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99-cent Famous Pizza
430 East 14th Street
According to a cook at the restaurant, this pizza place has been open since the beginning of 2013 and business was been picking up a bit by August, compared to when it first opened.
In addition to the 99-cent slices, they also have a deal offering two slices and a can of soda for $2.75, as well as mozzarella sticks, beef patties and buffalo wings. Additional toppings, including pepperoni, sausage, chicken, broccoli, green peppers, mushrooms and pineapple are also available for an additional 50 cents. 99-cent Famous took over the space previously used by Desi Roti, an Indian restaurant.
253 Third Avenue
This by-the-slice joint has been in business for 28 years, owned by Angela Rojas. Those who patronized it in the first six of those years however may remember it under a different name, Gianni’s, though it was still Rojas’s place.
Hungry customers here can expect lots of slices and pies with mixed toppings as well as a few standard sandwich and pasta choices. According to Rojas, the most popular pizzas are the buffalo chicken and Grandma’s (mozzarella, tomato, basil and garlic). Business has been up and down with the economy, she noted. The pizzeria is open every day though and delivers.
321 First Avenue, between East 18th and 19th Streets
This pizzeria and Italian restaurant, a neighborhood staple for over a quarter century, had a change in ownership in 2012. Since then, the place has been renovated with a new bar area added and there’s live musical entertainment twice a week.
Nino Geni, one of two co-owners, said if you’re not sure what to order, go with the shrimp cognac or confetti salad, which includes bacon, shrimp, onion and tomato. There are also frequent steak specials, and Geni’s said at some point he would love to set up a display to show interested customers how the steaks are aged. Like other local eateries, business has dropped since Sandy; Geni estimates between 30-40 percent. Fortunately, the place seems to have loyal clientele in the neighborhood residents. Upon overhearing the interview with Geni, a customer named Mary Lou stopped over to pipe in that the “the pizza is fantastic” and the other food is excellent.
Manager Tim Chang said that while Akina Sushi’s most popular menu item is sushi, the restaurant also offers noodle soups, salads, yakitori (skewered meats and vegetables), fish and various appetizers. Chang said that one of the most popular roll is the spicy tuna but there’s also king crab, eel, sea urchin, salmon roe, shrimp, striped bass and other sushi and sashimi options.
The place is open for lunch but Chang said that it is usually busier at dinner. Akina is BYOB with a $15 minimum and happy hour is from 12 to 5 p.m.
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza
328 East 14th Street
Artichoke has been on East 14th Street since 2008 and since then, the business has both expanded to other locations throughout the city and expanded its original outpost to include the space formerly occupied by Curly’s Vegetarian Lunch. Artichoke server Lima, who has been working at the location since the expanded space was occupied by Curly’s, said that the new dining area opened about a year and a half ago. The original shop, which includes the take-out window, offers the shop’s famous artichoke pizza by the slice, and whole pies can be purchased on the dining side.
Lima said that the artichoke pizza is definitely the most popular, but the margherita also sells well. The delivery menu also features a crab pizza with crab sauce, mozzarella and surimi stuffing and a Sicilian pizza with plum tomato, basil and a blend of cheeses, twice baked in a pan. Calzones, garlic sticks, stuffed artichokes and meatballs are also available in the dining area of the restaurant. The location is open from 10 a.m. to 5 a.m. daily and is cash only.
259 First Avenue, between East 15th and 16th Streets
This Thai restaurant, one of the first businesses on First Avenue to reopen after Hurricane Sandy (before power was even restored), is open every day and offers daily specials from 4 to 7 p.m. The spot also offers happy hour Mondays through Wednesdays from 8 to 10:30 p.m. with $5 cocktails, as well as $7 cocktails that come with free rolls, dumplings or edamame.
208 First Avenue, between East 12th and 13th Streets
Balade is an Eastern Mediterranean and Lebanese restaurant that has been open on First Avenue since about 2010. Manager Elena Ivanova said that one of the restaurant’s specialties is manakeesh, Lebanese style pizzas with grilled meats. The restaurant’s chef, who is from Lebanon, also makes a pizza on pita bread with various toppings, including falafel, hummus and shwarma.
238 East 14th Street
BaoHaus has been open on East 14th Street for about two years but the business itself has been around longer. It was formerly at a spot on Rivington Street but bao-maker Liam Poirier said that the owner, Eddie Huang, moved the restaurant because this spot on East 14th Street had more space and got more foot traffic. Poirier added that business has been especially good lately because in addition to the increased foot traffic, Huang recently released his memoir and has a show on Vice.
The restaurant specializes in bao, which are steamed buns with various fillings. Poirier said the most popular is the Chairman Bao, which is a bao filled with pork belly, crushed peanut, cilantro, relish and Taiwanese red sugar.
BaoHaus is open from 11:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. during the week and until 2 a.m. on the weekends.
229 East 14th Street
Beyond Sushi opened up on East 14th Street last July and Tali Katz, the catering sales director at the restaurant, said that the business has been doing well so far. The restaurant sells mostly vegan sushi but also offers rice paper wraps, vegan desserts and soups on the menu, although Katz noted that the rolls are the “main attraction.” The spicy mango and pickle rolls are popular, but the restaurant is also involved in social media and creates new rolls every month based on the suggestions from Facebook fans.
Katz said that a second location will be opening in Chelsea Market on May 1, but noted that the company is not looking to expand too much further than that. “We’re such a big part of the business,” she said. “We’re here (at the restaurant) a lot because we want to get to know our customers. We don’t want to open locations all over the place.”
Big Arc Chicken
233 First Avenue, between East 12th and 13th Streets
Big Arc Chicken’s sign says that it serves “Mid Eastern Cuisine” but employee Latif Mahmoud said that the restaurant serves primarily Egyptian food, which includes grilled meats like chicken, shwarma and shish kabobs, as well as falafel. Everything in the restaurant is Halal. The spot has been on First Avenue for almost ten years and Mahmoud said that the most popular menu item is the chicken. While Mahmoud himself is from Egypt, he said that the rest of the staff is from various places, including the cook, who is from Lebanon.
239 First Avenue, between East 13th and 14th Streets
Biryani Express offers both Indian and Pakistani food and is open until 10 p.m. every day. The spot offers free delivery and has daily lunch and dinner specials.
211 East 14th Street, between Second and Third Avenues
Manager Samar Sajjad said that Bite is open from breakfast through dinner but it gets busiest in the afternoon and at the end of the day. Some of the most popular lunch and dinner items include the turkey pesto sandwich, salami panini, the Mediterranean salad and the Mid-Eastern sandwiches. There are also four different kinds of vegan soups, as well as others that include meat, such as the chili. Bite has been at this spot on East 14th Street for almost nine years, but the owners also have a (much smaller) location just north of East Houston Street.
115 East 14th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues
This pizza shop is actually one of four locations for Bravo Pizza, which has two other locations nearby and another by Grand Central Terminal. The manager here said that they’ve been open near Union Square for almost three years. The most popular items are usually the pizzas at the front but the restaurant also has a pasta special, offering a large pasta dish with garlic bread or garlic knots for $5.95.
41 West 24th Street, between Broadway and Sixth Avenue
Chop-Shop II, a new contemporary Asian restaurant in the Flatiron district, is the result of a partnership from Robert Wu, Jason Li and Danny Emerman and Mah Chan of Bottino. Chop Shop’s original location is in Chelsea and opened in the Flatiron-adjacent neighborhood about three years ago. The menu for the new place features appetizers like pork belly buns and shrimp summer rolls, and entrees such as spicy drunken noodle, pad Thai and marinated flank steak.
The restaurant is open from noon to 3:30 p.m. for lunch and 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. for dinner from Monday through Friday and for dinner on Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
City Wings Café,
347 First Avenue, between East 20th and 21st Streets
City Wings Café opened across the street from Stuyvesant Town at the end of June. The menu features wings with a variety of sauces, including buffalo, Jamaica jerk, Bangkok Thai curry, Tahiti lime and maple, Texas BBQ, Tokyo teriyaki and other options.
Their lunch special is available from 12 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and rice and wing bowls with fries or salad, as well as a soup and salad combo, for $7.95. Their hours are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
261 Third Avenue
This sandwich shop, around for four years, is run by a father and son team, Nick Defonte and his son Vinnie. It’s the second location for the restaurant — the first one is in Brooklyn — but the Gramercy Park location is busier due to being in an area with more foot traffic.
All the hero-style sandwiches are priced between $10 and $12, with two popular choices being the steak cooked in seasoned marinara sauce with lots of mozzarella and the potato, egg and mozzarella.
The restaurant prepares all its meats in house, “which,” said Vinnie, “a lot of people don’t.” There isn’t much in the way of seating in the restaurant, but Defonte’s also delivers orders with a $10 minimum. The actual business has been in the family since 1922, according to the Defonte’s website.
257 Park Ave South, between East 20th and 21st Street
Belgian restaurant EXKi opened in the Gramercy area at the end of July. The restaurant is the first American outpost for the Belgian chain, which has locations throughout Europe. The restaurant offers quick and casual food, including sandwiches, soups, savory tarts, salads and blended fruit and vegetable drinks. There is waiter service and a more refined menu in the evenings.
The restaurant is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and closed on Sunday.
377 Park Avenue South, between 26th and 27th Streets
This new Italian restaurant in the Flatiron District is the third New York location for the business and features a menu with 20 signature pizzas. They also offer a variety of antipasti and insalate dishes, as well as specialty oven-finished and flash-fried pizzas. The restaurant is open Sunday through Thursday, 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 12 p.m. to midnight.
210 First Avenue, between East 12th and 13th Streets
Gena’s Grill is a family-owned restaurant specializing in Latin barbecue. Owner Gena Rivera has been at this location on First Avenue for nine years. The menu at the restaurant offers chicken, steak and seafood with rice, as well as sandwiches and breakfast.
Grass Cow Burgers and Shakes
347 Third Avenue, between East 25th and 26th Streets
Grass Cow Burgers and Shakes officially opened in Kips Bay on May 16, 2013. Local blog PcvstBee reported that the restaurant, which opened in the space formerly occupied by Cavatappo Wine Bar, offers 5.5-ounce burgers plain, with cheese or seasonal toppings, and are the product of grass-fed, pasture-roaming cows. Fries, shakes, beer and wine are also available.
346 East 21st Street
Long before Stuyvesant Town couple Marissa and Henry Beck opened their bakery/café Pan de Sal on Second Avenue, they were the owners of Grill 21, a Filipino restaurant. The restaurant, now open eight years, has become a go-to place for ambassadors and other dignitaries staying in town as well as the local Filipino community. What differentiates the place from the other Filipino restaurants in the city, said Marissa, is that most of the others are fusion, whereas Grill 21 offers more authentic fare.
“The Filipino community welcomes the space and Americans are very welcoming of the food,” she said. “If I made it fusion, then they wouldn’t understand what is real Filipino.” The restaurant also does a lot of catering and in-house parties.
Meanwhile, the Becks have also recently introduced a $12 Filipino lunch buffet menu at Pan de Sal. The idea was to do more with food and focus less on coffee as originally planned due to the arrival of coffee bar Pushcart across the street. “I don’t (offer) internet like Starbucks, because I sell food,” Marissa said.
346 First Avenue, between East 19th and 20th Streets
Open for the past six years, this sushi restaurant has catered to locals as well as hospital staffers. Business here too had slowed since sandy, but according to one employee, ST/PCV seniors are the core of their customer base. This restaurant offers two-for-one drink specials every day of the week throughout each entire business day. Other draws are the lunch specials, offered every day from noon to 4 p.m. Along with sushi, Hane also specializes in Asian fusion cuisine like teriyaki, kushiaki and noodles.
225 East 14th Street
Lita K., who has been working at Hawkers for about a year, said that business at the restaurant hasn’t been too bad since the restaurant opened about three years ago, and they’re usually busiest later in the day. “There are a lot of delivery orders for dinner,” she said.
The restaurant starts serving lunch daily at 11:30 a.m. The overhang outside the restaurant says that it specializes in South East Asian street style food and the menu offers mostly Thai and Chinese dishes, including curry, spicy lemongrass, dim sum and fried rice. The lunch specials come with rice as well as salad, soup or soda. The lunch menu is available until 4 p.m. and online orders can be placed through Seamless Web.
246 East 14th Street
Hotel Tortuga has been open on East 14th Street for about two years. David LaPointe, who is the husband of the owner and helps run the business, said that they had a slow start when they first opened because of all the competition on the street. Business started picking up a little over a year ago, he said, but then Sandy hit.
“Our business is all about spring and fall,” he said. “It affected other people worse but it set everyone back. It’s hard to build momentum after that.”
He added that business started to pick up again around March, with more people coming in for dinner than lunch because it’s more of a sit-down place than take-out. He said that the chicken tinga burritos and the fish tacos are the most popular for dinner.
They get some walk-in business, LaPointe said, but most of the customers are return business and local clientele, including NYU students and nearby hospital patients and staff.
343 Second Avenue
This by-the-slice joint has been open for the past nine years at Second Avenue and 20th Street with a customer base of students at surrounding schools, 13th Precinct cops and cadets from the Police Academy. Popular food choices include the buffalo chicken pizza ($3.80 a slice) and chicken avocado wraps ($6.95).
