Eat & Drink

Rapid Change for Franklin Street Businesses

Manhattan Avenue isn’t the only Greenpoint shopping corridor experiencing a rapid change in its businesses. The stretch of Franklin Street from N. 15 Street to Commercial Street has seen a shakeup in the past year with the closings and openings of longtime and new businesses. Here’s the latest:

Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. (7 N. 15th St.) and Northern Territory (12 Franklin St.) share the same block that is soon-to-be-razed to make way for a new office building. Northern Territory is closed for the winter and will reopen for the final year at its current location this spring. Meanwhile, Greenpoint Beer celebrated its final night on New Year’s Eve at its current location and the owners are busy preparing their new 1150 Manhattan Ave. location for a tentative spring opening.

Just across the street from Northern Territory, the House of Vans (25 Franklin St.) concert venue and skate park opened in 2010 and closed last August with a goodbye set from NYC legends Interpol. The space is now on the market for $77,000 per month.

(Courtesy of House of Vans)
Shayz Lounge

Shayz Lounge (130 Franklin St.) announced on Thursday that January 20th will be the neighborhood bar’s final night of operation after spending a decade in Greenpoint on Franklin Street. Continue reading

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VENDOR CALL!! Greenpointers Vintage Rose Valentine’s Market (February 10th)

Poster designed by Open Sea

Calling all creative crafters, makers of food, art, crafts, jewelry, pottery, etc!! Get nostalgic with us at our vintage rose themed Valentine’s Market inside the historic Greenpoint Loft on Sunday, February 10, 2018 (1-7PM)!

Fill out this form to apply!

We will be kicking off our first market of the year with a full day of free fun activities, live music, and rosewater cocktails.

NOTE: Vendor spaces are reserved for local independent makers and small businesses. If you don’t meet this criteria, email [email protected] to learn about sponsorship opportunities and help support local!

Questions? Email Yuka at [email protected] or Jenna at [email protected]

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Greenpoint Restaurants Rack Up End of Year Accolades

Greenpoint newcomer Di An Di’s menu options

The end of year lists and awards for new Greenpoint restaurants keep piling up. While Greenpoint has plenty of under the radar affordable eats, some higher end establishments like Oxomoco (128 Greenpoint Ave.), which currently holds the neighborhoods’ only Michelin star, continue to win praise.

French-Canadian restaurant Chez Ma Tante (90 Calyer St.) was awarded “neighborhood restaurant of the year” by Eater NY, as voted by their readers for “serving clean, flavorful fare with just enough edge to keep things interesting. That means dishes like a pig’s head terrine next to a particularly stunning Caesar salad, or a pate as an appetizer before a standout chicken confit.”

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Thanks @eater_ny for awarding us best neighbor hood restaurant! But also thanks to all our neighbours!

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The modern Vietnamese restaurant Di An Di (68 Greenpoint Ave) was voted in the same reader’s poll as having “best design of the year,” for its “neutral palettes, neon signs, rounded corners, copper-colored accents, and lots and lots of well-placed plants.” The pho is great too.

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Pre-service 📸 by @missamychan ❤

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The”top NYC restaurant newcomers of 2018” list as identified by editors in a separate Eater NY post shouts out Di an Di and Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop (110 Franklin St.) for their quality food. Hint: you should really try Paulie Gee’s Freddy Prince slice that includes a hidden bottom crust of full of sesame seeds.

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Vegan Bakery Opens Saturday (12/22) on Nassau Avenue

Happy Zoe Vegan Bakery (102 B Nassau Ave.)

Happy Zoe Vegan Bakery will have a grand opening on Saturday, Dec. 22, at their new location at 102 B Nassau Ave. from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The bakery previously operated at 28 Herbert St. for one year on the other side of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and received positive feedback, but when the L train shutdown was announced, owners and sisters Agata and Paulina began seeking a new location. “We’ve been hearing all of the stories about the subway and it shutting down next year,” Agata said.

“We grew up strictly vegetarian in Warsaw, Poland. Our parents are very, very compassionate about animals, so we grew up loving animals and that’s how it started in our home,” she said.

Agata and Paulina’s mother and Agata’s 12-years-old daughter also help out with baking, “It’s a three and a half women operation…all of us are vegan, for the past 15 to 20 years,” Agata said.

Greenpoint has a long Polish history and many Polish-owned businesses have closed in the area recently, but the local community wasn’t the deciding factor on their new location as much as a fair rental price. “Growing up our parents were in the states, and when we moved here, they moved back,” Agata said.

Vegan chocolate cake from Happy Zoe Vegan Bakery

Birthday cakes, cheesecakes, cannolis and crepes are the bakery’s best sellers, but are not the types of food that come to mind when omnivores think of veganism, leaving some customers skeptical at first. “People always ask if the food is really 100 percent vegan,” Agata said. Continue reading

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Fish Fridays at Acme Fish

Acme smoked fish warehouse in Greenpoint at 30 Gem St.

