New Arrivals: Faded Royalty, Just ‘Cause Collective, El Rey

Here’s a a look at some of the recent openings on the Lower East Side. This feature first appeared in the November 2013 edition of our print magazine.

faded royalty
Faded Royalty; image via store’s tumblr page.

Faded Royalty (57 Clinton St.) is the third location and the new flagship for the mens’ streetwear brand, which also has stores in Jersey City and Bergenfield, N.J. After launching inside Coat of Arms just down the street, the boutique expanded into its own space at the end of September. Headwear and T-shirts for millennial set start at $20 for knit beanies, with a wide variety of cap designs running around $35. Shop hours are noon to 8 p.m. daily.

Just ’Cause Collective (129 Rivington St.) is a collective of self-described “hot ladies who make stuff with their hands.” Founded by Alexis Greene, the collective launched a pop-up shop Oct. 10. It showcases lovely jewelry, clothing, photography, graphic design, fashion and home goods crafted by its NYC-based members. The shop is open 1 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and hosts many evening events.

Norman’s Cay (74 Orchard St.), a new Caribbean-themed seafood joint from the Grey Lady team, takes its name from a small island in the Bahamas. The menu features fish, shrimp and chicken accented with plantains, chutneys and interesting sauces. Small plates include conch fritters and grouper fingers. Lionfish, an invasive species that’s destroying coral reef ecosystems (and happens to be delicious), is also planned for the menu.

Contra (138 Orchard St.) opened Oct. 2 after long delays and much hoopla in the food press touting its proprietors’ sterling resumes. The small restaurant offers a seasonal five-course tasting menu that changes daily and costs $55 per person (with additional charges for extras, like bread). Contra serves dinner Tuesday through Saturday, 6 p.m. to midnight. Reservations and walk-ins are accepted, and food is served at the beer-and-wine-only bar as well.

El Rey Coffee Bar (100 Stanton St.) is a new beverage bar and bakery, serving coffee, espresso, iced chai, house-made sodas and a diverse selection of domestic and imported beers on tap. To eat, there are ever-changing sweet and savory options, which recently included brazil nut and coriander seed biscotti and bruleed orange polenta cake. The cafe is open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and weekends 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Extra Butter (125 Orchard St.,, a six-year-old Long Island-based sneaker boutique, opened its first Manhattan store on the LES last month. Fresh kicks are the stars at the bi-level showroom that features a movie-theater theme, but it’s not just for sneaker-heads, says co-owner Jason Faustino. “We have always aimed to be accessible both to the avid collector and the casual fan of street culture. It’s not just about a feeling of exclusivity,” he said in announcing the Oct. 10 opening. “We want to attract individuals that appreciate culture and want to play with their style.”