Rick Rosas, an employee there, admitted things have been tough lately due to more competitors opening up shop, but Il Forno’s customers have remained loyal. Delivery is available and those stopping by have the option of dining outside or on one of three benches outside.
201 First Avenue, between East 12th and 13th Streets
Filipino gastropub Jeepney first opened up at the end of last year as an offshoot of Maharlika, a Filipino restaurant in the East Village. Jeepney manager/owner Nicole Ponseca said that her goal with this relatively new joint is to modernize Filipino food as well as introduce the cuisine to the broader community.
“There are very few restaurants that are real Filipino food because a lot of them are fusions with other Asian foods,” she said.
The food is a mix of Spanish, Chinese and Malaysian cuisine and features rich stews, ceviches and different cuts of meat. Ponseca said that the menu also has traditional non-Filipino dishes with a Filipino twist, such as a Shepherd’s pie with Filipino ingredients and a noodle dish that resembles paella.
150 East 14th Street
Joe’s Pizza opened a second location on East 14th Street at the beginning of March, 2013. Sal Vitale, who manages both the Carmine Street location and this one, said that business at the new location has been “really great” so far.
“It’s a lot better than we thought it was going to be,” he admitted. “The economy’s tough and there are a lot of one dollar slices in this area, but people have been coming in for the good pizza. A lot of the people that come in here said they’ve been to the original location.”
Vitale said that his grandfather Joe, the namesake of the restaurant, still makes in to the restaurants every day even though he’s 76.
The most popular slices are the ones that stay at the front, Vitale said, and that usually includes the white pizza, pepperoni, Sicilian and regular cheese.
Kambi Ramen House
351 East 14th Street
Kambi Ramen House has been open in this spot for about three years. A server at the spot said that they have some salads but the menu mainly focuses on ramen, and has chicken, pork, vegetable and spicy ramen options, as well as gyoza, tofu and kimchi for appetizers.
The restaurant is open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. The owner of Kambi has another ramen house on East 5th Street, Minca Ramen Factory.
347 East 14th Street
Kati Thai is a Thai restaurant that has been open in this spot for about four years. Lunch specials, available from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, include pad Thai, spicy basil noodles, red curry and pad se-ew, as well as soup and salad. Noodles, fried rice, curry and entrees from the wok are also available for dinner.
Server Kai Ratana said that the pad Thai is one of the most popular dishes that they sell and a customer who was stopping by for lunch this week said that it’s “really good.” Ratana, who has been working at the spot since they opened, said that they get regular customers coming in for lunch during the week but the restaurant is busiest for dinner.
438 Second Avenue, between East 24th and 25th Streets
Local blog PcvstBee reported at the end of December 2012 that a new American restaurant would be coming to Kips Bay, and the appropriately named Kipsey’s held a grand opening celebration at the end of January 2013. The menu features soups and salads, as well as sandwiches with schnitzel, rotisserie chicken, pulled pork and brisket. Both lunch and dinner are available and the restaurant is open from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. daily.
12 West 21st Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
This new Flatiron restaurant, which opened in mid-August, is the brainchild of Japan’s Iron Chef, Yuji Wakiya and Keiko Ono Aoki. Aoki’s initials are what give the restaurant its name.
SORBA, KOA’s original dish, is a specially crafted noodle dish created by Aoki and made by Wakiya. Wakiya created the signature cuisine for the restaurant by combining the Japanese “reverence” for high quality ingredients with Chinese cooking technique.
KOA caters to the local office crowd, offering a lunch menu and has the capacity to host corporate events and holiday parties.
Hours are Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Happy hour specials are offered Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
214 First Avenue, between East 12th and 13th Streets
Sashimi is the most popular plate at Kumo Sushi, waiter Lee Chen told Town & Village. The spot, which has been open since 2010, is open every day and offers all-you-can-eat specials and happy hour all day.
249 Park Avenue South
This French bistro, open since 1997, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the kitchen is open for food orders regardless of the hour. General manager Murat Akinici said the crowd differs depending on the time of day or night. During breakfast and lunch hours, it’s mainly neighborhood residents as well as those holding business meetings over a table. At dinner time, it also tends to be mostly locals and people on dates and the late crowd tends to consist of people who work nearby, often after they finish their shifts at other restaurants and bars. The restaurant also offers delivery and pickup.
Akinici said the most popular dishes are the escargot, steak frites, merguez sausage sandwich and the homemade lamb burger. The place is also known for its selection of beers (26, six of those on tap) as well as the fact that customers can also order wine by the half bottle, with 15 different choices.
Additionally, said Akinici, “We probably have the best coffee in this part of town.”
La Pizza Napoletana by Luzzo (a.k.a. Luzzo’s)
211-213 First Avenue, between East 12th and 13th Streets
Luzzo’s is an Italian restaurant with specialty pizzas made by one of the few coal-burning ovens in the city. Before the restaurant opened about nine years ago, the space had been occupied by an Italian bakery for almost 30 years. Other than pizzas, Luzzo’s also offers antipasti, soups and pasta dishes.
Lower East Side Coffee Shop
442 East 14th Street
Lower East Side Coffee Shop, which is open 24 hours daily, has been in the neighborhood for about 20 years.
“We have the best food in the area,” claimed Leo, the coffee shop’s owner. That food includes various omelettes, pancakes, French toast and waffles for breakfast, and sandwiches, burgers, wraps, salads and pasta for lunch and dinner.
The spot doesn’t have a website but online ordering is available through Grub Hub. Free delivery is available and they have breakfast from 6 to 11 a.m., in addition to early bird dinner specials.
377 First Avenue, between East 22nd and 23rd Streets
This narrow fast food joint keeps busy due to a steady line of customers that, judging by a recent lunchtime crowd, consists of local workers, such as construction crews. The picture menu on the wall includes plenty of man-sized portions of chicken and ribs meals with fries and soda in cups large enough to make the mayor’s head spin. There’s also another location on East 86th Street.
2 Lexington Avenue at 21st Street at the Gramercy Park Hotel
This Danny Meyer-owned restaurant, inspired by the traditional Roman trattoria, has been in business for three and a half years at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner until midnight every night, it’s become a dependable neighborhood destination not only for hotel guests but also for neighborhood residents. Recently, a coffee bar was opened at the center of the restaurant with the coffee — and training for baristas — provided by Flatiron-based company Counter Culture.
“It was something for the coffee lovers in the neighborhood,” said Maialino’s general manager Andrea Czachor. “We’re really a neighborhood spot.” The training is something that was very important to the restaurant, Czachor said this week, with Counter Culture providing education on things like cupping and even the right way to steam milk.
Business, said Czachor, is “very good. It’s increasing every year.”
Mimi Cheng’s Dumplings
179 Second Avenue, between East 11th and 12th Streets
Mimi Cheng’s Dumplings opened up on Second Avenue on July 10. Sisters Hannah and Marian Cheng created the new East Village restaurant, which focuses on authentic Taiwanese dumplings based on family recipes from their mother, Mimi Cheng.
The menu includes three signature dumplings, with meat and vegetarian options, in addition to a dessert dumpling with banana and sugar. The dumplings are available to order in six or eight pieces and can be ordered boiled or pan-fried. All dumplings are served with Mimi Cheng’s secret sauce for dipping that only the two founders and their mother know the recipe for.
The restaurant is open on Sunday from 3 to 9 p.m., Monday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
46 West 22nd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
This restaurant, which opened in early 2013 in the space formerly occupied by Silk Rd. Tavern, offers various Asian fusion dishes. MadParkNews.com reported that the executive chef is Brian Tsao, formerly of Liang’s in Forest Hills and the menu offers Bi Bim Bap, spicy wontons, crispy pork belly and other options.
38 East 23rd Street, between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue South
Mozzarelli’s is most well-known for its gluten-free pizza and cashier Maria C. said that it’s one of their most popular options, but the restaurant offers a handful of other crust options as well, including whole wheat, multigrain, thin crust and even pumpernickel.
Maria, who has been a cashier at the restaurant for four of the ten-plus years that the spot has been open, said that one of her favorites is the regular margherita pizza, which is another one of the most popular pies. Unlike most pizza shops though, the restaurant also offers gluten and dairy-free cakes and snacks, which are big sellers. Some of the more conventional menu options at the business also include pasta dishes, sandwiches, wraps and salads.
Murray’s Falafel & Grill
261 First Avenue, between East 15th and 16th Streets
Business owner Murray Allon opened Murray’s Falafel & Grill on First Avenue about ten years ago but his falafel origins began before opening up the shop there. He sold the sandwiches out of a pushcart for five years starting in 1978 at 53rd Street and Madison.
In between the cart and opening the current business on First Avenue, Allon, originally from Brooklyn, lived in Israel and worked as a tour guide, but he found his way back to New York and began perfecting his falafel recipe before opening up the shop.
“I’ve always had this falafel bug,” he said.
Murray’s Falafel & Grill is a kosher restaurant and other than falafel in pita, offers shwarma, shish kabobs, kufta burgers, Moroccan cigars and various side dishes. Allon also sells a special kind of lemonade called “lamoon” which is made with citrus flowers and spearmint that he says provides a good complement to the restaurant’s food.
Obicà Mozzarella Bar
928 Broadway, between 22nd and 21st Streets
Obicà Mozzarella Bar had a soft opening for the New York flagship location in the Flatiron District on July 21. The official grand opening was on July 24 and this location is the company’s 20th restaurant, in addition to locations in London, Italy, Tokyo and Dubai.
The restaurant features four different kinds of Mozzarella: Bufala Classica (delicate), Bufala Affumicata (smoked), Burrata (creamy), and Burrata al Tartufo (with black truffle). The cheeses are made in the Italian region of Campania and are imported twice a week. Menu items are also available a la carte, including cured meats, salads, pizza and pasta.
Obicà’s hours are Sunday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
395 Second Avenue, between East 22nd and 23rd Street
Although Orion Diner has only been on Second Avenue since 2012 (previously it was another diner), owner Astrinos Voumvourakis, known to friends and fellow workers as Asti, has been in the restaurant business in the city for almost 35 years.
Voumvourakis, who came to the U.S. from Greece, describes the place as an “upscale diner,” and has a particular pride in the restaurant’s coffee. He noted that the mozzarella sticks, homemade desserts and homemade pancakes are popular as well, adding that his is one of the only diners in the city that serves draft beer.
The diner is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and Voumvourakis said that they are busy for every meal and have a number of returning customers. “Seeing that people are happy and that they come back is the best part of having this place,” he said.
Pan de Sal
245 East 21st Street, northwest corner of Second Ave. and East 21st St.
Pan de Sal is a patisserie and “resto bar” that is technically on East 21st Street, but the entrance for the business is on Second Avenue so we’ve included it here. This small café, which is named after traditional Filipino bread rolls that are sold there, has been open since 2011 and is owned by the husband and wife team of Marissa and Henry Beck, who live in Stuy Town. Other than pan de sal, there are also other pastries and breakfast options available, as well as brunch, sandwiches and dinner entrees. Party and event catering is also available and the restaurant is open daily from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.
401 East 20th Street at First Avenue
348 First Avenue, between East 20th and 21st Streets
Petite Abeille, one in a chain of four Belgian restaurants owned by three Belgian brothers in Manhattan, was a hit as soon as it opened in Peter Cooper Village. One of the owners, Yves Jadot, once told this paper he felt like he was living every restaurateur’s dream for being able to attract families, seniors and a young hipster crowd. The place also has a gelato shop, an impressive selection of Belgian beers and hosts the occasional event like fundraising concerts and the restaurant’s own annual Belgian Day party.
T&V was unable to reach Jadot for this article, but an employee there this week said business had slowed a little since the storm. “It’s not busy like it was before,” said a man behind the bar.
Vamos!, a Mexican restaurant next door to Petite Abeille was dreamed up by Jadot because he was inspired by all the Mexican employees at his other restaurant.
34 East 23rd Street, between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue South
Press is a specialty wrap spot that has been open for about four years. The business was previously located on Third Avenue at East 27th Street. The menu focuses on wraps that can be customized with a number of fillings but the restaurant also offers soups, salads and various sides like fries or roasted potatoes. Various fillings for the wraps include tomatoes, mixed greens, red onion, sliced beets, turkey, marinated steak and a variety of dressings. There are also a number of choices for the dough, including poppy seed, rosemary, chipotle, white and whole wheat.
Jessica N., who has been working at the shop since they opened and is a cashier as well as catering manager, said that the wraps with chicken are usually the most popular.
“My favorite was one of the chicken wraps but I try to mix it up so I don’t get sick of them,” she said. “But there’s a lot of variety and I try a lot of different things so I haven’t gotten sick of any of them yet.” The spot is open every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
203 East 14th Street
This restaurant, which offers Asian cuisine, has been in the neighborhood for 17 years. It offers a number of chicken, beef and seafood dishes, as well as rice pots and Thai specials, including Pad See Yu, Pad Thai, lemongrass chicken and curry. There’s a lunch menu from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., and a special dinner menu from 4 p.m. until closing time at 11 p.m.
357 First Avenue, between East 20th and 21st Streets
This small fast food restaurant has been operating for 12 years, serving up a mix of Indian and American standards from fish curry to buffalo chicken. The restaurant took a bit of a hit business-wise after the superstorm, during which the owner’s sister also saw her car destroyed in a Stuy Town garage. Rose delivers and offers a few party platters.
