How sweet it is. The new ice cream truck in town will be operated by Mikey Likes it. (Photos by Thomas Rochford)
By Sabina Mollot
Stuyvesant Town residents who were out and about on the First Avenue Loop on Friday afternoon may have seen the newest vehicle to enter management’s fleet, only this time it’s not a security SUV or contractor club car, but an ice cream truck.
The baby blue and white van, which was parked on the side of the road, has the words, “Peter Coop’s Scoops” and the Peter Cooper logo on its side.
Asked about this, Stuyvesant Town general manager Rick Hayduk said that is really an ice cream truck and it will be open for business in Peter Cooper and Stuy Town (where legally allowed to operate), on June 19. It may also, where allowed, Hayduk stressed, pop up at public events in the city, and it will also appear at another Blackstone-owned property, Kips Bay Court.
The truck is part of Stuy Town Property Services’ recently announced re-branding efforts such as the new, minimalist property logos and last year’s apartment-in-a-box van that drove around the city. It’s being operated independently by Mikey Likes It, an ice cream shop owned by a Stuyvesant Town resident, Michael Cole. The business has a location in the East Village on Avenue A as well as on Fredrick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem. In exchange for having the ST/PCV wrap as a form of advertising for the property, management gave Mikey Likes It the truck to use.
“We’re not in the ice cream business,” Hayduk clarified.
A new leasing office is under construction in Peter Cooper Village. (Photos by Thomas Rochford)
By Sabina Mollot
Earlier this week, residents noticed that a new leasing office was being advertised in Peter Cooper Village in the corner space previously occupied by the Petite Abeille restaurant. The slick-looking posters show smiling individuals of various ages, and the property’s very new logo for Peter Cooper.
Asked about the advertisements, Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village general manager Rick Hayduk confirmed there is a new leasing office under construction just for Peter Cooper, but it will be housed in the neighboring 350 First Avenue. This is where another leasing office, primarily a center for brokers’ use, used to be until closing last year. The new leasing office was briefly mentioned in an e-blast to neighbors last week that also mentioned the Stuyvesant Town leasing office would be getting “a refresh,” as would signage and employee uniforms.
“Since our acquisition in late 2015, StuyTown Property Services’ and Beam Living’s focused attention has been on improving a resident’s experience (resident communication, situational response time, exterior aesthetics, quality of life issues, playgrounds, etc.), and we felt it was time to reset the ‘public’ image of the two communities,” Hayduk said in a written statement. Continue reading →
Police officer in front of the bank at 262 First Avenue (Photo by Sean O’Ceallaigh)
By Sabina Mollot
Police are looking for a man who tried to rob the Citibank in Stuyvesant Town on Saturday.
Police say the man strolled into the bank at 262 First Avenue at 10 a.m. and, after approaching the teller, opened an encyclopedia he was holding to a page with a handwritten note demanding cash.
However, the teller did not comply and the man ran off.
The suspect is described as white, 30 to 40 years old, 6’1″ tall and 180 lbs. He was last seen wearing a black jacket, a grey hoodie, black hat, grey gloves, and black sweatpants with red stripes.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or log onto nypdcrimestoppers.com. All calls are strictly confidential.
Update: Rick Hayduk, general manager of Stuyvesant Town, said StuyTown Property Services has provided video to the NYPD and will continue to provide assistance to police. Additionally, the Public Safety department has beefed up patrols along First Avenue with officer patrols as well as cameras.
Cops are looking for a man who shoved an employee at the Coach store at 79 Fifth Avenue after he was caught trying to shoplift.
It was on Thursday, March 7 at 6:10 p.m., when the man strolled into the store at East 16th Street and picked up a $295 bag and an $1,100 jacket. When he tried to leave without paying, an employee confronted him. The man then shoved him out of his way and said, “Do you want to get punched or do you want to get stabbed?” The thief then fled out a rear door with the luxury label items.
The suspect is described as black, 25, 5 ft. 11 ins. and 160 lbs. He was wearing a black coat and hat and white sneakers. Because of the alleged threat, he is being sought for robbery, rather than theft.
Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-TIPS (8477). All calls are confidential.
Update at 12:15 p.m.: Cooper Cafe has withdrawn its application and will not be at Community Board 6’s Thursday meeting, CB6 has told us.
By Sabina Mollot
The operators of 5 Stuy Café have applied for a wine, beer and cider license and the application will be among one of several to be discussed at a Community Board 6 meeting on Thursday evening.
Liquor and beer and wine licenses are granted or denied by the State Liquor Authority, but community boards have an advisory role.
The Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association mentioned the upcoming meeting in an email blast to tenants on Monday evening. It will be held by the CB6 Business Affairs and Street Activities Committee on Thursday, February 28 at 7 p.m. at the board office at 211 East 43rd Street, Suite 1404.
Meanwhile, Stuy Town general manager Rick Hayduk told Town & Village that after learning about the application, he would be requesting that it be withdrawn until the details are vetted by StuyTown Property Services. The café is run by a third-party operator called Cooper Café LLC.
Susan Steinberg, the president of the ST-PCV Tenants Association, said the association has not taken a position on alcohol being served at the café.
“We acknowledge the many tenants who have requested the option of having a glass of beer or wine with their food,” said Steinberg. “We also acknowledge the many tenants who are concerned about the possible consequences (increased noise and commotion) that might arise as a result of the wine and beer license. An applicant who comes before the Business Affairs and Street Activities Committee of Community Board 6 will need to assure Board 6 and the public of their procedures to contain noise and nuisance. (Disclosure: I am Vice Chair of that committee; I can ask questions but will have to abstain from voting.) Assuming the application is approved, if management is unable to contain behavior after a few months, the TA will come down hard.”
The following is an open letter to Stuyvesant Town Property Services CEO/Stuy Town General Manager Rick Hayduk,
As a 41-year long resident of Stuyvesant Town, I am writing to ask you to reconsider Blackstone’s determination to raise the rent against the Associated Supermarket on 14 th Street, causing them to leave our neighborhood.
It is most distressing that almighty profit once again outweighs the value that that market has had in our neighborhood for 25 years.
When I first learned that the store would open there, I was dubious. However, they have been able to run the store and the multiple complications connected with that with a minimum of disruption to us… despite the load in of product, the removal of garbage and the acceptance of bottles from street collectors.
The store’s employees are like family to us… we have seen them get their first job, pay for college, get married, take maternity leave and return, and have a decent job for these many years.
That has been an invaluable commitment on the store owners’ parts, creating a special feeling for those of us who have shopped there.
I know this letter won’t change your mind or the direction your negotiations take.
But I hope it makes you a little less able to look yourself in the mirror.
By Sabina Mollot Cops are hunting a brute who robbed a 40-year-old woman, punched her multiple times and then demanded she strip.
Police said this happened on Wednesday, shortly before 1 p.m. at a Kips Bay acupuncture center/spa. The man strode into the business, Green Tea acupuncture wellness, at 240 East 28th Street, before demanding money from the cash register. He then punched a female employee repeatedly in the face and on her body. While grabbing her by the neck, he also told her to take off her clothes, police said. She didn’t although she did at that point give $500 to the man who fled in an unknown direction.
The woman was taken to a local hospital where she was treated and released.
The suspect is described as black-Hispanic, 6’2″ tall and 220 lbs., with blotchy skin, brown eyes and short curly black hair. He was last seen wearing a dark blue jacket, blue jeans, black sneakers and a multi-colored back pack.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
Toasty (not toasted) Ess-a-Bagels (Photo by Danny Chin)
By Sabina Mollot
On Thursday, Ess-a-Bagel announced via Facebook that the long delayed store opening in Stuyvesant Town would be some time early next week.
“Will post the exact date over the weekend. Happy Labor Day and look forward to seeing you all next week!!” read a post.
Owner David Wilpon didn’t return a call for comment but said previously that the delay in opening had to do with numerous permits.
Ess-a-Bagel at 324 First Avenue was originally supposed to open in February, nearly a year after the company lost its lease across the street to Tal Bagels.
