Slutty Vegan is an upbeat place for vegan burgers. (Photo by Caroline Benveniste)

Also Open:

Poets Travelers & Friends (457 Sixth Ave., between 10th and 11th Streets) opened in the old Sammy’s Noodle Shop space, starting with a gelato shop, and then adding a cafe, market and wine bar. The last section, a pescatarian restaurant called Alaluna, now occupies the southernmost section. It is accessed through a door in the wine bar area, and the menu features seafood in unusual places, such as seacuterie (the fish equivalent of charcuterie), in pizzas, lasagna and other pasta. There seems to be no end to the hand-roll craze, and Sushiro the handrolls bar (168 Seventh Ave. South, between Charles and Perry Streets) is the latest Village addition. Recently a rumor started that the Trader Joe’s Wine Shop, which had closed abruptly in August 2022, might reopen. Instead, Trader Joe’s Pronto (138 E. 14th St., between Third Avenue and Irving Place) has taken over the space. It features a subset of Trader Joe’s products, mostly things that are ready to eat. Slutty Vegan, a vegan hamburger chain that started in Atlanta, Georgia, has just opened at 280 Bleecker St. (just east of Seventh Avenue South). The vibe is loud, with brightly colored walls, lots of writing, and a crew that shouts loudly when anyone enters. AIR MAIL, a digital weekly started by Graydon Carter, the former editor of Vanity Fair, has opened a physical store at 546 Hudson St. (between Charles and Perry Streets). On their Instagram they describe themselves as follows: “Consider this your new neighborhood coffee shop, magazine store and haven for discerning shoppers.” There is a selection of attractive home goods, books and an espresso bar but less seating than you might imagine. ⁠

Graydon Carter has opened a brick-and-mortar store for his AIR MAIL digital publication. (Photo by Caroline Benveniste)


Mary’s Fish Camp, the seafood restaurant that was at 64 Charles St. (at W. Fourth Street) for more than 20 years, closed at the end of April. They announced the closure on their Instagram page but held out hope they might return: “Hey, this ship is sailing. Mary’s Fish Camp will be closing at the end of April! This will not be the end, we are hoping for fair winds on our next fishy endeavor. Anchors aweigh!” Many regulars flooded the comments to express their sadness at the news. Ad Hoc Collective Cafe, the cozy subterranean space at 13 Christopher St. (between Waverly Place and Greenwich Avenue) closed for renovations at the end of 2023 but has not reopened yet. A sign on the gate urges people to visit the sister businesses Rosecrans, Paquita and West10West. Villanelle (15 E. 12th Street, between Fifth Avenue and University Place) is no longer in business. A sign on the door thanks patrons for “7 great years!” Last year it seemed that mocktails were gaining in popularity as many became sober curious and, as a result, nonalcoholic mixers, often quite expensive, were increasingly available. Boisson carried many different brands of these products; but now it has closed all its stores, including the one at 330 Bleecker St. (at Christopher Street). Medrite, the urgent-care center at 405 Sixth Ave. (at Greenwich Avenue) is closed and a marshal’s legal-possession notice has been taped to the door. This follows the closing of a different urgent-care center on 13th Street east of Sixth Avenue. Maybe the neighborhood is now saturated. The fun and tasty taqueria Taco Village (106 MacDougal St., between Bleecker Street and Minetta Lane) has suddenly packed it in. It was impossible to miss with its larger-than-life Day of the Dead figure outside.

Coming Soon:

Salt & Straw, a Portland-based ice cream shop, is opening this summer at 540 Hudson St. (at Charles Street). I have tried their ice cream in Miami and am very excited for their arrival in the Village. Ras Plant Based will open at 170 Bleecker St. (at Sullivan Street), where Nat’s on Bleecker and before that Junzi Kitchen (which then morphed into Good Day Chinese Takeout) used to be. They will serve Ethiopian vegetarian/vegan food. The original is in Crown Heights. A new wine bar called Parcelle Greenwich Village will be opening at 72 MacDougal St. (between Bleecker and Houston Streets) where Babs used to be. Parcelle started as an online wine store in 2018, and now has a wine bar on the Lower East Side and a wine store in Midtown. The space next to Marian’s (24 Greenwich Ave., near W. 10th Street) has been undergoing renovations, and the wallpaper echoes that of Marian’s. According to the staff, the new space will be a bar affiliated with the restaurant. Pizza Funhouse has signage up at the site of the short-lived Serafina To Go (402 Sixth Ave., at W. Eighth Street). After Serafina closed, a banner went up for Farinelli Pizza, which is part of the Serafina family of restaurants — but apparently that is no longer in the cards. Signs in the window of 494 Sixth Ave. (between 12th and 13th Streets) herald the imminent arrival of Greenwich Hardware.


L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele (2 Bank St., at Greenwich Avenue) serves delicious homemade pastries and breakfast sandwiches, in addition to their pizzas in the airy cafe section in the front of the restaurant. Now they are extending the cafe service until 5 p.m., with focaccia sandwiches starting at noon. In addition, until the end of May, they are offering a free pastry with the purchase of tea or coffee from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. I was surprised to see a sign inside Elite Shoe Repair (105 W. 10th St., west of Sixth Avenue) saying: “Last Repair Services are by June 30th, 2024. Thank you for all your support during the past 28 years! I will miss you alot [sic]!” Richard, the owner, said he has to leave because of repairs going on in the building, which will take two years. He is hoping to move to another location in the neighborhood. Village Apothecary will be moving from its current location at 346 Bleecker St. a bit north and west to 407 Bleecker St. (between W. 11th and Bank Streets) in early May. They have been in the neighborhood since 1983.

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  1. Tequila Minsky Tequila Minsky May 8, 2024

    Wow, that’s quite a select!

  2. Marguerite Marguerite May 8, 2024

    Thank you Caroline. This is such valuable information.

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