Björn and CJ Holm in front of Fat Cat Kitchen (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Officially opened in May by married chefs CJ and Björn Holm in a space formerly occupied by a palm reader, new café Fat Cat Kitchen on East 14th Street is looking to become a neighborhood mainstay.
“Even after being open for only a month, we already got a lot of repeat customers,” CJ said of the recent opening. “People who are trying our food are coming back.”
CJ said that she and her husband, who previously ran a catering company together, were actively looking for a space to open their restaurant.
“It’s a lot of work in the food industry, working so hard for someone else,” she said. “When you’re working that hard, you want to work for yourself.”
The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, who’ll be holding a meet-and-greet with candidates from the City Council District 4 race on September 9, have also quizzed the aforementioned candidates on a number of locally important issues.
Reaching out via a questionnaire, candidates were asked their thoughts on the needs of students amidst a current baby boom, the planned sanitation garage near Waterside and concerns specific to Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village as well as other issues.
The Tenants Association has published the results of their questionnaire online. Some of the candidates’ comments are below.
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
East Village resident and City Council candidate Erin Hussein ended her campaign to replace Councilmember Rosie Mendez in District 2 on Thursday. Hussein announced that she would be supporting Lower East Side resident Jorge Vasquez in the election.
She said that one of her primary reasons for withdrawing from the race and putting her support behind Vasquez is his background.
“I’ve lived here for a long time and got to know it even better during my campaign, but at the end of the day it makes the most sense to have the district represented by someone who is Latino, because he can speak to the unique issues from that part of the district,” she said. “The demographics are changing but that’s still true for the most part.”
Hussein added that she also felt Vasquez would fight for the issues important to the district, such as pushing for a public hearing on the Small Business Jobs Survival Act and advocating for rezoning around the proposed tech hub on East 14th Street to prevent out-of-context high-rises from popping up in the neighborhood, and was encouraged that Vasquez has not received donations from real estate developers.
“He gave me his word of honor that he would fight for a full hearing for the SBJSA and wasn’t going to vote in favor of the tech hub unless contextual rezoning was part of that, and his fundraising record doesn’t give me any reason not to believe him,” she said. “That made me feel very comfortable that I could take myself out of the equation and still win, in a way.”
Vasquez said that he was happy to receive Hussein’s endorsement.
“She has run a positive campaign about important issues in our neighborhoods, and I look forward to working with her moving forward,” Vasquez said. “I’ve been passionate about our community for my entire life, and I will use my energy, commitment, and experience to bring about real change.”