Since then three permits have been approved by the city for work related to the new store’s renovation, for signage, sprinklers and floors.
By Wednesday, Town & Village reader Danny Chin alerted us that good news was in the air.
“I was lucky enough to get a photo of the 1st test batch of bagels from the new Ess-a-Bagel,” he said. “They were testing out their new oven as I was walking by this afternoon. The bagel was nicely blistered and crispy.”
Visana, a pizzeria in front and cocktail lounge in back, on First Avenue (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Visana, the First Avenue speakeasy style cocktail lounge that’s previously drawn the ire of neighbors due to nighttime noise, had the 13th Precinct’s commanding officer seeing red recently after officers issued seven summonses for underage drinking.
Deputy Inspector Brendan Timoney said the 13th Precinct will be taking a more active role with regards to disruptive patrons at Visana after those incidents, which occurred at the end of February.
“We’ve been on top of them lately but that was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Timoney said. “(Visana owner David Jaffee) was crying out in the street saying they didn’t want this to happen but they advertised a party that night. They knew this would happen when they packed the place.”
Jaffee and his partner Ross Rachlin have been at a number of meetings of the 13th Precinct Community Council in the last few months but were not present this Tuesday as Timoney addressed community members.
Area residents, who were at the meeting to find out if progress had been made in keeping the bar under control, praised the police officers who have responded to the scene in dealing with the drunken crowds.
Visana recently failed to get the support of a Community Board 6 committee in its hopes for renewal of its liquor license. The business has an upcoming hearing with the State Liquor Authority regarding charges on noise and license issues.
Mumbles at Third Avenue and 17th Street (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
Mumbles, a family-run restaurant that’s been in the Gramercy neighborhood for 22 years, closed its doors for good on Sunday.
The business has been sold to the owners of a nearby restaurant La Follia, who will be moving in February.
On Thursday, January 21, Mumbles’ owner, David Feldman threw a going away party at the restaurant, which he said was packed with family, friends and regulars.
Reached at the restaurant the next day as the city prepared for a blizzard, Feldman explained his reasons for closing the restaurant, which at one time had three Manhattan locations.
For one thing, his father, who started the business, died six years ago, leaving Feldman and his brother to run things. But then Feldman also lost his brother a year ago to cancer.
This left Feldman alone to run Mumbles as well as two other restaurants the family owned, Benjamin in Murray Hill, and East of Eighth in Chelsea, as well as a catering business. Those businesses will all remain open.
Council Member Annabel Palma, prime sponsor of the SBJSA City Council photo)
The Small Business Jobs and Survival Act, which had been languishing in the City Council for 30 years up until a recent organized push helped get 27 Council members to indicate their support for it, has been blasted by critics as being unconstitutional. What’s interesting though is that no one, not even its stiffest opponents, are giving any reasons why this is the case.
We won’t pretend to be legal experts but what we know is this. Owners of small businesses in this city are in desperate need of some bargaining power because right now they have none. At any time, any business that is doing well and meeting the needs of the community it serves could still disappear overnight, whether it’s due to an obscenely high rent hike or a refusal from a speculative landlord to even offer a renewal at any price.
We appreciate the effort being made by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer on a bill that would at least force property owners to negotiate in good faith with a tenant. However, with the only sure thing in that scenario being a one-year lease extension for a business at a 15 percent rent hike, it just won’t be enough to stem the tide of mom-and-pops being forced out by chains and banks.
The SBJSA, however, if passed, would give an existing tenant another 10 years. This would actually make a huge dent in bringing back the stability the city’s retail landscape hasn’t known in many years.
Michael Anthony, chef and partner at three restaurants in the Danny Meyer empire, at home (Photo by Maura McEvoy)
By Sabina Mollot
The executive chef as well as a partner at three Danny Meyer-owned restaurants, including Gramercy Tavern, has just released a cookbook devoted to the art of cooking vegetable-based dishes.
For Michael Anthony, this book, V is for Vegetables: Inspired Recipes & Techniques for Home Cooks from Artichokes to Zucchini ($25 at bn.com, hardcover), is his second. The first, published in 2012, was The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook.
