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.