203 First Avenue, between East 12th and 13th Streets
This Vietnamese restaurant opened at the end of 2011 and specializes in pho, the traditional Vietnamese noodle soup. Sao Mai offers vegetarian pho, as well as chicken, beef, mixed seafood and brisket options. Banh mi sandwiches, rice vermicelli noodles and rice dishes are also available.
23 East 23rd Street, between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue South
Jonathan and Andrew Schnipper, founders of the Hale & Hearty Soup chain, opened Schnipper’s because they wanted to try their hand at good old-fashioned burgers. The restaurant’s original location is on Eighth Avenue at West 41st Street. The East 23rd Street location, just east of Madison Square Park, has a casual dining area and a menu with various specialty burgers, including a bacon cheeseburger, blue cheese burger, turkey burger and a green chile cheeseburger. Other menu items are mac and cheese, sloppy joes and sides like onion rings, salads and sweet potato fries.
Schnipper’s is open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
221 First Avenue, between East 13th and 14th Streets
Senor Pollo’s specializes in Peruvian rotisserie chicken. The restaurant has been open for four years and is open every day except on Sundays.
southeast corner of Madison Square Park, between Broadway and Madison Avenue
Shake Shack, located inside Madison Square Park, is one of the most popular lunch spots in the Flatiron neighborhood. The famous “Shack cam” lets hungry office workers check right from their desks just how far into the park the line is at any given moment. If fans are lucky, it will only be a few dozen people long.
The menu offers the famous ShackBurgers as well as vegetarian ‘Shroom burgers, frozen custard, hot dogs, shakes and floats.
Although the restaurant now has locations as far away as London, the business started as a hot dog stand in Madison Square Park in the summer of 2001, opened by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, and the spot became a permanent fixture in the park in 2004.
The Madison Square Park location is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
210 First Avenue, between East 12th and 13th Streets
Tallgrass Burger has been open for about two years and offers salads, burgers and wings. Carl, a cashier who has been working at the joint for about six months, said that the burger is the most popular menu item. He noted that while they have both veggie burgers and “real” burgers, the latter is the more popular of the two.
228 First Avenue, between East 13th and 14th Streets
Tepito, a tacqueria and cantina serving Mexican food, first opened at this spot in December, 2011. Daily happy hour at the restaurant is from 11:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. and lunch specials are $7.99 and come with a free soda. The menu features tacos, quesadillas and burritos, as well as various breakfast and brunch options.
347 First Avenue, between East 20th and 21st Streets
This by-the-slice pizza joint has been around for decades, according to employees, under different owners, with the most recent takeover happening five years ago. Popular pizza choices include eggplant, buffalo chicken and vegetable.
Workers estimated the place saw traffic decrease by 20 percent since Sandy without the hospital crowd and with one of the nearby schools changing the time it lets students out. Fortunately, noted one young man behind the counter, employees of Stuy Town, in particular the security crew, have remained true.
220 East 14th Street
The Chinatown location for Vanessa’s Dumplings is famous for its one-dollar-dumpling deal, which offers five dumplings for the low price of $1. While the East 14th location offers the same for twice the price, it’s still one of the cheapest lunches in the neighborhood at $1.99, for a choice of pan fried cabbage and pork, chives and pork or vegetable dumplings.
Additionally, this location offers sesame pancakes with a variety of options for toppings, including egg, vegetables, roast pork, roast beef or chicken teriyaki. They also sell packages of frozen dumplings to take home, with 30 pieces per bag.
Vinny Vincenz Pizza
231 First Avenue, between East 13th and 14th Streets
Pizza place Vinny Vincenz is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a number of specials, including $2.50 for two slices and a can of soda. Owner Aly Elalami said that the pizza is the most popular item on the menu but there are also hot sandwiches, pasta and salads.
Aloha Fine Wines and Spirits
333 Second Avenue, between East 19th and 20th Streets
Store clerk Eddie Liew said that business has been slow for a while at Aloha Fine Wines and Spirits, but it has been especially slow for the past six months after Morton Williams opened up their wine and spirit store a few blocks away on East 23rd Street. “Morton Williams is a big competitor,” he said. “They took about 20 percent of my business away from me when they opened.”
The store still manages, however, with a lot of loyal local customers, especially from Stuyvesant Town. Aloha has been open on Second Avenue for about 20 years and while it sells both hard liquor and wine, Liew said that the wine is definitely more popular.
Gramercy Wine Cellars
236 Third Avenue, between East 19th and 20th Streets
This wine shop, open for the last 10 years, sells wines and spirits, though according to one of the two owners, Beta Rajkumar, it’s about 75 percent wines and 25 percent spirits.
Rajkumar, who runs another store, in Queens, noted that this is simply a matter of local preference.
“In Queens, it’s totally different. In Manhattan, it’s wines.”
Additionally, despite the economy and other factors that seem to have impacted some local retailers, like rising rents, business has remained steady at Gramercy Wine. “Business is going,” said Rajkumar. “We’re still alive after 10 years.” Hurricane Sandy also didn’t hurt the place.
“Any time there’s a hurricane, we do great business,” said the owner. “People stock up. When you’re stuck at home, you want your wine.”
The store also offers delivery and Rakjumar says any item a customer asks for, he’ll try to get.
Taste Wine Co.
50 Third Avenue, between East 10th and 11th Street,
A new store on Third Avenue is challenging the business model of wine shops by borrowing the business model of a shoe store: letting customers try before they buy.
“Would you buy pair of shoes before trying them on?” owner Gary Landsman said. “We’re applying that mindset to wine. It’s crazy that customers gamble every time they buy wine.”
Landsman, who opened the shop around the July 4th weekend in 2015, has been in the wine business for about ten years. While he has technical expertise in the area, having worked in wineries both overseas and in Napa, he said that it’s not something he wants to emphasize.
“The current set-up is the old, stuffy, pretentious way where there’s a lot of focus on regions but I’m trying to make it light and fun,” he said. “It’s not just about wine styles, it’s about what wine you like. When you’re in here, you’re an expert because you know what you like.”
In order to facilitate the wine sampling, Landsman has a more high-tech set-up than just a corkscrew and some spare cups. He’s invested in devices that keep the wine fresh by pushing in argon gas, which protects the wine by creating a sort of “blanket” over the top of the liquid. Each machine holds two bottles and he currently has about 30 devices, although he said that he has space for up to 60 machines and is planning to fill that in soon.
As if this were not high tech enough, Landsman also spent a number of months before opening the store developing a smartphone app that allows customers to take a quiz on their tastes and match them up with a variety of appropriate wines from the store. The app also works in conjunction with the machines, granting customers points to earn them samples and Landsman said that one of the goals is to have the store be fully self-service in terms of the one-ounce samples, which are capped at six per visit.
Landsman said that the price of the wines aren’t inflated to make up the losses from the sample bottles and he attributes at least some of the store’s success so far to the fact that people seem willing to spend a little more on a bottle of wine because they know that they like it.
In a more conventional wine shop, tasting would be one of the main extra events hosted in a store’s back space, but with tasting positioned as the main event at this Third Avenue spot, Landsman said that the hope is to use the space in the back to offer things like wine education.
“People are hungry to learn more about wine,” he said. “The ultimate hope is to have them learn about wines from California, Bulgaria, pretty much anything and everything.”
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Wine on First
224 First Avenue, between East 13th and 14th Streets
Wine on First sells primarily wine, with red and white wines available, but there is also a selection of hard liquor just past the register. The shop, which has been open on First Avenue for almost 18 years, features a variety of domestic wines.
279 First Avenue, between East 15th and 16th Streets
The manager at Zeichner’s Liquors, who declined to give his name, said that he’s been in business on First Avenue for almost 40 years. The store offers a variety of hard liquor, including whiskey, scotch, vodka and rum, as well as wine. There is a refrigerator in the back of the store with chilled white wine and some champagne. Zeichner’s is open every day except Sunday.
223 First Avenue, between East 12th and 13th Streets
Birdbath has been at this spot since about 2007 and is a sister bakery of City Bakery, which has other locations throughout New York. This bakery specializes in green and organic products, offering vegan chocolate chip cookies, rice milk muffins and other pastries. Unusual menu items include hibiscus iced tea with pear and agave, as well as homemade marshmallows and kale chips. The bakery also sells mugs and beeswax candles. Patrons arriving by bicycle receive a 15 percent discount.
244 Third Avenue
This unpretentious sports bar, one of several along Third Avenue in Gramercy, celebrated its 25th anniversary in October 2013.
Manager Amy Ellison said the staff is already planning some celebratory events for the occasion, but in the meantime, Barfly is an everyday kind of place with a crowd of people who come for the pool league and lunch specials as well as a happy hour that’s actually nine hours long.
“We’re a sports bar, but people are pleasantly surprisingly by how good the food is,” said Ellison.
The lunch special menu includes around 15 $9 choices with the burger, turkey club and buffalo chicken being the most popular. The crowd is pretty diverse, said Ellison with a younger sports fan crowd piling in at night, with the restaurant crowd actually coming in even later since many of the patrons work late shifts at local restaurants. Darts used to be a popular attraction, but the dart board’s since been replaced by a flat-screen and pool is now the game of choice with league nights being Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. To participate, players have to belong to a team with Barfly having its own that sometimes battles the leagues at neighboring watering holes Paddy Maguire and Bull’s Head Tavern.
“Sometimes you’re home, sometimes you’re a visitor, but we have one of the better tables in the city,” said Ellison.
The place doesn’t tend to get rowdy though. Ellison said the atmosphere is actually another draw, well, that and the fact that the drinks are “not shabby. We don’t do timed pours.”
Barfly also offers deliveries within a five-block radius and serves food until 11:30 p.m.
231 East 14th Street
Beauty Bar, known for its “martinis and manicures” deal, has been open on 14th Street since 1995. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. offering $3 PBRs, $5 draft beers and manicures and martinis for $10. Free stand-up comedy shows are also put on periodically and burlesque shows take place often. The bar’s Twitter page has announcements with more specific information about any upcoming events. The bar is open until 4 a.m. most nights and has another location in Brooklyn, as well as multiple locations throughout the country, including San Francisco, Dallas, Austin and Chicago.
233 East 14th Street
This bar has been on East 14th Street for about five years, according to bartender Lee Ryan. The spot is also a restaurant so it’s open all day, starting at 11 a.m. and offering a full menu with regular bar food. Ryan noted that the burger is the most popular dinner item. He also said that it’s been quiet lately but business usually picks up in the warmer months.
“New York is seasonal because a lot of people leave town (in the summer), but the sports are kicking back up now,” he said.
325 East 14th Street
Crocodile Lounge is most well known for its “free pizza with every beer” deal. The space is deceptively roomy considering the bar’s unassuming exterior decor. The bar opens up two rooms back, where there is room for skee ball on Tuesday evenings. There is also an open mic night on Mondays, trivia on Wednesdays and Bingo on Thursdays. Keeping with the free food theme, Crocodile Lounge also serves free omelets with bloody marys or mimosas on Sundays from 12 to 3 p.m.
Specials are from 12 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and include $3 Yeung Lings, $4 Bud Lights and $1 off all other draft beer. The bar has another location, Alligator Lounge, in Williamsburg.
This quirky bar and lounge, open since March of 2011, has become a draw for its ticker, which determines what the price of drinks will be based on the market, updated every five minutes. Typically, prices will fluctuate in 25 or 50 cent increments, manager Rob Smith said.
“It’s based on supply and demand,” he explained, “so it’ll go up more on a Thursday or Friday or Saturday night than a Monday night.”
He also offered this bit of insider trading info: During happy hour, which runs from noon to 8 p.m., prices are $4 for draft beers and $5 for mixed drinks. After that, prices may hover for beers around $4-$8 and other drinks from $10-$12. At this time the menu is being updated, with the new drinks and foods expected to be announced before New Year.
A popular sandwich choice, the $12 Anacott Steel, with grilled chicken, bacon, cheddar and chipotle aioli, will likely stay on though. Currently, there are also nine varieties of burgers to choose from on the menu and the place also serves brunch. On the weekends, the Wall Street-themed venue attracts customers for the DJ, dance floor and more lounge-like atmosphere, but, noted Smith, during the week, the place is filled with locals as well as Credit Suisse employees.
For sports fans, there’s one large projector in the back and six TVs up front, turned onto the game on football Sundays and during the week. Opening time is at noon and the Exchange closes for business usually at around 2 a.m.
14 East 23rd Street, between Broadway and Madison Avenue
This bar across from the park has been in business for 27 years. Bartender Andrew B. said that the place is usually most crowded during the week with employees from the nearby banks coming in for an after-work drink and one of the most popular deals is the $5 can of PBR that comes with a shot.
Drink specials are available during happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday through Friday and $1 oysters are available from when the bar opens at 11:30 a.m. until the end of happy hour. There is also a Sunday brunch special for $25 with all-you-can-drink mimosas and Bloody Marys, or an a la carte menu with eggs, burgers and waffles.
The restaurant’s food menu features salads, plates to share, starters and options from the raw bar such as little neck clams and shrimp, as well as oysters. Delivery is available online.