This time, Anthony said he wanted to focus on dishes that, while not necessarily vegetarian, are cooked around vegetables, instead of relegating them to sides. Both he and Meyer will be discussing the so-called “vegetable forward” concept, now a norm at two of Meyer’s restaurants, at an event at Barnes & Noble on November 30.
Anthony also discussed the concept with Town & Village this week, saying the idea of the book was to make veggies enticing — and easy — for anyone to cook at home.
“V is for Vegetables is not about restaurant cooking,” said Anthony. “We all lead busy lives. It’s hard to work a full schedule and then have to get to a cutting board and cook for a hungry family. I have three kids and if it’s not done in 25 minutes, everyone’s upset.”
Additionally, he said, “Cleanup shouldn’t take more time than it took to cook the dinner.”
V is for Vegetables is not however, a vegetarian cookbook.
“Meat and fish are in some of the recipes to show it’s not a style of cooking that involves any deprivation,” he said. “It’s about pleasure, but vegetables dominate the idea.”
For Anthony, the effort to highlight vegetables came from wanting to prepare foods that were distinctly New York.
“For the last nine years at Gramercy Tavern we’ve been challenging ourselves to cook vegetables, which we consider a direct gateway to looking at how distinct eating can be in New York and in our region,” he said. “What’s different about eating in this city compared to all the other wonderful places we’ve eaten? How do we create lasting memories? At Gramercy Tavern, we do this in the main dining room menu using vegetables that are seasonal, not necessarily vegetarian but expressing our feelings of what it is distinct of here at this time and in this place. It’s not just an option out for people who don’t eat other stuff. If we talk about vegetarian, we’re talking about excluding some things we love to eat.”
In keeping with eating locally, shopping for groceries at greenmarkets or through a CSA is something Anthony recommends, adding that this can be done affordably with some planning.
“For less money than it takes to go to the supermarket, you can actually cook for your family using fresh food from the greenmarket,” he said. “People leave (the greenmarket) with a big heavy bag of vegetables. How do you then turn it into three meals instead of one recipe from a cookbook? We need to look at food not as a collection of recipes, but a continuation, a constant. That allows us to eat economically and healthily. There should be a continuation from the last meal. Re-purposing and preparing foods that make the next meal easier and faster.”
Anthony also delved into the subject of organic vs. inorganic vegetables and whether it really makes a difference.
“It’s a question I get all the time,” he said, adding that while “it is a big deal,” he feels buying locally grown produce is more important than whether an item is organic.
“The organic movement historically has always deserved our attention,” he said. “But we’ve been cheated as consumers. The American organic label has been so watered down, so twisted, it’s no longer a source of confidence. What I tend to do is encourage people to eat real food from close to home. If you buy at a farmer’s market you can ask questions and decide for yourself if you like how it’s grown without pesticides. It’s very expensive (for farmers to get organic certification) so I do not use the organic label as a reference point for making my decisions. The story of what it is to eat in the northeast is much more important to me than what its carbon footprint is or what its label is.”
Anthony is also a fan of CSAs (Community Sponsored Agriculture) and gets a box of produce from a CSA he belongs to every Friday.
In V is for Vegetables, he included recipes based on some of those items.
“People pull vegetables out of their CSA box and say what is this?,” he said. “I’m not sure everyone’s familiar with a Jerusalem artichoke or a kohlrabi.”
As for the latter vegetable, “Not only is it grown all over the northeast, it’s one of the most delicious things you can eat because it’s super crunchy and mouth watering, kind of like water chestnuts,” said Anthony. “You can throw it into a stir fry or cut it into wedges and roast it. Just the way a potato is irresistible when you take it out of the oven, kohlrabi is, and it’s not as starchy.”
He hasn’t forgotten about more traditional foods though. The book includes a recipe for coleslaw, which is actually inspired by a recipe from his wife’s grandmother.
“I make big batches of coleslaw so it’s easy to pull out for a quick lunch or a side dish with dinner. It’s a very practical dish.”
