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.
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 →
Manhattan Avenue retail is in the midst of a rapid transition and very soon the avenue will be completely transformed into something totally different. Although there are some stores that have been on the avenue for my entire quarter-century in Greenpoint, a new breed of business is emerging, pushing out older established businesses and giving the avenue a new feel. As we reach the end of 2018, it is good to reflect on both what has remained unchanged, what has disappeared and what new businesses have taken root on the avenue.
There are a number of businesses that have deep roots, going back generations. Although the following list is not complete, Cato’s Army and Navy (654 Manhattan Ave.), Peter Pan Donut Shop (727 Manhattan Ave.), the Associated (802 Manhattan ave.) and C Town (953 Manhattan Ave.) supermarkets, McDonalds (904 Manhattan Ave.) and the Triple Decker (695 Manhattan Ave.) come immediately to mind as established institutions. Italy Pizza (788 Manhattan Ave.) and Russ’ Pizza (745 Manhattan Ave.) also have been serving great slices in the area for decades. Kiszka Meat Market (915 Manhattan ave.), Irene’s bar (623 Manhattan Ave.) and the Cafe Riviera (830 Manhattan ave.) are other examples of hardy Polish veterans that have changed little in the past 20 years.
Then, there are those businesses that were once institutions but have vanished. I still miss Cheap Charlie’s (712 Manhattan Ave.) where you could buy just about anything. Gone are Radio Shack (760 Manhattan Ave.) and Off-Track Betting (756 Manhattan Ave.), which were once thriving businesses on the avenue. When I first walked down Manhattan Avenue Corwith Brothers, which had generations of real estate sales in Greenpoint was on the East side of the street and Trunz meat market was across the street from it. For years there was a very popular English language school, I believe called the Greenpoint English School and a popular Polish disco called Europa (now the Good Room) on the corner of Meserole. There seemed to be ubiquitous dollar stores, some of which still survive at least until the lease is up. There were actually very few chain stores and most of the businesses on the avenue were family-owned, mom and pop stores. The Joseph and Sons furniture store comes to mind as does Jam’s stationary, and the Paris Shoe Store. Continue reading →
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.
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.
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 →
Korean BBQ. Fried Chicken. Bulgogi. These are just a few of the specialties at Bulbap Grill, the new Korean fusion restaurant at 646 Manhattan Avenue. Yes, the former site of our beloved Lomzynianka.
Bulbap Grill is looking to bring traditional Korean food to Greenpointers through a simple and short menu of core specialties like BBQ, rice bowls, chicken wings and tacos. The owner’s goal is to build a recognizable brand of restaurants, synonymous with great traditional and Korean fusion foods with the Greenpoint location being the first of three opening in the tri-state area. Continue reading →
A very warm Bienvenue, to The Gentry! This absolutely adorable French-Canadian inspired restaurant by Chef Gillian Clark is now open on Manhattan Avenue and we couldn’t be more excited. From the moment I stepped in, I realized that this is a place I will frequent often. The décor is a little Louis XIV, a little Lewis Carroll, and a dash of Brooklyn. Ornate gold mirrors of various shapes and sizes adorn the walls in a style that would make Pinterest users swoon and a cabinet is lined with a collection of teacups. The wooden tables are engraved with French scroll, adding a casual touch to the otherwise Baroque atmosphere. The sign out front proclaims that this is Montreal-style cuisine, and I smile with the knowledge that they have an entire menu page devoted to poutines. Continue reading →
Walking into Cheeseboat, the new family-run Georgian restaurant at 80 Berry Street in Williamsburg, my aesthete’s heart is overjoyed. I am immediately put at ease by the soft, romantic lighting. The boldly-patterned table coverings are ornamented with tea lights that provide a lovely glow. A stunning piece of woodwork surrounds a table tucked into the wall, reminiscent of a hobbit hole and designed by the incredibly talented Charlie Baker of Baker Structures. We are warmly greeted by Shako, one of the family members who will be our server for the evening. I ordered the house red, which is a surprisingly good Malbec bursting with fruit. We start our meal with the vegetarian dip trio, which includes a smoky eggplant paste, a spinach and herb pesto, and a chargrilled onion hummus served with delicious bread. We enjoy our dips but are anxious to move onto the star of the show– the cheeseboat. Continue reading →
When 12 year neighborhood staple The Mark Bar shuttered and signs of construction began, many were sad. But really, there’s no reason to be sad. The former owners of The Mark Bar (also of The Lobster Joint), Bob Levitt and Tommy Chabrowski, are now the owners of a great new restaurant, Whiskey Burger.
Levitt and Chabowski knew they needed to give The Mark Bar an upgrade. After much thinking, they decided to pursue a 12 year dream of opening a whiskey & burger restaurant. The menu is focused on different types of burgers, fries, sides, and salads. Good whiskeys, beer, wine, and an interesting selection of cocktails are on the menu for drinks. Continue reading →
Many people have been anxiously awaiting the opening of The Naked Dog. There aren’t too many eateries on West Street, and this restaurant front has been teasing Greenpointers since the end of 2014. Many delays – permits, that sort of boring thing – prevented them from opening up until this past week. Continue reading →