This bar and restaurant is owned by the same company that runs a few establishments located in Union Square, including the Coffee Shop on Union Square West, Union Square Ballroom and Union Square Lounge.
393 Second Avenue, between East 22nd and 23rd Street
Bartender Brien Cabri at McSwiggin’s said that the bar has been in business under the same name since 1994 but the spot was a pub for years before that as well.
Local residents might be surprised to learn that they aren’t the only ones who dread St. Patrick’s Day and what seems to be a newly designated drinking holiday, SantaCon. Although McSwiggin’s is a block over from the infamous pub crawls on Third Avenue, it hasn’t gone completely unnoticed by some of the overly enthusiastic revelers on holidays.
“SantaCon was a complete nightmare and I’m guessing that St. Patrick’s Day will probably be (just as bad),” Cabri said.
Other than the usual holidays, Cabri said that the bar is generally pretty quiet during the week, although they have some scheduled events periodically to liven things up. The place offers an open mic night for aspiring stand-up comedians on Mondays and Wednesdays, as well as a trivia night on Thursdays. There’s also a standup and variety show on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month with more established comedians performing and admission is free.
Milk & Honey
30 East 23rd Street, between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue South
This new “speakeasy” cocktail bar opened across from the southeast corner of Madison Square Park at the end of December 2012, MadParkNews.com reported. The bar, which relocated to the Flatiron District from its original location in the Lower East Side, is reservation-only and a booking can be requested by emailing email@example.com.
322 East 14th Street
Bartender Christian Sumner said that Nowhere Bar has been on East 14th Street for about eight years. He’s tended bar there for six of them and he said that it’s still the friendliest bar he’s been to in the city.
Sumner said that since Nowhere is a gay bar, June and July have been “pretty crazy” because of Gay Pride at the end of last month but things have been quieting down a bit lately. “We maintained a pretty good crowd through July but now everyone is tired because of the heat so they come in here where it’s cool and dark,” he said.
There are a number of drink specials during happy hour, including cheap well drinks, and Sumner said that whiskey ginger is one of the more popular offerings. They also usually have frozen margaritas during the summer.
The bar has a number of popular weekly events, including a rock and roll night they’ve been hosting for the past five years called “Buddies” on Tuesdays and a dance party featuring music from the 1970s on Saturdays. There are other regular events listed on the bar’s Facebook page but Sumner said that one of the one-time special events will be held on August 3 in honor of Madonna’s birthday.
349 East 14th Street
This space has been O’Hanlon’s Bar since 1974, but bartender Rachel Smith said that the spot was a bar before O’Hanlon’s arrived as well. The bar has happy hour from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. every day and Smith said that there are a number of regulars who come in during the day, despite being unusually quiet one morning this week.
The bar doesn’t have a kitchen but Smith said that they have a collection of take-out menus from local restaurants and customers are welcome to bring food in from elsewhere. There is a room with pool tables in the very back of the space and there is a pool league that plays here every week. There is also another room near the bar with darts.
Although the spot has the look and name of a typical Irish pub, they also have some fancier cocktails in addition to beer and well drinks, including Dark and Stormy, a version of lemonade with vodka, cucumber cocktails and beer cocktails.
Paddy Maguire’s Ale House
237 Third Avenue
Owned by Patrick Maguire, a former jockey from Ireland, Paddy Maguire’s is a watering hole with a theme of racing and horses, although games from all sorts of sports, both local and non, can be seen on any of the bar’s 13 flat-screens. (Note: If a New York team is playing, that game will have all the sound. “You have to put your home team up,” explained Maguire.) That said, the bar, open since 1995, tends to be a quiet place, rather than a rowdy one, with many patrons there for the fiercely competitive pool games.
“This is one of the biggest pool bars in New York City,” said Maguire, who has plenty of proof in the way of trophies that line the walls in the back room. Those trophies came from games played by the in-house league during five trips to Las Vegas.
As for libations, Paddy Maguire’s has 16 beers on tap and happy hour lasts until 7 p.m. with $4 pints of Miller Light, Bud and Yuengling. There is no kitchen, but there are plenty of menus available from local restaurants and ordering is encouraged.
“At 3 o’clock, there’s music in the jukebox playing and it’s a lot of country,” said Maguire. “It’s just a comfy neighborhood bar.”
In April, 2014, this bar, named after an old New York gang, will celebrate its 17th birthday. Owned by retired firefighter Brian Stapleton and his father Michael, the bar was for many years a known hangout for cops and firemen, though that’s recently changed.
In the past few years, Plug Uglies has become more of a neighborhood bar, and that was no accident. As far as the former crowd was concerned, “during the day drinking doesn’t exist anymore,” Brian noted this week, so the owners branched out and now the place caters more to locals. Additionally, it’s become a draw for fans of shuffleboard, since the venue has what Brian said is the only 22-foot shuffleboard table in Manhattan.
“Our signature is the shuffleboard table,” he said, adding that he knows of a couple of other bars in the city with a table, but none exactly like Plug’s. So over time, “We have evolved,” said Brian, “and we have a broader scope of clientele.” Happy hour is 4-7 p.m. with deals like $3 domestic beers and $1 off everything else.
239 Third Avenue
The Stand, which celebrated its first-year anniversary in October, is a comedy club as well as a restaurant that, according to employees, focuses on the menu as much as it does on the entertainment.
And that’s saying a lot, considering that some of the recent talents to grace its stage include Louis C.K., Janeane Garofalo, Colin Quinn, Tracy Morgan and Sarah Silverman. Shows take place in a downstairs area while the restaurant and bar are located on the ground floor. Small plates and drinks can still be ordered downstairs at the club, though, noted server and bartender Ryan Jensen, unlike at other clubs, there is no drink minimum. Popular items include the Peking duck pizzette ($19) and tuna tartare cannolis ($16). Most comedy shows, which usually start at 10 p.m., have a ticket price of $15 on weekdays and $20 on the weekends, though if coming just for dinner on the other floor, there is no cover. During the week, there are usually 2-3 shows a night, and on weekends, there are 3-4. There isn’t usually promotion for them though, since many of the big-name comedy stars don’t give much notice on when they’re available. Therefore, checking The Stand’s social media pages or calling is the best way to find out who’s performing on any given evening.
The club occupies a space formerly home to a short-lived lounge called Truffle.
263 First Avenue, between East 15th and 16th Streets
Bagel Boss is another one of the bagel-related businesses that has popped up in the neighborhood in the last few years and one employee said this particular spot has been open since about 2010. The everything bagel is the spot’s most popular, even winning a “Golden Grub Award” for being a customer favorite on the online ordering site GrubHub. Other than the regular breakfast options, Bagel Boss also has a salad bar and pizza in the back.
12 West 23rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
The Flatiron District welcomed South Korea’s leading coffee brand Caffé Bene to West 23rd Street in late July. In addition to various coffee drinks, the café also offers bubble tea and food options include both a sweet and savory menu, with items like Belgian waffles, Italian gelato and teriyaki chicken.
The café has locations in 10 other countries. The hours are Monday through Saturday from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
377 First Avenue, between East 22nd and 23rd Streets
This tiny cafe, offering breakfast and lunch as well as an impressive selection of French macarons, has been hurting somewhat since Sandy, said owner Shah Miah. However, it’s managed to get by due to ST/PCV residents. Business has also improved since it’s been open for breakfast starting in 2012. The breakfast menu ranges from $2-$5.50, with the $5.50 being for omelettes. For lunch, there’s a selection of quiches ($6.50-$7.50) and the macarons are $2.50 apiece and the restaurant now offers delivery.
329 East 14th Street
This spot is a prime example of a “hole in the wall” kind of business. It doesn’t help matters that the storefront is currently covered with scaffolding, but it would be easy to miss on its own as it’s nothing more than a stand with no inside for customers to venture.
The back wall of the very small juice bar is stacked with various fruits and vegetables, and the menu offers juices with passion fruit, mango, bananas, carrots, cucumber and other choices, with the option of adding in whey protein, flax seed and organic yogurt. Smoothies, milk shakes and slush ice are also available, and this is one of the few places in the neighborhood to pick up a bubble tea. The cashier and juice-maker said that one of their most popular drinks is the green juice, which has spinach, kale, lemon and cucumber. Daily Juice is cash only.
273 First Avenue, between East 15th and 16th Streets
David’s Bagels has been open on First Avenue since 2011. The shop smells like coffee even at 5 p.m. and offers breakfast sandwiches all day, as well as the regular bagel and shmear. Online ordering is available through Seamless Web.
359 First Avenue, between East 20th and 21st Streets
This family-run bagel shop has been serving area residents since 1976. During the week, everything bagels with schmear are the most popular choices while on the weekends, customers are more likely to treat themselves to lox and whitefish. On a recent afternoon, store manager David Wilpon was behind the counter with his daughter, Kim Wilpon, who was also serving customers. The owner is his cousin Florence Wilpon, who also owns another location on Third Avenue. According to the company website, the Wilpons were a “baking family” from Austria. The bagels are certified kosher.
Flatiron Green Café
South Public Plaza at East 23rd Street and Broadway
Flatiron Green Café opened on the public plaza at the end of May of 2013. The small kiosk, which has only outdoor seating, serves a selection of baked goods, smoothies and juices, as well as Greek yogurt with various toppings, such as sour cherries, dried figs, raw honey and other options. The café uses organic and natural ingredients whenever possible.
Hawa Smoothies & Bubble Tea
422 East 14th Street
Owner and manager Billy Wang only opened up this location of Hawa Smoothies in July 2013, but he said that business was already picking up by August because they’re starting to get return customers. “The public safety guys who work at Stuyvesant Town come in a lot for smoothies,” he said. “They love it.”
Aside from smoothies, Hawa also offers fresh-squeezed fruit juices and fresh-pressed vegetable juices. Wang said that the watermelon lychee smoothie is cold and refreshing so it’s a popular summer choice but their menu does change slightly with the seasons. At the other location, vegetable juices are popular in the winter, and the smoothies are big sellers all year round, but they come with less ice in the colder months.
The strawberry, blueberry and banana smoothie is one of the most popular drinks on their menu and the taro bubble tea is popular as well. They make the bubbles four to five times a day to make sure they don’t get soggy. They also offer wheatgrass and protein shots, and all of the fruit and vegetables are fresh. “We’re trying to bring healthy stuff to the community,” Wang said.
Wang’s brother Alex helps run the location on East 14th Street and Wang called the business “a family operation.”
319 East 14th Street
Owner Mayer Sabag only opened Madman Espresso on East 14th Street in January 2013, but he said that business has been going well just five months later. The area gets a lot of foot traffic, he said, and he gets a lot of business from commuters passing through and hospital employees, as well as Stuyvesant Town residents.
Sabag is Israeli, and his background is fitting for the business that he chose, aside from the fact that he loves coffee.
“Israel is known for excellent coffee,” he said.
The coffee shop gets its pastries from French bakery Mille Feuille on La Guardia Place and Sabag is hoping to add some more food to the menu by next week. He said that the spot will still be focusing on coffee but they will be offering some breakfast and lunch sandwiches, including ham and cheese croissants, prosciutto and mozzarella and grilled cheese and vegetables and Sabag predicts that prices will be less than $6.
Students and Y employees get a 10 percent discount and hospital employees get a 20 percent discount.
362 Second Avenue, between East 21st and 22nd Street
This is the second location in the city for this local coffee shop, and it opened up in October, 2012. The original location is based in the Lower East Side, and barista Kim Coburn said that the name comes from the pushcarts that were used in that neighborhood when it was a marketplace and vendors sold different things out of them to make a living.
Coburn said that the business doesn’t suffer because of the lack of foot traffic on Second Avenue. In fact, the café is usually packed with locals.
The owners of the café are also interested in integrating the community into the space, Coburn added, and using it for things other than just selling and drinking coffee. Coburn noted that the East Broadway location has been used as a yoga studio after hours and there are plans to add more events at the newest location in the future, including a knitting group and possible a writing group.
David Mayer said that his main responsibility for the café has been working on the pushcart. The cart itself is displayed on the sidewalk outside the Second Avenue location most of the time but Mayer said that they bring it down to Foley Square every morning to sell coffee and pastries to commuters on their way to work.
Robbins Nest Café
25 Waterside Plaza
This café, which offers various breakfast and lunch options, is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The lunch menu features soups from Hale & Hearty, and a café employee said that the choices rotate every few days.
Other items on the lunch menu include sandwiches, pizza and burgers, as well as pastries, egg sandwiches and coffee for breakfast.
14th Street Lotto & Magazine
428 East 14th Street
This lotto and magazine shop is a long and narrow store that offers snacks and various reading materials.
The wall in the front of the shop is lined from floor to ceiling with magazines and newspapers, including regular offerings like the New York Times, Washington Post, Daily News and familiar magazines like People, US Weekly, New York Magazine, as well as the more niche and obscure ones: Wired, Men’s Health, fitness and food magazines. There is also a shelf dedicated to crossword puzzle books as well as some comic books like Archie and Betty & Veronica.
Aside from regular snacks at the register, the shelves in the back are also stocked with a limited selection of canned and boxed foods, a cooler with sodas and beer and a rack of wine.
