The DIY cereal station is open for business. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Venerable cereal company Kellogg’s opened a cereal-centric café on the north side of Union Square in mid-December. The cafe was previously open as a pop-up in Times Square but that location closed in August in preparation for the debut of the bigger space downtown.
The line at VERTS earlier this afternoon (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
New East 23rd Street restaurant VERTS Mediterranean Grill debuted across from Madison Square Park by offering free entrees on their first day of business today.
Keith Peterson, the vice president of marketing for the company, said that the free meals on the day of a grand opening is a standard business practice for the company, which is based in Texas and recently opened its first East Coast location in Boston recently and the East 23rd Street spot is the restaurant’s first New York location. There are no restrictions on what entrees customers can order and the full menu is available to pick from. Entrees include pitas, salads, rice bowls and quinoa bowls with protein add-ins, vegetable toppings and a variety of sauces. Side orders and drinks are not included in the deal but Peterson noted that the profits from those sales today will be donated to charity.
The restaurant is open until 10 p.m. and plans to serve the free meals until an hour before closing. The line still stretched down the block by 3 p.m., crossing in front of the entrances for neighbors Chop’t and Gasoline Alley Coffee, but Peterson said that it was even longer earlier in the day before the wind started picking up, and there was even a line at 10:30 a.m., half an hour before the restaurant opened for the day. Customers were waiting between half an hour to an hour for their meals and Peterson predicted that the line would get longer again once office workers started leaving for the day.
Owners Carole and Johnny Husiak, who also live in Stuyvesant Town (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
Ibiza Kidz, a children’s shop for shoes, clothing and toys located in Union Square, has expanded to open a second location in Stuyvesant Town.
The new store, like the other location between 12th and 13th Streets on Broadway, is owned by a couple that lives in Stuy Town, Carole and Johnny Husiak.
Carole said the idea to expand to her own neighborhood came from the property’s leasing agents, Rose Associates, who approached her about the 1800 square foot space.
“The agent said, ‘we have a space and we feel the community would benefit and is in need of a children’s store,’” Carole said. “So we came and loved it. It was a no-brainer. There was an absence of this kind of shop.”
This was five months ago. Negotiations started soon afterwards but were then delayed due to the sale of the complex to Blackstone in October.
However, it was important to the Husiaks to be open in time for the holidays, so Ibiza Kidz, which now has a 10-year lease, opened its doors on Saturday.
The space is on First Avenue between 19th and 20th Streets. This was most recently home to a RadioShack and Ibiza Kidz will also have access to the basement.