He couldn’t choose a favorite recipe but noted that in cookbooks the recipes that tend to get duplicated the most are soups. His favorite in that category is a soup made from carrots “with coconut and radish to make it zippy and exciting.”
Anthony is hoping that the ease of the recipes will help home cooks resist the urge to cater to picky eaters by making different things for different members of the family, or just giving up and ordering out.
He cited statistics that show Americans today eat more out of their kitchen than they do in their kitchen.
“We go to restaurants or order out more than we cook our own meals.” The veteran chef added that he recognizes that for many, himself included, “It takes courage to cook.
“If you’re the one to cook and put your ideas out there for your friends and family, you’re up for all kinds of criticism. I have three daughters and my white chef’s hat doesn’t mean a thing to them. We need people to be encouraged and confident so they’ll do it more often.”
In V is for Vegetables, over 140 recipes are laid out from A to Z, and also include colorful illustrations painted by Anthony’s wife, Mindy Dubin.
Dubin, Anthony and their children live in midtown Manhattan. When not there or at Gramercy Tavern, Anthony can also be found at Untitled, a new Danny Meyer restaurant at the Whitney Museum, as well as another less formal eatery in the same building, Studio Café.
Anthony will be discussing and signing copies of his book and speaking with Meyer at the Union Square Barnes & Noble, 33 East 17th Street, on Monday, November 30 at 7 p.m.
Ess-a-Bagel is coming to Stuyvesant Town. (Photo by Melanie Frost)
By Sabina Mollot
Over half a year after closing its longtime home on First Avenue, Ess-a-Bagel will be reopening nearby — in Stuyvesant Town.
The new location is also on First Avenue at 19th Street.
One of the owners, David Wilpon, had previously told Town & Village (off the record) that he was working on a deal but the final papers hadn’t been signed as of last week. Talks had been going on for at least a couple of months though. On Friday, however, a banner was spotted in the store’s window at 324 First Avenue, and residents have already been cheering the news on Facebook and on local blog EVGrieve.
Another owner, Muriel Frost, told T&V on Friday the lease had been signed on Thursday. The new location will be bigger, which will allow the bagel shop to do things that couldn’t be done at the old shop.
“We will do catering and also delivery, which we were not physically equipped to do before,” Frost said.
Frost also said management at Stuyvesant Town had so far been very accommodating whenever Ess-A-Bagel had a request.
“They are very congenial; I really must praise them,” she said.
Meanwhile, Frost said she’s not worried about the new bagel shop in town, Tal Bagels, which got Ess-A-Bagel’s old space at the corner of 21st Street, since Ess-A-Bagel is well known. “We don’t see them as a threat,” she said. “With God’s help and everyone’s good wishes, we will open and we will have a ready audience.”
What took so long in reopening was that other places they’d looked at didn’t end up working out. One landlord on First Avenue, she recalled, changed his mind.
As for when the new location will open, Frost isn’t sure, because it has to be renovated first.
As Town & Village first reported in January, Ess-A-Bagel lost its lease, as did its neighbor, the now-closed Rose restaurant, and Grill 21, another neighboring eatery’s space, was also put on the market. Grill 21 is still open there though on a month-to-month lease. The landlord, an LLC owned by L&M Development head Ron Moelis and others, said it tried to make a deal but Ess-A-Bagel wouldn’t budge when given a rent increase. Ess-A-Bagel’s owners, however, said they were in the midst of negotiations when the landlord told them they were taking too long to sign on the dotted line.
Back in May, Stuyvesant Town’s general manager, David Sorise, said in an interview that Ess-A-Bagel would be “a great tenant to have,” and that tenants often request food-based businesses for the property’s retail spaces.
“It’s not just about which person’s going to pay the most rent,” Sorise said at the time.
Tal Bagels opened in Ess-a-Bagel’s old space on September 25, with a Bank of America soon to open next door.
Having two bagel joints so close to one another may not be the undoing of either company since further south on First Avenue, opposite Stuy Town, sit two other bagel restaurants, David’s and Bagel Boss.
Police are looking for a man who allegedly robbed a 7-Eleven store in Kips Bay after pulling a knife on an employee.