Adam’s Deli and Convenience
418 East 14th Street
Ali Mohammad, a cashier for the convenience store, has only been at his job there for about a week but he said business has been going okay since the store opened about a year ago. The store was opened by the same people who ran the Stuyvesant Deli further east on East 14th Street, which, along with several other businesses, was destroyed in a fire in May, 2010.
The store has a selection of chips, snacks and candy in the front, and the deli in the back offers various sandwiches for both breakfast and lunch.
282 First Avenue, between East 16th and 17th Streets
This deli, open for the past seven years on First Avenue, is actually over a century old, according to the official company bio. It started when Bruno Cavalli of Piedmont, Italy went stateside and opened his own shop offering fresh pastas and other Italian delicacies. It was a family business with both the owner’s wife and sons helping out and four generation later it still exists, also as a catering service. There was also another shop on Second Avenue for a while but the owners closed up shop when informed by the landlord that they would no longer be allowed to prepare food on the premises.
As for the remaining shop it has, among other offerings, fresh pastas, a pizza counter, a juice and coffee counter, soups and sandwiches and a cheese fridge. Just as importantly, there’s also a decent amount of space in a seating area to enjoy it all. If you’re not sure what to get, manager John recommends the Grosso sandwich, which is piled high with Italian deli meats on ciabatta bread.
238 East 14th Street
Susan, a cashier at City Gourmet, said that the busiest time of day for the deli is usually at breakfast when people come in for coffee and pastries, but she said that lunch gets busy as well and the sandwiches and soups are popular menu items.
The menu at the deli, which has been open for four years, also features salads, omelets, bagels, Mid-Eastern platters, burgers, pasta and wraps.
Community Grocery and Candy
353 East 14th Street
Owner Mohammed Mosammad said that Community Grocery and Candy has been open at this spot on East 14th Street for about 20 years but business hasn’t been doing very well lately. “No money, no honey,” he said. The bodega sells various snacks and drinks, including juices, water, chips and candy. The store also has a selection of books in a stand outside.
First Avenue Farm
345 First Avenue, between East 20th and 21st Streets
The owner of this produce and grocery store, open 10 years, said business has been a little tougher since Sandy, but not by much because it’s always been tough. “The city is killing small businesses,” said the owner, who asked that his name not be used, due to frequent inspections “and all the regulations.” Still, the customers keep the place going, buying things from candy to bouquets of flowers priced between $5-$12.
320 First Avenue, between East 18th and 19th Streets
This spacious grocery and deli, open for seven years, is one of three such stores owned by Sam Grace. According to manager Joe Choy, the store’s stock consists of about 40 percent organic foods as well as other healthy options such produce, cheese and meats in their own stations, pastas, Asian foods, prepared salads and other foods at a deli counter as well as a sushi counter. There’s also an area for organic and fair-trade skin products. Choy said since the hurricane, business has taken a slight hit, but the prepared foods are always a hit.
Gramercy Food Market
384 Second Avenue, between East 22nd and 23rd Street
Gramercy Food Market has been on Second Avenue for about eight years, according to one of the store’s cashiers. The deli offers hot sandwiches for both breakfast and lunch, as well as a hot buffet with about ten trays and various soup options. The bar at the front of the store has a few stools for dining in and the back is stocked with regular grocery items, such as pasta, soup and cereal as well as refrigerated products.
Hampton Market Place
217 First Avenue, between East 12th and 13th Streets
This small grocery store has been open since 2012 and sells mostly snack foods, as well as pre-made sandwiches and salads. Cashier Anna Arias said that the usual breakfast fare, such as bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches, is some of the most popular food sold at the store. Arias said that many of the customers appreciate that the store also has a number of more healthy and organic snack food options instead of the usual junk food.
271 First Avenue, between East 15th and 16th Streets
iGreen Market got new management in June 2012 and since then has reopened as a kosher organic grocery and deli. There is a salad bar and hot deli with about 30 different trays, as well as six to eight different rotating soups. The market’s manager, Jin Uh, said that the store struggled at first because of the nearby competing delis and coffee shops but has since gained a loyal customer base that continues to return apparently because they appreciate the clean environment. “It’s all about service,” he said.
242 East 14th Street
IQ Decor sells a variety of purses, bags, accessories and toys. Cashier Qiong Yan said that the store is a family business and they’ve been open on 14th Street for about 18 months.
Yan said that business has been slow since the store opened but the most popular items are usually the kids’ toys, as well as the stuffed animals and the Hello Kitty items.
275 First Avenue, between East 15th and 16th Streets
KMP Market offers the traditional combination of small grocery store and deli that is available throughout the city. Unlike most of those, though, KMP has a small area with tables in the back for customers to eat their breakfast or lunch. The store has all the usual deli meats, breakfast sandwiches and pizza, as well as coffee. The market has a $10 minimum for credit cards.
514 E. 20th St.
This Stuyvesant Town deli is believed to be the oldest surviving retailer in the complex, according to its longtime owner Nasser Hashesh. Hashesh, who’s been there over 18 years said he plans to stay a lot longer, and the fact that he’s got a 15-year lease for the space (with a few years left) certainly helps.
Like other businesses in Stuyvesant Town, including the now-closed Oval Fitness gym, Lenz’s had to deal with some flooding during the superstorm, but Hashesh was more fortunate than some other nearby businesses; he had flood insurance. The place still took a hit financially after the shop had to remain closed for a week and when a bunch of equipment he used for catering was destroyed in a storage room in Peter Cooper Village.
But the store hasn’t struggled to stay afloat since recently Lenz’s also began catering and for the past couple of years has catered lunches for the Stein Senior Center. Nasser said it’s also likely Lenz’s will be doing the catering for two or three additional senior centers by the summer.
Catering has been lucrative to the point, said Hashesh, where, “I’d like to get a van just to accommodate the volume.”
Meanwhile, at the shop, “We rely on the tenants” for sales of prepared breakfasts and lunches, slices of pizza, and newspapers, including this one. Lenz’s also delivers with a $5 minimum.
252 Third Avenue
This spacious deli, open for business for 17 years, specializes in your standard deli food fare (fresh fruit, nuts, soda, beer, candy and basic groceries) though it’s thought of as more of a “small supermarket” by employees. One of them, Romany Ramsis, noted that the place has a new owner, known to him as “Mr. Joe,” who’s worked in the flower industry, and therefore now also sells flowers at Namu. The deli offers delivery though it’s rarely asked to provide any as most of the sales come from foot traffic from area residents at Police Academy cadets.
10 East 23rd Street, between Broadway and Madison Avenue
This narrow deli offers standard breakfast and lunch options, with a deli counter on one side and shelves of snacks on the other. The sandwich menu features both hot and cold options for breakfast and lunch, and wrapped up pastries are available all day, including muffins, danishes and croissants.
241 Third Avenue (at 20th)
7-Eleven may have come and taken away this magazine and smoke shop’s old location, but that didn’t mean Orbit was going to be booted out of the neighborhood, manager Sam Mirza said this week. Originally, Orbit was across 20th Street on the north side, but when its lease was last up, 7-Eleven was simply willing to pay more, said Mirza.
“7-Eleven kills small business, kills candy stores,” he said.
Even after moving to the southeast corner, Orbit did in fact start to lose business for things like coffee, Mirza added, even though Orbit’s is actually cheaper. The shop adapted though, focusing less on items 7-Eleven sells and more on cigars (the store actually has a cigar room in the back) as well as smoking-related items as far as the eye can see such as e-cigarettes, hookahs, rolling papers and humidifiers. There’s also a wall full of imported magazines, although Mirza said they don’t sell like they used to, and certainly not like the smokes do. “That’s why we changed,” he said.
Rosendo Fish and Meat Market
383 Second Avenue, between East 22nd and 23rd Street
Rosendo Fish and Meat Market has been in business for the past 11 years in various reincarnations. The most recent change was the store’s move to Second Avenue. Owner Alex Rosendo has been in charge of the store for the past three years, changing the name from Gramercy Fish Market and adding meat to the store’s stock after the recent move.
Rosendo said that there are now also more market items, including pre-made gourmet lobster raviolis, vegetables, salad items, cheese logs and seasonings.
Russian Candy (Lotto & Candy)
381 First Avenue, between East 22nd and 23rd Streets
This convenience store, selling the essentials such as lottery tickets, cigarettes, sodas, magazines and newspapers, including this one, has been open for 20 years. Fifteen years ago it moved from another location up the block and its owner is named John Gedit. This week, the sign over the lottery machines said the Mega Millions was now offering $70 millions while the Power Ball Power Play jackpot was up to $100 million.
Stationery & Card Shop
25 Waterside Plaza
Although the store’s name suggests that it just sells paper products and note cards, this long-standing business at Waterside Plaza is a one-stop-shop for residents. The store’s owner, known to residents as Ms. Kim, has been in charge since 1989 and she said that the previous owners had the place about ten years before that, making the business almost as old as the property.
She said that even though it’s managed to stay in business for so long, people are often surprised by how much the place stocks. The front area of the store mainly has toiletries, including shampoo, soap, toothpaste and over-the-counter medicines, as well as snacks, refrigerated drinks and coffee. The back of the store is where cards and stationery are kept, as well as school supplies, hardware and houseware items.
“It’s a restricted space but it’s important to have as a convenience for the community,” Ms. Kim said.
She added that business has been decreasing since 9/11, but she noted that both the bad economy and the nearby Gristedes haven’t helped either. But they have been able to stay afloat because of the customers from Waterside Plaza. “It’s a limited market but they keep us in business,” she said.
The store is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
107 West 20th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenue
MadParkNews.com reported in mid-July that this Brooklyn-based cheese shop had opened in the Flatiron District.
In addition to a variety of cheeses, the shop also stocks Blue Bottle Coffee beans, Jeni’s Ice Cream and freshly made sandwiches. The sandwich menu changes daily and some recent offerings included one with Gruyere, caramelized onions and Dijon on strecci and speck, Emmental cheese, Dijon and pickled onions on a pretzel roll.
The shop’s original location is in Gowanus.
Stuyvesant Deli & News
375 First Avenue, between East 21st and 22nd Streets
This 15-year-old establishment sells all the deli essentials (beer, smokes, lottery tickets, T&V) and a few more items like pipes marked with a sign “for tobacco use only.” There is also a wide variety of dried fruit and nut packages.
First Avenue and 20th Street
This produce shop and convenience store, formerly known as Produce Plus, has been around 17 years, according to owner David Kim. The store offers basic items like cigarettes, snacks and sodas as well as a larger than expected variety of dairy items and produce and flowers out front.
Bellagio Salon and Spa
10 East 23rd Street, between Broadway and Madison Avenue
This salon, which overlooks Madison Square Park, offers various nail and spa services, including manicures, pedicures and massages. It also offers various waxing services, including for eyebrows, bikini line, lip, under arm and full leg. Facials and eyelash extensions are also available.
The business is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
BeSu Salon and Day Spa
234 Third Avenue
Though owned by a woman who’s a self-described “Upper East Side socialite,” Rebecca Lieberman, BeSu Salon and Day Spa has wound up having what at least appears to be the most culturally diverse staff in town. As noted by longtime employee Holly Cheema this week, employees from hairstylists to those who do threading and spa treatments come from all different places, including the Philippines, Georgia, Israel, Russia, Japan and Cuba — to name a few. All however, are very experienced in their services, said Cheema, who’s worked there about six years doing threading and haircolor. BeSu has been around for eight years, the past three of them in a spacious location that includes around eight styling stations and three spa rooms in the back. Services include waxing, threading, facials, makeup, Japanese hair straightening and keratin treatments as well as cuts and color. For regulars, a popular service is the blowdry package, which offer discounts to those who commit to getting 10 blowdry appointments. (Costs vary depending on hair length.)
Cheema said she credits BeSu’s popularity with area residents to the friendly service as well as the fact that it’s open seven days a week and stylists try to be flexible if a client needs to come very early or very late in the day.
“We’re sometimes here as early as 6 a.m. (and stay) until midnight,” said Cheema. “It depends on what the client needs.”
Essential Skin Care Day Spa
207 East 14th Street
Essential Skin Care Day Spa is an easy spot to miss and is a prime example of businesses on East 14th using every inch of space possible. The business has a somewhat prominent sign by that of the dry cleaners, but the entrance is hidden under the cleaners itself, through a narrow, low staircase that leads down into the spa. There is another location for the spa in midtown on East 50th Street and both offer treatments for acne, clogged pores and wrinkles. Facial treatments, microdermabrasion, specialty peels and waxing services are also available.
428 East 14th Street
Precise Brows has been open at this spot on East 14th for the past four years.
Brow threading and waxing are some of the most popular services that the salon offers, but facials, hair services, permanent make-up and various spa services are also available.
The spot is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.
Stella Nail & Spa
209 First Avenue, between East 12th and 13th Streets
This salon, which has been open on First Avenue since 2003, is popular among local residents. Stella offers manicures, pedicures and waxing services and is open every day except for on some holidays.
Sun Tan Nail
224 First Avenue, between East 13th and 14th Streets
This salon has been open on First Avenue since 2010, owner Ancel Ye told Town & Village. Sun Tan Nail offers pedicures, manicures and OPI gel nails, as well as some spa services such as tanning and waxing.
25 Waterside Plaza
Xia Leder opened this spa in Waterside Plaza in October 2012 in the space formerly occupied by a wine shop. The spa offers manicures and pedicures, as well as facials, waxing and massages and Leder noted that the quick dry nail polish they use has been popular with customers.
