Orchard Street’s Interstate Food & Liquor Sold

IF&L, 74 Orchard St. Photo by Alex M. Smith.

Interstate Food & Liquor, the 18-month-old bar and restaurant at 74 Orchard St., is changing hands. Owner Andy Boose tells us the new owners are “a nice group who will be maintaining much of the look and ‘neighborhood’ feel of the place.” They also plan to retain the chef and the manager, Boose says, though the establishment’s name will change.

Boose holds a regular day job as a global event planner and is also involved in Spitzer’s Corner, Los Feliz and the new Tiny Fork, an oyster bar just up the street at 167 Orchard St., which Boose says is set to open “imminently.”

Retail Report: New Day Care, New Nail Spa, Plus Designer Menswear Updates

Ernest Alexander's new menswear store at 9 Clinton St. opened yesterday. Photo via @ernestalexander Twitter feed.

This morning we have some storefront news from around the neighborhood:

  • 118 Ludlow St. (Houston/Stanton): Think Pink Spa signed a 10-year lease for 2,200 square feet of space, also according to The Real Deal.
  • 9 Clinton St. (Houston/Stanton): Ernest Alexander, the NYC-based menswear designer, opened its first retail location yesterday, a pop-up shop we first previewed last month.
  • 74 Orchard St. (Broome/Grand): Work continues to transform the former Hyper Island digital design school into a new home for By Robert James, whose menswear boutique at 72 Orchard will move one door north and make room for incoming jeweler The Great Frog, which had originally planned to open its first NYC store yesterday.

Hyper Island Departing Orchard Street

Hyper Island opened its digital media school at 74 Orchard in July 2010.

The block of Orchard Street between Grand and Broome is brimming with business news this week. In addition to Cafe Katja’s planned expansion we reported yesterday, The Lo-Down has learned that Hyper Island is departing for SoHo while adjacent boutique By Robert James may take over its former storefront.

The Swedish-based digital media school debuted on Orchard Street in July 2010, establishing its first U.S. headquarters here on the Lower East Side. Maria Eriksson, a Hyper Island representative, says the company was outgrowing the space and decided it was a good time to move. The new, larger offices will allow the company to host classes of up to 50 people, rather than the current max of 10, but the move is still a bit bittersweet. “We love Orchard Street,” said Eriksson.

Peek at 74 Orchard, LES Food Tours, Dragon Fruit, Falai

Renovations were in the works this week at 74 Orchard St., the former home of Bunny Chow.

It’s been a really busy week on the LES restaurant scene. The health department shut down The National Underground. The Doughnut Plant made plans to expand. Cafe Grumpy opened. In other food news:

  • We took a sneak peek at the renovations inside 74 Orchard, the former home of the short-lived Bunny Chow and the future home of an as-yet-unnamed burgers and fish-and-chips joint backed by the owners of Los Feliz.
  • The Tenement Museum’s Annie Polland talked about German beer halls of old and the Lower East Side food tours beginning next week.
  • Dragon fruit is making its way onto American menus, and the chef at Alias says, “It looks like something out of Star Wars, like Jabba the Hut would be eating.”
  • Iacopo Falai is expanding his LES empire with a new trattoria at 77 Clinton St.

CB3 Panel Approves Bowery Steakhouse

Community Board 3’s SLA Committee breezed through a short agenda last night in record time. They approved a full liquor license at 241 Bowery for a steakhouse from Motorino’s Mathieu Polombino. There were not a lot of new details about the concept. An Eater operative/intern was told the menu is being “kept under wraps for now.”  A lawyer representing Polombino emphasized  the restaurant would be next door to the Sunshine Hotel (one of the last SRO’s left on the Bowery), NOT directly beneath the hotel. They hope to add a sidewalk cafe at some point.

Also, a proposal from the guys behind Los Feliz to take over the Bunny Chow space at 74 Orchard got the green light. Andrew Boose outlined plans to open a casual neighborhood spot where you’ll be able to get a burger and fries, fish and chips and spaghetti and meatballs.  

Los Feliz Partner Taking Over Bunny Chow Space?

More information on some of the applicants going before Community Board 3’s SLA Committee tonight…

As we noted when the agenda came out a few days ago, there appears to be an ownership change at Bunny Chow the year-old South African restaurant at 74 Orchard. According to documents filed with CB3, it seems that new owner is Robert Boose, part of the team that opened Ludlow Street taqueria Los Feliz.

There’s not a lot of information on the application  — no clue what kind of food Boose and partner Robert Blatt plan to serve. They’re looking to transfer Bunny Chow’s full liquor license and be open seven days a week, noon-4am. There would be recorded music and an “occasional dj.”

Nurse Bettie, Bunny Chow, Bowery SRO on CB3’s December Bar Docket

Next week Community Board 3’s SLA Committee will meet to scrutinize December’s liquor license applicants. Pyro-cocktail specialist Apotheke has already been crossed off the agenda, leaving a fairly mundane but still lengthy docket to adjudicate. A few items of note:

  • Nurse Bettie (106 Norfolk) is looking to renew its license but will be made to answer for complaints from neighbors.
  • Hachi Enterprises returns to request a full liquor license at 185 Orchard, the ground floor in the Thompson LES Hotel. This past month, CB3 rejected a wine/beer license from these same applicants because they did not appear before the committee.
  • It appears new owners want to take over the license at the Inhabit Karaoke Lounge (39 Eldridge) and upgrade to a full bar.