Editor’s Note: the following article first appeared in the April 2013 edition of The Lo-Down’s print magazine.
The supermarket scene on the Lower East Side has seen major shifts in recent months, with the arrival of Union Market, an upscale Brooklyn-based grocer that opened on East Houston street in November, and the closure the following month of the giant Pathmark on Cherry Street. Fine Fare, which has two stores in the neighborhood, recently reorganized and renovated sections of its Clinton Street store to beef up the produce department and expand its organic and higher-end offerings. We decided it would be a good time to take a look at prices in our local supermarkets and make some comparisons of basic kitchen staples among Fine Fare, Union Market, Whole Foods on East Houston Street and FreshDirect, the home-delivery grocer used by many urban households. Continue reading Price Check: Comparing Lower East Side Grocery Stores
- Chinatown merchants and restaurateurs vent their frustration with losses from Sandy, citing economic challenges that predated the storm. (Villager)
- Nearly three weeks after the power went out, many local merchants still can’t process purchases made with food stamps due to technical issues. (The Local)
- Readers weigh in with early reviews of the new Union Market on East Houston Street. (EVGrieve)
- In case you were wondering what it was like inside the PATH stations when Sandy’s storm surge rushed in, there’s video online now. (YouTube/PATH)
Union Market opened at the corner of East Houston and Avenue A yesterday.
As the weekend appears on the horizon, here’s a roundup of Lower East Side food and restaurant news.
- Mission Chinese wins a Restaurant of the Year award. (Eater) Meanwhile, what’s up with chef Danny Bowien’s hair, anyway? (Refinery 29)
- Clinton Street newcomer Pig & Khao lands on a “Five New NYC Restaurants to Try Now” list. (Fodor’s)
- It’s time to order your Thanksgiving pies. Panade Puffs & Pastries on Eldridge Street has traditional pumpkin, pecan and apple, as well as banana cream, coconut cream and coconut key lime. If pie isn’t your thing, proprietor Yvette Ho is also offering bread pudding. Prices start at $22 and orders must be in by Monday for Wednesday pickup. Call 646-319-5816 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Perfect Picnic, formerly of Clinton Street, opens today in its new spot, a subterranean space at 123 Ludlow St. They still have picnic supplies, but the new focus is on mini-baguette sandwiches. Smoked duck with arugula and sour cherry compote, anyone? (Thrillist)
- An inside look at Con Edison’s operations, including the transformer explosion on 14th Street that blew out the LES’s lights, during and in the aftermath of Sandy. (Fortune)
- Alternate side parking rules return to the LES today — and they apply to cars submerged in Sandy, operable or not. (DNA Info)
- Community Board 3′s transportation committee meets tonight to discuss, in great detail, the new Starbucks benches on First Avenue. (EVGrieve)
The future home of Union Market, 240 East Houston.
This morning we noticed some signs of progress inside Union Market, the upscale grocery store that’s been in development for close to two years at 240 East Houston (Essex Street). The Brooklyn-based company was expecting to open last fall, but there have been many delays. Continue reading Sneak Peek: Union Market at 240 East Houston
- Law enforcement officials crack down on big bus operators after they try to muscle in on the commuter van business that connects New York City’s Chinese communities (NYT).
- Asian Americans for Equality hopes to put pressure on a Chinatown landlord and the Wyndham Hotel Chinatown, three years after residents of 128 Hester Street were displaced from their homes (NY1).
- The long-delayed Union Market predicts a late summer opening (EV Grieve).
- A new “cash mob” to help St. Mark’s Bookshop relocate to a smaller space in the East Village (Jeremiah).
- On set at the CBGB film shoot: Savannah locals try to recreate the 1970′s New York City vibe (Savannah Morning News).
- 500 participants take part in the Brooklyn Bridge swim (Channel 4).
- There are new questions about the future of Cabrini Immigrant Services (The Local EV).
- Child care cuts debated during City Council budget hearing (NY1).
- Union Market eyes a mid-summer opening, but don’t hold your breath (EV Grieve).
- CBGB Festival lineup revealed (NYT).
- Could the “Madison Jackson” condo development add some “kosher chic” to the Lower East Side? (Tablet)
- As New York’s redistricting fight intensifies, Sheldon Silver might have a tough time keeping everyone happy (Post).
- Le Boron in Chinatown is exhibit one in the Times’ treatise on the French takeover of New York nightlife (NYT).
Food truck Mexicue signed a lease for 2,000 square feet on Forsyth Street.
From this month’s edition of The Real Deal comes news about several Lower East Side retail properties:
- 106 Forsyth St.: The operators of food truck Mexicue signed a 10-year lease for a 2,000-square-foot restaurant between Broome and Grand streets, offering cuisine that’s “the sweet, sweet love child of red-hot Mexican cuisine and down-home, barbeque goodness.”
- 218-220 Bowery: Italian race car star Alessandro Zampedri signed a lease with an option to buy this space on the Bowery between Spring and Prince, where he plans to open The Bowery House hotel, ”an affordable hospitality concept with a coffee bar on the ground floor.” More details on Massey Knakal’s website. Continue reading Mexicue Food Truck Lands on the LES
At the corner of Essex and Houston streets, where once a doodle-covered chalkboard dominated a dim dive bar, new French doors now throw light onto exposed brick walls, chandeliers and stylish wooden communal tables awaiting patrons—who presumably will arrive later this week.
Peri Wine Bar is all ready to serve its 120 varieties of wine, beer in bottles and on draft, and a menu of Mediterranean fare. Owner Gokhan Cakmak said yesterday he will finally pop the cork on celebratory champagne on Thursday or Friday for friends who originally expected to be raising a glass to his new venture earlier this month. (The public is welcome, too.) Continue reading Peri Wine Bar Opening This Week at 181 Essex Street
Brooklyn grocer Union Market will open at 240 E. Houston this fall.
Editor’s note: On Friday EV Grieve reported the big news that an upscale Brooklyn market was taking over the ground floor of 240 East Houston, at Essex Street. Our Jennifer Strom went over to Cobble Hill to learn more about the owners’ Lower East Side plans:
Union Market, a small chain of neighborhood grocery stores specializing in local, organic and natural foods, plans to open its first Manhattan store at the corner of Houston and Essex streets this fall.
With stores in Park Slope and Cobble Hill, Union Market’s founders decided to take the big leap across the East River for two reasons, says partner Marko Lalic. They have personal ties to the neighborhood: Co-founder Martin Nunez grew up on the Lower East Side and the third co-founder, Paul Fernandez, is a partner in two prominent local restaurants, Macondo at Allen and Houston, and Rayuela at Allen and Stanton.
Secondly, they see the Lower East Side as having a community ambiance comparable to the Brooklyn neighborhoods where their first three stores have succeeded.
“This particular location is the stomping grounds of two of my partners,” Lalic said in an interview yesterday. “And there’s a very similar feel between here and there.” Continue reading More on Union Market’s LES Expansion Plans
Photo by Joel Raskin.
Partly sunny today with a high of 26. Winds will gust up to about 15 mph. The good news: it’s going to be warming up for the weekend! Continue reading Good Morning!