Leder said that she mostly gets her business from residents of Waterside Plaza and business has been improving steadily since the location opened, but she wants to encourage non-residents to try out her services.
The spa has various promotions throughout the year and one that Leder said is coming up is free paraffin as part of the pedicures to help soothe and heal dry, cracked heels that are often a result of the cold in winter.
Xia Spa is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
343 East 21st Street
This sliver of a barber shop has been owned for seven years and run by Eddie Abramov. Customers have mainly been young neighborhood residents and employees of nearby hospitals, but like many businesses located near VA Medical Center, Barber Shop has seen a sharp decline in foot traffic since hurricane Sandy. The VA was closed since then, only reopening for some outpatient services last month, with inpatient services possibly not returning until July. Abramov estimates he’s lost about 30 percent of his business as a result.
He’s been in the haircutting business 20 years though, so he’s seen his share of ups and downs. A haircut at the shop costs $15.
Beehives & Buzzcuts
365 First Avenue, between East 21st and 22nd Street
This children’s hair salon, which immediately gained the support of locals after it took over a desolate looking former check cashing store, has seen its array of services evolve since opening in November 2012. Though it was recently rated as the city’s best hair salon in Time Out New York, with Hurricane Sandy smacking down at that time, “We couldn’t even toot our own horn,” joked owner Karolyn Massey.
Massey, a former resident of Stuyvesant Town, knew from her customers how badly hit ST/PCV was. Meanwhile, with business coming to a full stop the week of the storm and no power and eerily slow in the following weeks, Massey slashed prices for services (kids’ haircuts went from $30 to $25) and she began promotions such as sibling discounts on Thursdays and more classes for kids, including art and Spanish language. Additionally, Beehives has begun marketing to moms and now does color and highlights as well as cuts for parents accompanying their kids or at the salon on their own. Beehives had already started offering senior discounts from the hours of 10 a.m. to 2 pm. from Wednesdays to Fridays. There were also some Sandy-relief freebie services rendered. After Sandy, when many buildings across the street were without heat and hot water, Beehives offered free hair washes.
“As a hair salon, we’re sensitive to that sort of thing,” said Massey.
Ironically, Massey’s business became a place of refuge for the children of busy moms, with Oval Kids having been closed. The back room, which was intended as a space for parties and kids’ classes, ended up becoming an indoor playground and area for kids to watch movies on a projector. Massey said she’s also been thinking of bringing in a Wii for use by older kids and even offering the play space as another service, if parents want to drop off kids for pizza and games. But, she added, with her lease now up for renewal, she needs feedback from area residents and fast. Those who have suggestions or comments are invited by Massey to send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big Apple Barbershop
426 East 14th Street
Manager Igor Yaguda said that this barbershop has been open since 2010 and business has been doing pretty well since then. They specialize in men’s haircuts, including scissor cuts, razor cuts, Mohawks and fades, as well as facial masks. The shop also offers shaves and haircuts are available for any type of hair.
A lot of business comes from people who are just walking by the storefront, Yaguda said, as well as a lot of customers from Stuyvesant Town, Beth Israel Hospital and NYU. Big Apple is open seven days a week and also offers passport photos.
309 East 23rd Street, between First and Second Avenues
Owner and hair stylist Rick Riggi said that he changed the name of his salon to Haironymus as a play on the name of Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch when he switched the business from a women’s salon to a unisex one. “A lot of salons were just using their names for the businesses and that was starting to get old-fashioned,” he said. “I didn’t want something that would go out of date.”
The business was on Second Avenue for 42 years, for the first two decades in the space now occupied by ProHealth Pharmacy and the past two across the street. They relocated to East 23rd Street in August 2013. The customers are mostly women, but Riggi said that he and his staff can do almost any style and most have been working there almost as long as the salon has been open.
367 Second Avenue, between East 21st and 22nd Street
Owner Mike Wakubov said that Hollywood Salon has been open on Second Avenue for about eight years. The unisex salon offers various specials, including shampoo and blow dry for $40 and just a blow dry for $25. It is open every day and also offers perms, coloring and styling.
Joshua Barbieri Hair
72 1/2 Irving Place, between East 18th and 19th Streets
Hair stylist Josh Barbieri has opened a salon on Irving Place just south of Gramercy Park. Barbieri offers men and women’s haircuts, as well as blowout styling, event updos, bridal updos, color and keratin treatments.
Barbieri was educated at Vidal Sassoon in San Francisco and he studied at Bumble and bumble in New York City where he stayed on for five years as an educator, session stylist and stage speaker.
The salon is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to midnight.
225 East 14th Street
This barbershop is a family-owned business specializing in men’s haircuts, starting at $15. The business is open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. The shop is closed on Sundays and is cash only.
Looks Threading Salon
240 East 14th Street
This salon, which has been on East 14th Street since 2006, has three other locations throughout the city. Jyoti, an employee at this location of Looks, said that they mostly do eyebrow threading but they also offer facials, waxing and henna tattoos. They are open from 10 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Lugo’s Mecca of Hair
205 First Avenue, between East 12th and 13th Streets
Lugo’s Mecca of Hair, which has been open since about 1998, sells one hundred percent human hair used for braiding and weaving. Manager Phillip Paul specified that Lugo’s only sells the hair and then customers go to a stylist to have it put in, but the shop can match almost any color and if they don’t have it, they get it. The hair comes from as far away as India, China, Brazil and various countries in Europe. There is also a location for the store in Brooklyn as well as one in Miami.
Marc’s Barber Shop
329 East 14th Street
Marc’s Barber Shop has been open on East 14th Street for 18 years and David Maerov has been its owner for 17 of them. Haircuts are $12 and Maerov said that they’ll cut men and women’s hair, but only if it’s short.
“If it’s long, it’s too much work,” he said.
The business has changed over the past few years since they opened. “Nobody asks for shaves anymore,” he said. “Ten to fifteen years ago, we had a shave every day. Now it’s more like once a year.”
But Maerov said that the business is still doing well. “I get a lot of local customers, especially from Stuyvesant Town. They keep me in business.”
210 East 21st Street
This unisex hair salon, specializing in precision cuts as well as color, has been around close to four decades, according to owner Oly Kolansky.
After starting his career at Vidal Sassoon, Kolansky branched out to start his own business and has since amassed a clientele of locals as well as people who come from as far as Connecticut for his services. He also has a number of celebrity clients including Stuy Town’s resident rock crooner Garland Jeffreys and has worked on actress Jessica Lange and The Golden Girls’ Rue McClanahan.
Cuts at this shop range from $75-$125 and single process color starts at $75. Lately, popular choices for color have been two-tone such as ombre style and “crazy colored highlights like blues and reds,” said Kolansky. Most of his clients’ are in professions that require a more toned down look though, with many living on the Upper East Side. Those are the clients, he said, who followed him from Vidal Sassoon.
Nearly 39 years later, said Kolansky, “I still love what I’m doing. I have nice clients and all walks of clients.”
While it’s been a rough year for this business due to more competitors opening up shop, Kolansky said he’s found that clients who’ve ventured elsewhere have already come back, “because they weren’t happy.”
When not at the salon, Kolansky also sculpts, and has even taught sculpting at the School of Visual Arts.
“I love the art,” he said, “and I find that sculpting hair is another form of art.”
Oly’s is open from Monday to Saturday and Kolansky works there from Tuesday to Thursday. He also has another shop in upstate Sullivan County, and travels to Germany often for hair shows.
222 First Avenue, between East 13th and 14th Streets
This location is the second for Salon Icon, which opened on First Avenue at the end of 2012. The original spot for the salon is on Third Avenue between East 33rd and 34th Streets and Eli, the manager of the First Avenue location, said walk-ins for both men and women’s hair services are okay.
Sigfrido’s Barber Shop
381 First Avenue, between East 22nd and 23rd Streets
This barber shop, which has been offering haircuts and shaves since 1961, was opened by three brothers who emigrated from Italy. One of the brothers, a mere 19 years old when he started work there 45 years ago, is still taking care of business.
Andy Evangelista, between haircuts, told T&V he thinks of his place as a landmark.
Nowadays services there mostly consist of haircuts, with shaves more of a special occasional event that men indulge in “for relaxation,” he said. Business over the years has remained steady, Evangelista added, even with a slight drop after the hurricane due to the loss of hospital staffers. Fortunately, due to the place’s longevity, word of the shop has passed on from one generation of ST/PCV residents to the next.
“Word of mouth is the best advertising,” he said. But unlike some of his neighbors, he had no harsh words for the new chains slowly inching their way up the avenue. “It’s changing for the better,” he said of the neighborhood. “There’s a better quality of life.”
Bash and Bow
210 East 21st Street
This boutique selling small gift items like jewelry as well as stationery has only been open for a year and half, but according to owner Leema Basharyar, the shop will be expanding this summer. The store will soon also be selling clothing in the space next door that until recently was occupied by K&M Camera.
K&M still has a Tribeca retail and studio location. As for Bash & Bow, the lease term for the new space begins this month, but Basharyar said it will probably not open until June or July. The clothing store will have basic summer items like tank tops and leggings. Meanwhile, at the other space, jewelry has become the most popular item with the average bracelet costing $18. Basharyar has made it a point to not have any item in the store that costs more than $50.
“It’s a good price point for girls looking to get something for a night out or a little gift,” she said. “We want to make sure the gifting aspect is easy.”
The majority of the shop’s customers live locally in Gramercy, Stuyvesant Town, the East Village and Murray Hill.
“We love love love our customers,” said Basharyar. “They’re super loyal and everyone’s been recommending us to friends and roommates. We’ve grown by word of mouth.”
10 East 23rd Street, between Broadway and Madison Avenue
The small storefront of this shoe store is plastered with signs about the inventory-clearing sale that the business is having but Moet, a friend of the manager who was just at the shop helping out last week, said that the place is not going out of business.
“This time of year, people aren’t really shopping much because the holidays are over so we have the sales to get people to shop,” he said.
Like its next-door neighbor, the deli, this shop is long and narrow and has made use of the space by stacking the shelves along the walls from floor to ceiling with displays of shoes. Many of the current options feature rain and snow boots but there are also flats, dress boots and other styles of women’s shoes.
225 First Avenue, between East 13th and 14th Streets
Gabay’s started as a pushcart in the Lower East Side, the business of Turkish immigrant Sam Gabay in 1924. Gabay started the business selling extras from garment factory floors and now at the store’s location on First Avenue, his grandsons Joel Morrow and Joseph Gabay still sell high-end and designer clothing from department stores at a discounted price. Gabay said that the handbags and accessories are the most popular items, but the store also offers children’s clothing with discounts of 50 percent off. The rest of the clothing and items in the store are 65 to 75 percent off their regular retail prices.
240 Third Avenue at the corner of 20th Street
One of three Project shops in the city, Gramercy Project is a clothing boutique that specializes in dresses and jewelry in labels that are hard to find stateside.
Most of the customers tend to be local women in their 20s, according to manager Pamela Schreiber, who are looking for things to go out in that they can also wear to work.
A few of the store’s labels for dresses, with prices ranging from $150-$300, include Erin K, Blessed are the Meek, Yumi Kim and Keepsake, brands that aren’t typically found in department stores. For accessories, popular items include dangly earrings ($28 a pair) and chunky, Indian-made necklaces and bracelets ($35-$48).
The Project Shops are in the midst of changing their name, which Schreiber said should happen in the next couple of weeks. Project Gramercy has been open for two and half years, and when it did, it was the only clothing shop on the block. (Now, Second Time Around is also a few doors down.) The owner was naturally nervous about this at the time, but, said Schreiber, “We do pretty well.”
226 East 14th Street
This clothing shop has been open on East 14th Street for about six months. The relatively new store offers mostly women’s clothing, including jeans, tops and skirts, as well as accessories such as scarves, bags and jewelry.
No Relation Vintage
204 First Avenue, between East 12th and 13th Streets
No Relation Vintage offers a variety of used and vintage clothing, including an entire section dedicated to cut-off jean shorts. The garments are organized by type, with shirts, pants and shoes from the 70s, 80s and 90s. The owner of this store has other vintage stores throughout the city in Manhattan as well as in Brooklyn, including Village Style on East 7th Street.
343 First Avenue, between East 19th and 20th Streets
This modest looking boutique, which currently has no front sign thanks to the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, has been a go-to shopping destination for bargain hunters for more than 15 years. Racks displaying casual and work-appropriate slacks and blouses, mostly, are priced at either $10 or $15. Winter coats in the back priced from $30-$40. According to an employee there, business has declined recently, though but said she suspected it had to do more with the economy in general, and typical post-holiday slow period than the closure of the nearby V.A. Medical Center. But even still, she noted, regulars, including hospital employees, come for their clothing fix, especially since the shop changed its schedule. It began doing business on Sundays about a year ago.
Shoe Repairs on East 21st Street
346 East 21st Street
At first glance, this tiny shop wouldn’t appear to be able to offer all the services it does, but a sign over the counter confirms that along with shoe repairs, owner Alex Deekhanov also offers laundry services, leather repairs and knife sharpening. The laundry services are handled offsite, but the rest is done at the 18-year-old storefront business. Most do come for the shoe repairs though and on Tuesdays, seniors get a 10 percent discount on repairs.