On Friday mornings, especially during the holiday season, a long line of people magically appears Friday mornings at 30 Gem St, a typical industrial street of non-descript warehouses. You can observe a large diversity of people in the line and it is clear that many of the people in line are not locals. They wait stoically, even in the coldest weather, in lines that sometimes can include 50 or more customers.

There was something definitely fishy about the odor of smoked fish (pun intended) and this mysterious line of people so I had to check it out. What I learned is that the diverse group of people standing in the freezing weather had discovered the amazing open secret that is Acme Fish.

The rest of the week the Acme building functions as a long-established wholesale outlet selling smoked huge quantities of fish to some of New York’s finest shops, like Zebras and Barney Greengrass and to upscale restaurants. The legendary smokehouse at 30 Gem Street has been around for four generations; if Acme opened today the smokehouse would probably face huge licensing hurdles, but thankfully Acme predates smokehouse permits.

Although the business dates from 1954, about 25 years ago, Acme began opening its doors on Fridays to serve the general public at steeply discounted prices that range from 20 to 50 percent off the price of their products in retail stores. Acme does not advertise its Fish Fridays that run 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., but then again the business does not need to, as the line of customers outside the warehouse proves.

You wait in the nippy cold air impatiently, but finally, you reach the doors and enter. When you get inside the warehouse, you are aware that the temperature is still a brisk 45 degrees or so. The chilly temperatures are ideal for preserving the fish that you still cannot see. Then, at last, you pass through a plastic screen and finally spread out before you on wooden tables is a wondrous assortment of different kinds of fish, some pre-packaged, some fish in bottles and some smoked fish being sliced right in front of you. There is also an array of different kinds of fish: Salmon, white fish, herring and whiting, amongst others.

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24-Hour Cafe Bagelogy Opening Early 2019 on Manhattan Avenue

A 24-hour cafe featuring hand-rolled bagels and a full-scale juice bar named Bagelogy is scheduled to open early next year at 699 Manhattan Ave.

The new cafe will be housed in three former commercial stores, including the former Greenpoint Finest Deli in the front, and will be outfitted with porcelain tiles, custom-designed tables, and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Bagelogy’s side entrance on Norman Avenue

Owner Sam Kaplan, who was born and raised on Norman Avenue, is in the process of adding bathrooms and seating capacity for 30 customers in the space with the help of an architectural team.

Kaplan emphasizes fresh ingredients when describing the future menu options. “We are gonna go above Boar’s Head, we’re not doing processed meats,” he said. Customers can expect hand-carved roast beef, hand-sliced lox and eight to 10 choices of tofu cream cheese along with traditional cream cheese options made in-house. Continue reading

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Anella’s Triumphant Reopening Was a Communal Effort

Anella’s new interior

After Anella (222 Franklin St.) closed following a fire last summer, owner Blair Papagni made sure that her staff would land new jobs while the chaos of the situation settled.”The fire happened on a Saturday, the day after the fire, me, my two managers and my chef, we all went out to brunch, and we first and foremost made a list of every person that worked for us and where we thought we could employ them,” Papgani said. “And then we had a staff meeting a few days later and it was sorta like a job fair.” Anella reopened with much of its original staff in November following months of rebuilding.

Anella, after the fire. Photo: Megan Penmann
Anella, after the fire. Photo: Megan Penmann

Papagni signed a lease for Anella in December 2008, and attributes the restaurants’ staying power in part to her landlord. “I think that the experience of a lot of people, unfortunately, is that they have terrible landlords, and I actually have a really good relationship with my landlord and he’s made it possible that Anella will be able to be there for a really long time,” she said.

When it came to redesigning the fire-damaged restaurant, Papagni found a rare opportunity to reflect on what Anella’s strong points were. “I think that our mantra with reopening was to use the fire as an opportunity to fix things that maybe weren’t working so well for us and embrace the things that were,” she said.

Anella’s new interior

In a city where the restaurant industry is especially competitive, many dining establishments operate as turnover machines while treating their employees as disposable. Papagni takes great pride in the fact that Anella employees tend to stick with the business on a more longterm basis: “Our two managers that are on right now have been with me for seven years. My Chef, Mayo is his name, he started at Anella as the dishwasher when we opened in 2009, and he’s worked every position in the kitchen, and he worked his way up to chef,” she said Continue reading

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Pierogi Roundup: A Guide to Greenpoint’s Best Polish Dumplings

While Greenpoint is still a bastion of Polish food, community, and culture, there was a time when pierogi purveyors were more ubiquitous than banks and drug stores, longtime neighborhood resident Richard Humann recalls. In the 1980s, the large population of single Polish men working for the American dollar made for a pierogi paradise, with bare-bones cafeterias selling the dumplings for cents at seemingly every street corner. The combination of gentrification and more opportunities to make money following the fall of communism led to the departure of many of the Polish men and the resultant closure of many pierogi vendors.

In 2018, there’s still cause for indecision when picking a pierogi spot in Greenpoint, even if the dumplings today are a bit pricier and a bit more infrequent. Below, a guide to the best local pierogis.

