BY CAROLINE BENVENISTE | This month was a bit quieter than the last few, and there were few discernible themes. We have noticed, though, that Asian spots and sweets continue to flock to the Village.
Andie’s Eats – 185 Bleecker St., near MacDougal Street
This cake jar bakery has opened where Brooklyn Kolache used to be. The owner, Andie Regan, started her business as a college student at Tulane. Her colorful cake jars are filled with layers of cake scraps, fillings, frosting and toppings. Customers have the option of building their own or choosing from a selection of premade ones. The funfetti, which I tried, was delicious and fun to eat. There are also a few gluten-free options. This is the shop’s fourth location on the East Coast.
Honey Bunny – Market 57, 25 11th Ave., at 15th Street, in Hudson River Park
Honey Bunny is the first residency at Good To Go, a kiosk in Market 57 which is an incubator for new fast-casual concepts managed by the James Beard Foundation. The chef behind Honey Bunny is the affable Jared Howard, and the menu revolves around his Maryland fried chicken. The chicken sandwich packs chicken tenders between two homemade biscuit halves and comes with Old Bay chips. The result is outstanding! Each chef chosen for Good To Go will spend six months in the program, and during that time will receive help from the James Beard Foundation on how to optimize his or her concept to allow them to continue to develop it after the residency. Honey Bunny opened in September and will be operating until the end of February.
Finally, after a long wait, Plantshed has opened at 46 Eighth Ave. (at Jane Street). You’ll find a cafe, plants and home goods (many of them plant-related) featured at this pretty and airy shop. This is the fourth location in New York. The Huntress is an unusual store that has opened at 632 Hudson St. (between Jane and Horatio Streets). The space is lovely and quirky, with home goods, vintage finds and a selection of items to cleanse your home, such as a sage smudge kit. Dandelion Chocolate sells two-ingredient, single-origin dark chocolate (most 70 percent cocoa) made from cocoa beans and sugar. This San Francisco brand has opened a store at 395 Bleecker St. (between Perry and West 11th Streets) that is slated to remain open until March 2024, but may stay longer depending on how popular it is. Samples of the different chocolates are available to taste at the store. Other products, such as various truffles (including chocolate-dipped figs) and hazelnut chocolate spread, are also for sale. A Sustainable Village Zero Waste Shop and Refillery (50 University Place between E. Ninth and E. 10th Streets) helps Village denizens reduce plastic waste. Products like hand soap, dish soap, detergent, shampoo and more are sold in bulk. You can bring your own containers, use upcycled ones for free or purchase some to reuse. There are also composting supplies available. In addition to this location, there is one at 318 E. Ninth St. KazuNori, the handroll chainlet from Sugarfish, has opened its fourth location at 205 Bleecker St. (east of Sixth Avenue). This long-empty space housed a branch of Ikinari Steak, a Japanese fast-casual steak concept. Recently another KazuNori opened at 125 University Place in the Union Square area. Mēdüzā Mediterrania, at 657 Hudson St., is a large, new restaurant in the Gansevoort Hotel. There are 245 seats in three dining rooms, including a glass-enclosed atrium. The menu is inspired by Mediterranean cuisine but has some Asian influences, as well. Grove Street Social (61 Grove St., west of Seventh Ave. South) is a new bar that serves cocktails and small plates to accompany the drinks. The space was previously the short-lived Korean drinking spot Bar Ninano. Local Hoops “is focused on building a global community around the game of basketball.” Their store at 85 Christopher St. (west of Bleecker Street) sells basketballs and branded clothing, such as sweats, T-shirts, hats and sneakers.
Scotch and Soda — 317 Bleecker St., at Grove Street, has shuttered. The Dutch chain sold men’s and women’s apparel. For a while, Blank Street Coffee opened location after location in the Village, but finally, one has closed: The branch at Seventh Avenue near 13th Street disappeared at the end of October.
A Chinese hot pot restaurant Shoo Loong Kan (22 E. 13th St., between Fifth Avenue and University Place) will open in the old home of Babu Ji. That once well-regarded Indian restaurant originally opened in the East Village but then shuttered in 2016 after accusations by its employees of wage theft. Babu Ji reopened on E. 13th Street in the old All’onda space in 2017 but closed again a few years later and the space has languished ever since. Shoo Loong Kan promises “an authentic Sichuan-style hotpot experience,” and has a positively reviewed location in Flushing, Queens, as well as a few in Texas and on the West Coast. The large, linear space at 208 W. 14th St. (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues) will soon house branches of MomenTea Kitchen and Sushi Makoto. Silver Spoon Cafe opened there in January 2022, serving what one reviewer called “Comfort Cuisine for Foodies.” Unfortunately, that iteration of the space unexpectedly closed a few months later. Chez Stanley, “a casual restaurant inspired by the neighborhood bistros of Paris,” will be opening at 93 Greenwich Ave., between W. 12th and Bank Streets. Recently, this operator decided to annex the next-door space at 95 Greenwich Ave., former home of the now greatly missed El Condor. According to their updated liquor license application, the larger Chez Stanley will offer “a tightly curated seasonal menu of fresh salads, cured meats, cheese, warm bread and slow-cooked main courses. Complementing the food is a drink menu of small production wines, classic cocktails and aperitifs, as well as press pot coffee, espresso and loose-leaf tea.” Hirado, an omakase restaurant, will open at 357 Bleecker St. (between Charles and W. 10th Streets). Paul Smith had a store at the location for years. The owner of Hirado has other Japanese restaurants around the city and in Canada, including Pâtisserie Fouet, a Japanese-inspired French bakery at 15 E. 13th St. (between Fifth Avenue and University Place).
Shmoné, Israeli chef Ayal Shani’s lively restaurant at 61 W. Eighth St. (between Sixth Avenue and MacDougal Street) earned a Michelin star in the guide’s latest edition. According to news outlet ISRAEL21c, Shani “skipped a special ceremony in New York, awarding him his first-ever Michelin star, to cook for IDF soldiers stationed along the border with the Gaza Strip.”
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