St. George’s Thrift Shop
61 Gramercy Park North
At this thrift shop, which offers racks of mostly women’s clothing, a few accessories and assorted household items, business is finally starting to pick up again. It had been slow for a while, according to employee Nadine Ruiz, following its reopening after a cleanup, including new paint, and clearing out of old merchandise in October 2012. But now that customers know the place is back open for business, sales have increased as have the donations of clothing.
Donations, generally, are sporadic, said Ruiz, on Thursday. “Today I got four bags of clothes,” she said. “Yesterday we got no bags. It fluctuates.”
Almost all of the thrift shop’s customers are regulars who’ve been coming for years, though Ruiz said she’s also noticed more students coming in lately. Money from the sales benefits the parish.
Steve Express Shoe Repair
311 East 14th Street
Steve Express Shoe Repair specializes in shoe and bag repair, but they also fix and change zippers and do watch repairs.
Owner Steve Bang has had the business on East 14th Street for about 18 years and said that they’ll do repairs on any kind of shoes, including heels and boots, as well as any materials, such as leather and suede. The shop also sells shoe inserts, leather conditioners, cleaners and shoe whitener, as well as belts.
236 Third Avenue
This boutique, which is located between clothing stores Second Time Around and Gramercy Project, is, according to owner Monica Daryanani, the place to go to top off one’s outfit from one of those places with fashion jewelry. The store, which was last home to the Gramercy Park Flower Shop, is expected to open at the end of the month, though Daryanani said this week that there isn’t an exact date set. Though Amaaya will carry some fine jewelry, the focus will be on well-made costume jewelry with pieces from lines such as Rebecca, Amrita Singh and Belle Etoile.
Items, which will be priced between $50-$500, include swarovski crystal wrist cuffs ($125-$250), chunky stone earrings ($275) and no shortage of items in sterling silver like cigar band rings ($150) and clover-shaped stud earrings (under $50). This season, Daryanani discovered, designers have started creating many a piece in silver that are designed to look like rose gold, including the clovers.
Daryanani, who lives nearby the shop in Gramercy, is a veteran of the jewelry business, having worked for her parents’ fine jewelry shop in her native Virgin Islands.
“I’m a third generation jeweler,” she said. “My grandfather was a jeweler. My father was a jeweler.”
On the islands, she sold pieces from designers such as David Yurman and Judith Ripka. The family also had a business that Daryanani ran in Aruba for seven years, doing sales and marketing. She eventually left to pursue her own business though and came to New York three years ago. Initially she worked directly with existing clients and referrals, and also worked for a startup aimed at bringing designer brands to India. However, she soon realized she’d rather have her own brick and mortar shop.
“I missed the retail business and having a store,” said Daryanani, though she added that due to the economy, she knew she didn’t want to continue selling fine jewelry.
“People aren’t spending $1,000,” she said. “People would rather spend hundreds and still want beautiful jewelry.” On opening on Third Avenue, Daryanani said she’d noticed how the neighborhood was changing to include more varieties of businesses but still didn’t have a jewelry shop.
“Gramercy needed something like this,” she said. “Sometimes you don’t want to schlep to Fifth Avenue or SoHo.”
A grand opening for Amaaya was on December 11.
38 Gramercy Park North
This boutique, which opened in August 2012, is the new home of upscale jewelry shop Karen Karch, formerly located in Little Italy and owned by the designer of the same name.
The store, which is located in a basement level storefront, is entered through a staircase lined by a mural of a woman wearing the line’s jewelry. Though anyone can walk in, mostly those browsing have made an appointment to do so ahead of time and customers come from all over, according to Karch and company Vice President Lisa Tregnaghi, including Japan and Australia.
Karch, whose pieces include thorn shaped and rose shaped pendants as well as rings and necklaces meant to be stacked and layered, said her jewelry has “a handmade quality” though “it’s not crafty.
“The pieces are personal and they’re unique in that they have texture and you can see the hand that made it,” she said.
Karch said she was always interested in jewelry, making pieces as well as well as clothes while growing up. “I was always making things,” she said. She ended up studying advertising in college but also made it a point to take a jewelry class and then got a second degree from Parson’s. She then began making and selling jewelry, mostly in silver. She eventually opened a shop on Mulberry Street, mainly as a way of gaining control of her business, after feeling a little too “dictated to” in her dealings with company buyers. Through direct feedback of customers though, “I was able to create something really unique,” said Karch.
Over time she began working with gold, platinum, diamonds and other precious stones and acquired a few celebrity clients, including actor Vincent D’Onofrio. Her jewelry has also appeared in movies including “Terminator Salvation,” “Déjà vu” and “Friends with Money.”
Eventually, a specialty became wedding and engagement rings as well as the re-purposing of family diamonds and old jewelry into new pieces. More recently, Karch said she’s noticed a trend in people buying more expensive jewelry for important occasions rather than shopping more often for less expensive pieces. Pearls have been especially popular lately, as have naturally colored diamonds.
The shop is open for walk-ins from Wednesday to Friday from 1-6:30 p.m. Other times, an appointment should be made by emailing email@example.com.
The store will soon be holding its first event, a book reading on April 18. Karch said in the future she hopes to hold more events that celebrate creativity. When not working on company business, Tregnaghi is also contributing writer to T&V, penning the Urban Cooking recipe column.
226 First Avenue, between East 13th and 14th Streets
Business owner Jonas Rueda named his jewelry story after his oldest daughter Kathy (originally the store’s name was spelled the same way) and has been operating on First Avenue for almost 30 years. “I have lots of customers from Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village because I’ve been here for years, and those good customers make me strong,” said Rueda, who moved to the U.S. from Ecuador. The shop showcases a variety of styles in gold and silver, and offers custom-made pieces. Repairs on jewelry and watches are also available.
Ace Moving & Storage
227 East 14th Street
Ace Moving and Storage has been open on East 14th Street for more than 25 years and provides moving supplies as well as residential and commercial moving services. The company is New York-based but it provides both local and long distance moving services, and also offers free estimates. Fine art moving and storage services are also available for galleries, artists and collectors.
341 First Avenue, between East 19th and 20th Streets
This neighborhood staple has been around for 52 years, supplying everyone from neighborhood residents to corporate buildings with floor coverings. According to an employee though, nowadays more business comes from corporate clients rather than residents across the street. In Stuy Town, it’s mandatory to have 80 percent of apartment floors covered, “but,” said Ruben Ramalez, they’re not doing it.” And he’d know due to slumping sales and the complaints he hears about noisy neighbors in the buildings from customers. These days, residential tenants are more likely to go for smaller pieces like 6 by 9 feet or 12 by 4 feet, while the corporate clients have remained true to the wall-to-wall look.
220 First Avenue, between East 13th and 14th Streets
This hardware store is one of the few family-owned businesses left in the city. Sid Hymowitz is the current owner along with his brother, but their father founded the business in 1924 and they’ve been at this spot on First Avenue for almost 90 years. They have a loyal customer base, one of which came in looking for a flashlight and noted that she had been shopping at the store for 50 years. “I knew them when they were young. I was young then, too!” she said.
229 East 14th Street
Homeland Locksmith, which has been in this spot for about 40 years, provides locksmith services for the community 24 hours daily. The shop has a locksmith on duty to make keys, which can be done by emergency call or by appointment. The store manager, who did not want to give his name, said that the business has been slow lately but it is sometimes dependent on the weather.
438 East 14th Street
This stationery store has been on East 14th Street for almost 30 years, with the business starting next door where the 99-cent store is now for about 20 years and spending the last seven to eight years in its current location.
Cashier Dwijen Byapari has been working at the store for the past 12 years, since they had the original location, and he said that they mostly get business from local customers coming in to get paper and cards for birthdays and holidays. Ty Beanie Babies used to be a big seller for the store but Byapari said that the Hello Kitty merchandise is what’s most popular these days. Byapari said that business has been slow in general now though, especially since the summer started. “People seem to be moving away from the area because it’s getting too expensive,” he added.
Town & Village Hardware
337 First Avenue, between East 19th and 20th Streets
This hardware store, at one time known as Cooper Town hardware, has been around for 17 years, supplying area residents with everything from air conditioners to keys to coffee machines and a few other gadgets. The store is also well known for installations of its A.C. units as well as window screens, curtain rods, TVs and anything else people don’t feel like fiddling with themselves. Store manager Vinny Lewis handles much of these jobs, and said even with a competitor, Ace Hardware, having recently opened across the avenue, business has been okay. “People need someone to come over and hook up a VCR,” he said. “That’s what keeps us going.”
With the recent closing of 23rd Street Hardware a.k.a. Vercesi Hardware, Warshaw, which has been open since 1925, is now the oldest, continuously running hardware store in the Gramercy neighborhood, owner Ed Warshaw told Town & Village. The store was originally opened by Warshaw’s grandfather and has been a family-run establishment since then. (A sign on the front of the store says the place has been open since 1928, but that’s incorrect.) According to Warshaw, it wasn’t until a few years ago that he even realized the error and has since not gotten around to changing the sign. Prior to the store’s opening, Warshaw’s grandfather, a licensed electrician, had leased a space a few doors down called Magnus Electric. That store offered battery changing services. “Then it morphed into hardware,” said Warshaw.
Though business lately hasn’t been as strong as it was before the economy turned south, Warshaw reported that the place has steadily remained busy, in part due to locally working landlords, handymen and supers.
“We have a good amount of real estate accounts,” said Warshaw. Other clients are, naturally, neighborhood residents looking for various parts and tools and no shortage of advice. Fortunately for them, they usually don’t even have to ask questions before Warshaw has figured out what exactly they need and has placed the item into the customer’s unsuspecting hand. The response is usually one of gratitude but also surprise.
“They’re used to Home Depot kind of stores where they have to talk to five people,” said Warshaw, who has been in the business for 30 years.
“I feel like a hardware store with experienced people with lots of knowledge is definitely a necessity,” he added. “When people need their sink to work or their toilet to work, whether the economy is up or down, they still need to get it fixed.”
277 First Avenue, between East 15th and 16th Streets
Esquire Pharmacy sells various over-the-counter medications and also fills local prescriptions. Jay Patel, manager of the pharmacy, said that it’s open every day.
New York City Pharmacy
206 First Avenue, between East 12th and 13th Streets
New York City Pharmacy manager Sadiq Yasin said that this spot has been open since February, 2001. The store offers the usual over-the-counter medications and fills prescriptions in the back. Yasin said that they get a lot of loyal local customers.
“Even people who move, they come back to get their prescriptions,” he said.
385 Second Avenue, between East 22nd and 23rd Street
Owner Boris Zlkan said that ProHealth Pharmacy has been at this spot on the avenue for about 12 years. The store has made efficient use of its small space, with the narrow aisles stacked high with vitamins, over-the-counter medications and beauty products, as well as homeopathic remedies. The pharmacy in the back is available to fill prescriptions and there is also a notary public.
The business also has a second location on Lexington Avenue near Grand Central Terminal.
369 First Avenue, between East 21st and 22nd Streets
This drugstore and medical/surgical equipment retailer has been selling to area residents as well as local hospitals such as Bellevue and NYU Langone for 23 years. Though the V.A.’s been closed that hospital has always had its own pharmacy so Rite Way hasn’t been affected.
Competing chains have popped up over the years, but the shop’s been okay, said owner Sam Haghnazari. “Thank God for people in Peter Cooper and Stuy Town who support us,” he said. Along with wheelchair gadgets and specialized toilet seats, Rite Way also carries traditional drugstore merchandise like greeting cards and vitamins. Haghnazari said he credited the store’s longevity to its prices, which he said, most of the time, are cheaper than what the chains offer and the fact that the store works directly with Medicare to keep customers from paying for certain things out of pocket.
A’s Organic Cleaners
265 First Avenue, between East 15th and 16th Streets
This dry cleaner offers same day service for laundry and also offers tailoring services, including alterations and repairs. The spot also offers garment storage, with a space in the back of the store where the clothing is kept. Free delivery and pick up are also available.
Absolute Cleaners and Tailors
390 Second Avenue, between East 22nd and 23rd Street
Manager Cynthia Whang said that business has been slow lately, which she believes is due to the bad economy. “People have to cut down on dry cleaning because the economy is so bad, so we’re doing the best we can to survive,” she said, adding that the store has had to do wholesale work for other dry cleaners for extra business. The competition from the many other dry cleaners in the neighborhood doesn’t help, she noted.
The business offers regular laundry services, including pick up and delivery, as well as dry cleaning and tailoring.
Berkeley Sutton Cleaners
516 East 20th Street
This dry cleaner/laundromat and alterations shop in Stuyvesant Town is one of two locations; the other is at 335 Second Avenue in Gramercy.
Owner Sylvia Choi said this location opened right after 9/11. Like a few other owners of similar businesses T&V has spoken with in recent months, Choi said business has been slow lately. While some other local businesses have seen a dip in foot traffic due to hurricane Sandy, Choi said she suspects it has to do more with the general economy and people opting to wash clothes they might have once dry-cleaned. Naturally, with numerous laundry rooms in Peter Cooper Village still being inoperational due to the storm, there’s still been plenty of demand for that. For full wash and fold service it’s $1.25 a pound and free pickup and delivery is offered to ST/PCV residents.