Christina’s (853 Manhattan Ave.)

Christina’s pierogis with mushroom gravy

Opened by Krakow native and restaurant namesake Krystyna Dura in 1993, Christina’s is known for its no-frills food in a charming, but tacky diner-like space. The table service is speedy and the plates will reliably fill you up faster than you think. Sour cream will cost you 50 cents extra.

Karczma(136 Greenpoint Ave.)

 

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Pierogi! #karczmapolishrestaurant

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While the pierogi options at Karczma are limited, what they do have delivers. The waitresses are all dressed in traditional outfits or school uniforms and the restaurant itself feels from another era. The borscht bread bowl isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s worth a second trip back to experience it.

Krajan Polskie Deli (160 Nassau Ave.)

The pierogi here qualify more for their price and location than quality, although they’re certainly tasty too. In the back of Krajan, a Polish bodega of sorts, fridges sit full of soup, milk, meat and boxes of pierogi, $8.99 for 12, meat or cheese. Nab some cow caramels on your way out: a medium-sized bag filled with them will run you just $2.99.

Krolewskie Jadlo(694 Manhattan Ave.)

 

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Holy pierogi! Our Chef’s Pierogi are stuffed with goat cheese, spinach and topped with chanterelle mushroom sauce.

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Commonly known as some variation of “The Knights” due to the armored figures guarding its entrance and the hard to pronounce name, Krolewskie Jadlo is a neighborhood landmark. It earned this status not only through its memorable front but also its authentic atmosphere, hearty food, and warm environment.

Polka Dot(726 Manhattan Ave.)

 

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Pierogi (Polish dumplings) at my favorite @polkadotgreenpoint – Roch, Greenpoint NYC

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The name and homey but chic decor make Polka Dot seem a bit out of place with the neighborhood’s food scene at first glance. A look at the prices and offerings will show you otherwise. If you’ve got room post pierogi, try the zucchini pancakes – like a lighter latka.

Pyza(118 Nassau Ave.)


This cafeteria-style eatery hasn’t been updated in decades, prices included. The atmosphere alone is worth a visit. Don’t get too comfortable while you wait for your order – it’ll be called out in Polish when its ready for pickup at the counter.

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This Weekend’s To-Do List: Greenpointers Market, Oddities Flea, Wellness Fair + Smorgasburg Night Market! (11/30-12/2)

Greenpointers Samhain Fall Market

This weekend Greenpoint has a plethora of local popup shopping destinations to pickup a gift for that special someone for the holiday season. Whether you’re looking for the perfect hand-spun gift, organic cotton children’s clothes, obscure home decor, rare teas, or group acupuncture you’re in luck!

Greenpointers Polar Vortex Holiday Market
Sunday, Dec. 2 | 1-7 p.m.
67 West Street, 5th Floor
FREE, dog-friendly, More info

Enter our immersive winterscape inside the cozy Greenpoint Loft (67 West St) that will be donned with an ice castle, snow, snowmen and polar bears, thanks to designs by scenic artist extraordinaire Art of Mano. 60+ talented makers & crafters will have beautiful creations ready for sale and there will be no shortage of FREE things to do throughout the day! RSVP on Facebook and stay updated!

While live music is performed by local bands Pink Slater and Love Always, enjoy festive cocktails and mocktails at our bar stocked with Mulled Wine made with BABE “Winter is the Worst” red wine and Woodward Extract’s Spices and refreshing locally Crafted Beer by Greenpoint Beer & Ale.

Holiday Oddities Flea Market

Oddities Flea Market
Saturday, Dec. 1 – Sunday, Dec 2 | 12 p.m.-6 p.m. (10 a.m. entry for VIP ticket holders)
150 Greenpoint Ave. (Brooklyn Bazaar)
$10 entry at the door and tickets for Saturday and Sunday, Children under 10 are free, More info

Feast your eyes on medical history ephemera, anatomical curiosities, natural history items, osteological specimens, taxidermy, obscure home decor, jewelry, one of a kind dark art, and more. Inside, you will find three floors of unusual vendors from across the country, hand-picked by curator Ryan Matthew Cohn.

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The Greenpoint Palaces’ Rebirth and Revitalization

The bar at Greenpoint Palace (206 Nassau Ave)

When Greenpointers hear the word ‘change’ lately, they shudder. Many of the recent changes affecting local institutions have not been positive. Beloved stores have closed, landmarks have been demolished and gentrification has bred a slew of unwelcomed transitions. Did I even mention Amazon?

Right in time for the holiday season we have some good news: The Palace (206 Nassau Ave), formerly Goodmans, the iconic Greenpoint bar on the corner of Nassau Avenue and Russel Street, just opposite McGolrick Park, is not only going to re-open on Nov. 30, but it’s going to feature a number of improvements.

At the end of the summer of 2016, I filed a story for Greenpointers entitled “The Sad End of The Palace Café” and I was also present for the final session on September 3rd of that year. Continue reading

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