LES Bites: Ivan Ramen Approaches, Antonioni’s Slideshow, Tea at NuMu

LES Bites: Hester Street, Local Coffee, Starbucks Juice Plans

Orchard Street's original Roasting Plant.

A roundup of the neighborhood food news this week:

  • The Hester Street Fair is on hiatus this weekend due to the Sukkot holiday, but it returns Oct. 22 with the Grub Street Food Festival, which promises great vendors and more room than last year. (GrubStreet)
  • A detailed look at the city’s small-scale coffee shops, starring the LES’s Roasting Plant and Cafe Grumpy. (NYT)
  • Starbucks is moving into the pressed-juice business, and snatched up the long-time manager of  East Village pioneer Liquiteria to make it happen. (NYPost)
  • Wylie Dufresne of wd~50 gives a talk about “the new horizons in foodie culture and comics culture and where they often (and appetizingly) interconnect.” (NY ComicCon).

Good Morning!

Iced coffee on a hot, sunny afternoon: The new Cafe Grumpy is open at 13 Essex St.

Today’s weather will be very similar to yesterday’s, with lots of sun and highs in the low 80s.

Cafe Grumpy Opens Today

Finished Storefront

Image via Cafe Grumpy's Flickr photostream.

Looks like the Lower East Side can finally get Grumpy this morning.  Yesterday via Twitter, Cafe Grumpy signaled that they were ready for opening day at 13 Essex Street. A bakery supplying all of the coffee shop’s locations has been operating out of a space next door for several months (it’s not open to the public).  We offered a sneak peak of the cafe last month.

Sneak Peek: Cafe Grumpy’s on Essex, Opening Soon

As we’ve been anticipating, Cafe Grumpy’s newest outpost is due to open soon at 13 Essex Street. How soon? In about two weeks, if inspections go well, says Michael Rozinski, the CEO of Simply Divine Renovation, who was at the site of the new shop this morning overseeing the final stages of construction.

Cafe Grumpy’s Essex Street Bakery Operational; Coffee Shop Still to Come

The transformation at 13 Essex is almost complete. The former home of Judaica store Zelig Blumenthal is now occupied by Cafe Grumpy, the Brooklyn/Chelsea artisanal coffee purveyor.  They’ve taken both storefronts. According to a sign on the door, the south-side space is already serving as Grumpy’s bakery, supplying all of their locations. One guy on twitter seemed to love the “banana bread with cardamom and black pepper.” For the moment at least, it is not open to the public. The coffee shop next door will debut in the next few weeks. Click through to see construction photos, via Grumpy’s Flickr feed. .

Roasting Plant Founder Saw Orchard Street as Incubator

After four years, one of the old kids on the block

One day way back in 2006, Mike Caswell spent several hours people-watching on the block of Orchard Street between Broome and Grand streets. The midtown real estate broker Caswell had hired to help him choose a site for the high-tech coffee shop he planned to open suggested a spot halfway down that block. At first, Caswell thought he was crazy.

“This street looked like a war zone,” Caswell says, sipping an Americano in a window seat of Roasting Plant, now in its fourth year. But his agent insisted that the Lower East Side was the place to find Caswell’s target demographic. So the industrial-engineer-turned-coffee-entrepreneur, who at that point had invested seven years developing his automated roasting and brewing system, agreed to check it out. From a table at 88 Orchard, one of the first new businesses to open on lower Orchard, he saw exactly the type of customers he believed would dig his 21st-century brewing system and premium product.

Newly Renovated Apartments at 13 Essex Ready to Rent

Last week we reported the gourmet coffee shop, Cafe Grumpy, is moving into 13 Essex. There’s more news today about this tenement buiding, the onetime home of Judaica store, Zelig Blumenthal.

In the past few months, the apartments above this building’s two storefronts have been undergoing major changes. The renovations now completed, Magnum Real Estate Services is  marketing at least five rental units.

Cafe Grumpy Comes to 13 Essex

Image via Cafe Grumpy's Flickr photostream.

The coffee blogs (we live in a very specialized world) had the story a few days ago. A friend of The Lo-Down pointed out to us that Cafe Grumpy, the Chelsea/Greenpoint gourmet chainlet, is coming to the Lower East Side.

Grumpy is  planning to open a shop at 13 Essex — and they’ve even posted a photo of the new space on their Flickr page. There are two vacant retail stores in this building. One of them is the former home of Zelig Blumenthal, the Judaica store that was a fixture on the Lower East Side for 60 years before moving to Brooklyn earlier this year.

Cafe Grumpy joins two other high-end coffee shops below Delancey: Brown (on Hester Street) and the Roasting Plant on Orchard. Also, Nicole Slaven is getting ready to open Dora on East Broadway.