Cops say the holdup happened on Wednesday, October 14 at 478 Third Avenue (between East 32nd and 33rd Streets) at 10 p.m.
The suspect walked in, pulled out a knife and demanded money, police said. He then fled after an employee handed him $50. The suspect is described as being white, in his 30s, 5’10” tall, 185 lbs., and has a beard.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto Crime Stoppers’ website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577.
See more photos below:
7-Eleven robbery suspect (Surveillance photos via NYPD)
Adriatic has closed after over 25 years on First Avenue. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
On Friday, Adriatic pizzeria and restaurant, which had been across First Avenue from Stuyvesant Town for over a quarter century, closed, to the surprise of the community.
A board member of the ST-PCV Tenants Association learned about the imminent closure in the morning when she went to check out a Tenants Association dropbox that was at the location.
Town & Village attempted to reach the owner at around 2 p.m. but it was too late, with no one picking up the phone. A visit there shortly afterwards also produced no luck with a metal grate closed around the restaurant, located at 321 First Avenue between 18th and 19th Streets.
The restaurant switched ownership three years ago and also renovated the space. Like many businesses along First Avenue near the VA Medical Center, owner Nino Geni told T&V in the months after Hurricane Sandy, there had been a drop in business. Customers said recently the place never seemed busy.
Susan Steinberg, the chair of the Tenants Association as well as a member of Community Board 6, said she’d first gotten wind of the closure last December when another company tried to get the board’s blessing for a liquor license at the address. The new business was to be a pizzeria and lounge.
However, Steinberg said when the owners of Adriatic were asked about it, they denied that they were closing.
“All the small retailers are disappearing; the bagel shop, the (Cooper) laundromat,” said Steinberg. “They’re falling one by one.”
On the upside, Steinberg noted, “At least it’s not another bank or a pharmacy.”
Reached on the phone on Monday, David Jaffee, the co-owner of the new pizzeria/lounge, said it will be called Visana.
The front will be a pizzeria with both regular and gluten-free options, separated in order to avoid cross-contamination. The back area will be a bar and lounge with a focus on after work cocktails and events. The problem at Adriatic, Jaffee added, was that the owners “couldn’t make money on the restaurant portion.”
The menu at Visana will feature organic spirits and ingredients as much as possible, but not exclusively.
“It’s a balance between cost, reasonable selling price to our customers, spoilage,” explained Jaffee. “Some fruits and vegetables don’t need to be organic because they have a low pesticide load or are protected by their coverings, such as pineapple. Others should always be organic, such as strawberries and blueberries.”
Jaffee, who moved to Stuyvesant Town three months ago, added that he is “very committed to the community and I hope they will embrace us.” This is the first business venture for him as well as his partner Ross Rachlin. There is no set date for the opening since there is going to be some renovation work needed first. However, a note that’s been taped to the door does state the place will open at some point in August.
When going before CB6’s Business Affairs and Streets Activities Committee, Jaffee and Rachlin of Pure Hospitality LLC had pitched a pizza restaurant/lounge that would focus on organic food and beverages. The owners had hoped to stay open until 4 a.m., but CB6 prefers establishments to commit to closing at 2 a.m. In January, CB6 authored a resolution opposing the application, citing concerns from neighbors about a growing nightlife scene in the district and concerns from the Gramercy Park Block Association over having a lounge open until 4 a.m.
Jaffee said the board told him it would have no problem with his concept if he agreed to close at 2 a.m. for the first year. However, he didn’t want to commit to that time frame.
“We didn’t sign their stipulation because we felt confident that we could do better at the SLA level, which we did,” he said.
Last week, he got the business’s liquor license approved and liquor can be served until 3 a.m. for the first six months. Then after that he’s allowed to return and request permission to serve alcohol until 4 a.m. He’d requested permission to remain open until 4 a.m. but the SLA cited the community board’s concerns and the fact that Jaffee is a first-time operator as reason for the one less hour when he can serve alcohol. He doesn’t have to close at 3 a.m. though so from 3-4 a.m., Jaffee told Town & Village the plan is to make this a “detox hour,” when coconut water and healthy juices are served.