The Late Late Bar at 159 E. Houston St. opened last weekend. Photo via Facebook.
It was a busy week in Lower East Side restaurant news: Cherche Midi prepared for its opening tonight, Wylie Dufresne announced wd~50 will close this fall, Katz’s defended itself against a Florida imposter and Shalom Chai kosher pizzeria went to court. But there’s plenty more to report before the week gets away from us.
- The Late Late Bar has joined the East Houston Street party. After completely remaking the former National Underground space, proprietor James Morrissey is now serving–among other beverage options–Guinness over ice, garnished with mint. (He tells us that’s the way they drink it in Nigeria, a stronghold of the beloved Irish brew.) The bar is backed by guitarist Rob Ackroyd of the band Florence and the Machine.
- Russ & Daughters‘ annual celebration of New Catch Holland Herring began yesterday in both the East Houston Street shop and the new Orchard Street cafe. The buttery, mild fish is available for takeout as a sandwich or by the fish at the shop, while the restaurant will offer a variety of herring specials on its menu through mid-July.
- Rosette on East Broadway has launched a happy hour, featuring $5 beer, wine and special cocktails, as well as bar snacks like wild mushroom flatbread, roasted avocado and chicken wings. It runs from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
- Sweet Chick, the new outpost of a Williamsburg chicken and waffles joint at 178 Ludlow St., adds brunch to its repertoire beginning tomorrow. Weekend brunch start at 11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, while weekday brunch launches June 23 with service beginning at 10 a.m.
- Paulaner, the German brewery that just rebooted on the Bowery, launched a lunch menu this week. Served from noon to 3 p.m. daily, it includes bratwurst burgers with sauerkraut on a pretzel roll, open-faced sandwiches on rye bread and kasnudel, a cheese-filled pasta.
Mark Russ Federman (seated) with Josh and Nikki.
The other night, devotees of the famed appetizing store Russ & Daughters (including Martha Stewart) came to the Astor Center for a special occasion. Mark Russ Federman, who ran the East Houston Street shop for over 30 years, was celebrating the release of his new book, “Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes From the House That Herring Built.”
Federman, a legendary schmoozer, took a moment away from signing copies of the book and kibitzing to pose with Niki Russ Federman, his daughter, and nephew Josh Russ Tupper, who took over the business in 2009. In brief remarks a few moments later, the reformed attorney who found greater fulfillment in one of New York’s iconic retail establishments, thanked his customers. Referring to the wide assortment of people from all walks of life who make the pilgrimage to Russ & Daughters, Federman said, “I did not have to go see the world because the world came to see me.”
This popular feature spotlights a wide variety of people who live and work on the Lower East Side. This week, we are featuring Josh Russ Tupper, co-owner of the beloved appetizing store, Russ and Daughters. (Josh was also featured in our print magazine this month.)
If you would like to nominate someone for “My LES,” please email us here.
What do you do?
I am the fourth-generation owner of Russ & Daughters, along with my cousin Niki Russ Federman.
How long have you lived on the LES?
I moved to the LES in August of 2002 after spending five years working in the semiconductor industry in Portland, Ore.
Favorite block in the hood?
It has to be Broome between Orchard and Ludlow, because if you look up at the buildings, you can’t tell if you’re in the past or present.
Favorite date spot in the hood?
The downstairs bar at Bacaro when it’s cold outside. In the warmer months, outside at ‘Inoteca.
A midweek round-up of neighborhood food news:
- Mary Queen of Scots co-owner Donal Brophy explains his decor.
- Orchard Street’s Cheeky Sandwiches is expanding, with a new outpost in Brooklyn’s Dekalb Market; meanwhile, Serious Eats reviews its bacon, egg and cheese.
- Russ & Daughters got another Hollywood moment this week, hosting a location shoot for a new feature film, Lola Versus, which also filmed some street scenes around Essex and Canal over the weekend.
- The debut issue of David Chang’s new magazine features an interview with wd-50’s Wylie Dufresne.
- Following up on last month’s opening of Co-op Food & Drink, plans for the other dining spaces at the tony Hotel on Rivington are emerging.
- In the wake of the news his Grand Street space is expanding, Doughnut Plant’s Mark Israel tells a D.C. paper he’s still planning to open a store in the nation’s capital.
Russ & Daughters owner Niki Russ Federman speaks Friday as State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, DOE Fund Founder George McDonald and Tara DePorte of the LES Ecology Center look on.
State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer came to Russ & Daughters, the legendary Lower East Side appetizing store, today to announce a program to make it easier for restaurants to recycle their used cooking oil. The Doe Fund will pick up the cooking oil for free and sell it to producers who will convert it to biodiesel fuel.
When first approached about the program, Silver said he immediately wanted to get Russ & Daughters involved. He said it made a strong statement to other restaurants and food stores that an “institution” in the neighborhood was getting behind the recycling initiative.
Tara DePorte of the Lower East Side Ecology Center said her organization has been training students and quite a few New Yorkers who have lost their jobs to help restaurants reduce their impact on the environment. The program will soon expand to East Harlem and Washington Heights. Restaurants who take part in the program are eligible for special tax credits from the state.