The dry-cleaning the shop does is the old-fashioned kind; no organic service here. Choi dismissed that service though, saying, “Organic is a different kind of chemical. It’s organic chemistry, not organic organic.”
Berkeley Sutton is open Monday through Saturday.
Berkeley Sutton Cleaners
335 Second Avenue, between East 19th and 20th Streets
Manager Sylvia Choi said that business for the cleaners has been slow lately and she thinks that both the economy and Sandy are to blame for the drop, but she is grateful for the area residents who keep coming back. “The only way I get business is because of local customers,” she said.
Most of their business is through dry cleaning, but the shop also does laundry, offering pick up and delivery, and alterations are available as well. There is another location for this business in Stuyvesant Town on East 20th Street.
Dion French Cleaners & Tailors
444 East 14th Street
Owner and manager John Chang has had this spot at East 14th Street since 1986 and he said that business has been hard lately, but he’s been able to stay afloat thanks to a steady stream of local patrons.
“Almost all my customers are residents from Stuyvesant Town who have been coming here for years,” he said.
Chang offers both dry cleaning and tailoring and he said that neither service is more popular than the other these days, but he has noticed a connection between the economy and how many people come in for tailoring.
“When the economy is bad, the amount of tailoring goes up,” he said. “When the economy is good, everyone goes shopping!”
The shop is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.on Saturdays and is closed on Sundays.
335 First Avenue, between East 19th and 20th Streets
This dry-cleaning shop has been open for 15 years under the current owner Kim Miong, and at least 10 years before that. Miong, who said business has slowed down in recent years due to a lousy economy, which means more people opt to wash their clothes instead of dry cleaning. But, she added, rising rents don’t help either and neither does the city.
“They’re killing small businesses,” she said. “And the rent is too high and the landlords don’t care.” As for competitors, some of whom offer what’s been known as “organic dry-cleaning,” Miong dismissed that upgraded service as nonsense. “Organic is just washing with a different kind of chemical,” she said, adding that so far customers aren’t complaining about how the shirts are cleaned without it. However, Miong said she’ll be stuck switching to organic in 2020, when she said laws regulating the industry will change. Meanwhile, she just hopes to hang in there as long as possible. “I hope it gets better,” said Miong.
Joe’s Custom Tailors & Dry Cleaners
317 East 14th Street
Joe Aryev, the namesake and owner of the business, has been in charge of this laundry and dry cleaners for 24 years. Although he’s been in the neighborhood for a while, he noted that the business itself has actually been on East 14th Street for 55 years; he is the third owner.
Aryev said that business hasn’t been doing very well lately, but isn’t sure of the specific reason. Both laundry and dry cleaning are still equally popular services for his business, but he said that requests for tailoring have decreased.
“The business has changed a lot,” he said while sitting in a chair on the sidewalk, enjoying a short break from the rain earlier this week. “It used to be much better. I sit out here because there’s nothing to do.”
207 East 14th Street
M&N Cleaners is a family business that has been on East 14th Street for the past 16 years, although they’ve been in business since 1978. The owner, who declined to give her name, said that they get a lot of local customers coming in for regular laundry services, but they also do tailoring and dry cleaning.
New Phoenix Laundromat & Cleaners
199 First Avenue, between East 12th and 13th Streets
New Phoenix Laundromat has been open on First Avenue for about 20 years, according to one employee. The business has had different owners but has been a laundromat for the last two decades. Dry cleaning and tailoring is available, and they also offer rug cleaning.
Professional Dry Cleaning and Tailoring
426 East 14th Street
This dry cleaner has been open on East 14th Street for about 20 years. Dry cleaning and tailoring services are available for shirts and other items, as is laundry services by the pound. The shop is currently offering a special with laundry at 75 cents per pound.
379 First Avenue, between East 22nd and 23rd Streets
This shop, open over four years, offers wash and fold laundry service as well as dry cleaning, including the organic variety, pickup and dropoff. An employee there said the shop doesn’t charge much more than what people would pay to do their laundry themselves and that as far as business was concerned lately, “I have no complaints.”
25 Waterside Plaza
This dry cleaner is another business that has been open almost as long as Waterside Plaza has been around. One of the current employees said that the business has had a number of owners throughout that time, as they get older, retire and sell the business, but she said that it has always been a dry cleaner. In addition to dry cleaning services, it also offers regular laundry, tailoring, cleaning for leather and other services.
The business has a $15 minimum for credit cards. Pick up and delivery services are available, but customers need to visit the shop for alterations. The store is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and closed on Sunday.
The Jazz Gallery
1160 Broadway, between 27th and 28th Streets
The Jazz Gallery moved from Hudson Square to the Flatiron District in early January 2013. The new 1,800 square foot space will offer 180 yearly performances and free rehearsal space. See the website or call the venue for a list of performances or for information about membership.
14th Street Y
344 East 14th Street
The 14th Street Y offers a number of fitness classes for adults as well as children and even toddlers, but the community center, which is part of the Educational Alliance, also offers arts and culture programming, camps, parenting support groups and preschool programs. There are over 40 different fitness classes per week, including lap swimming and family swim time, as well as babysitting services and discounts on other Y programs. The fitness center is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The center also introduced a new composting drop off pilot program this past Spring where participants can drop off compostable items seven days a week. The program offers various rewards, including 25 free compostable BioBags that can be used to collect and transport food scraps upon signing up, as well as a monthly raffle for members who participate in composting drop off.
All About Eyes
313 East 14th Street
Less than a block away from the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, this shop is a full-service optometrist offering designer prescription eyewear in addition to eye exams and contact lens fittings. Prescription sunglasses are also available.
All About Eyes accepts most insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid and they are open every day except Sunday.
Karpas Health Information Center
311 First Avenue
Ok, we confess. This is neither a business nor is it independently owned; it’s run by Beth Israel. However, the Karpas Center is a regular destination for area residents looking to get basic health questions asked or for other services like free health screenings and flu shots, $5-$10 meditation classes or access to other free and cheap hospital services. On any given day at the center, a front area consists of a wall of heath pamphlets, a computer for the use of the public (but only for health-related internet searches) and a few seats and tables.
Julie Winslow, the center’s director, said the place’s purpose is to be “the front door of Beth Israel,” in other words, to communicate that a hospital is more than just its E.R. It opened in 1981 and has since then offered its onsite services like meditation and screenings as well as offsite ones like visiting nurse and social workers to places like the Stuyvesant Town Community Center and local senior centers such as SAGE for LGBT older adults in Chelsea. “Ninety-nine percent of our services are free,” said Winslow. There are also a number of lectures and support groups offered in Beth Israel facilities. Since the closure of St. Vincent’s, Karpas has also done more outreach to residents on the West Side. Partners include the Educational Alliance and Nurses in NORCS.
Notices about upcoming and regular health events can be found in T&V’s Health & Fitness Events section.
Synergy Fit Club
244 E. 14th Street, between Second and Third Avenues
Synergy Fitness Club
244 East 14th Street
Ulises, who works at the front desk of this Synergy Fitness club, said that this location for the gym opened in November, 2012. The gym is open 24 hours a day during the week, from 5 a.m. on Monday through 11 p.m. on Friday, as well as during the day on the weekends. Since the location is fairly new, renovations are being done, mostly during the weekend hours when the gym is closed.
Even though the space is being renovated, Ulises said that all of the equipment is available, which includes treadmills, ellipticals, stairmasters and others. They also have about 20 personal trainers who are available at all hours by appointment.
There is a studio space at the gym but that has not opened yet because the rugs are being replaced by rubber flooring. Once those renovations are complete, yoga and pilates classes will be available as well. There are four additional locations in Manhattan for the gym as well as one in Astoria and Staten Island.
Waterside Health Club
35 Waterside Plaza
Although the club is attached to the property, the swim and health club is an amenity available for anyone, not just residents of Waterside Plaza. The club has a pool as well as cardio and weight rooms, and there is a full schedule of classes, including yoga, water aerobics, cardio weight training, Zumba and others. Most of the classes are included in the membership without an additional fee and some classes are free for both members and non-members.
Employee Alex Navedo said that in addition to the fitness rooms, there is also a sun deck that is open during the warmer months and a room that people can rent out for parties on the weekends.
Memberships are available for both residents and non-residents, but non-residents need to pay a one-time initiation fee of $55. After the initiation fee, the rates are the same, including $595 for an adult yearly membership, with discounts for students and seniors.
332 East 14th Street
Metro Bicycles has been on East 14th Street between First and Second since 1969; first on the north side of the street before it was replaced by Blimpie (now a Papaya Dog) and then at its current location since the 1980s. The spot doesn’t charge for small things like air for tires and seat adjustments and small repairs are usually under $20. They’re open from Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Ian Tsuji, one of the managers at the shop who started working there when he was in high school in the 90s, said that the arrival of Citi Bike has negatively affected the business and since the program was launched, they’ve sold and rented out fewer bikes. “Our business has evolved and grown over the years with little things, not just selling bikes,” he said. “It’s expensive for us to operate, and Citi Bank is undercutting small businesses with this program.”
On a more positive note, he said he’s hoping that Citi Bike might increase interest in and enthusiasm for biking in New York, and then maybe increase business. “But it hasn’t so far,” he added. “That’s the catch.”
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Creative Dream Parties
25 Waterside Plaza
Owner Deborah Borjas opened Creative Dream Parties in Waterside Plaza in September 2006. Borjas creates birthday parties for children of various ages and with various themes, including Hannah Montana, arts and crafts, tea party, High School Musical, carnival, pool party and others. Party themes also include character actors, singers, dancers and artists, such as a pirate, hula girl, princess and others. Different party themes are available for children from ages two to five and from six to 10 and the packages include personalized birthday poster cards, balloons, name tags for all the children, pizza and games. Free parking is available for up to 10 guest cars, including the birthday child’s parent.
Borjas also offers a toddler program for children ages three to five with morning and afternoon sessions where children participate in activities that encourage cognitive and social growth.
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387 Second Avenue, between East 22nd and 23rd Street
Imagination Photo has been in business since 1997 but only moved to this location on Second Avenue in 2012. Business owner Gennadiy Borodanski said that they mostly do digital photo printing now, but if customers come in with old-fashioned film that needs to be developed and printed, the staff can do that as well.
Borodanski said that headshots and business cards for artists have become popular, and the shop also does a lot of holiday and greeting cards with customized messages and pictures. Online ordering for photos is available through the store’s website.
226 East 14th Street
This computer and cell phone repair shop has been open since 1996 and owner Ken Sander, who lives in the area, said that the business has definitely changed since opening, just because of the different kinds of electronics people need repaired.
Sander also noted that business has been a little down since Sandy, but a lot of their clientele is repeat customers, some local but also some who come down from the Bronx.
“We service our neighbors,” Sander said. “We’re not here to get rich.”
He said that the most popular services are computer and iPhone screen repairs, as well as tablet and cell phone repairs.
50 West 23rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
Computer retailer DataVision opened in the Flatiron District in late July. The company’s flagship store is a “fully connected” consumer electronics showroom and includes fully working display units where customers can learn about the products, a headphone listening station, a complimentary phone-charging station by Griffin and an Ooma VOIP Phone Booth. The store’s newly renovated space includes an area where shoppers can make international phone calls for free.
The company holds retailer authorizations for electronic brands such as Apple, Sony, Samsung, Sonos, Olympus, Beats, Canon, HP, Dyson, and Asus and also serves as an authorized Service Center for Sony, Samsung, Lenovo and others. DataVision offers same day service on most computer repairs and upgrades.
The hours for the store are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
238 Third Avenue
One of three locations for this pet supply retailer (two are in Manhattan, the other is in Jersey City), Canis Minor in Gramercy has been a destination for over 10 years for owners who want organic and holistic treats and food for their furry friends.
The Gramercy location also has a new owner, Minsu Lee, manager Sonia Bravo said, who’s also very concerned with supporting brands of pet food that are manufactured in the United States. The store’s most popular item is wet food, but Canis Minor also carries some toys and accessories for owners who are looking to pamper their pooches for the holidays.
420 East 14th Street
Petopia has been open in this spot for the past three years. The pet supply store specializes in all things cats and dogs, including food, toys and “any other supplies they need,” according to employee Armando Contreras.
Contreras, who has been working at the store since it opened, said that food is the most popular item. “Some people don’t buy toys for their pets but they always need food no matter what,” he said. He added that the treats are popular as well and the store also offers organic and all-natural food options. In addition to toys, cat and dog beds are available.
Contreras said that the store has lots of regular customers, mostly local people coming in to get food every week. Dogs are welcome in the store and there is even a bucket with some treats for them by the register.
1133 Broadway, between West 25th and 26th Street
Broadway got a new business in the form of an old bookstore at the end of July 2015. Sixteen months after a developer booted the shop from its location on 57th Street where the business had been for almost three decades, Rizzoli Bookstore reopened at a new location across from Madison Square Park in the St. James building. The store is known for its specialty art and design books but the New York Post noted that the new spot will offer a selection of fiction and memoirs for the more casual browsers. The store’s new manager also told the paper that the plan is to concentrate more on cocktail parties and corporate events, and possibly even host runway shows.
The store is open from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays and Saturdays, and 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. The store will be open on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting in September.