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Thursday Opening Report: Fat Hippo, Marfa, Bespoke Chocolates, Mezzaluna Certified Open

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Now open at 71 Clinton, the Fat Hippo

1) Lower East Side: Over the past few days, a few tipsters and an LES correspondent have written in noting the new restaurant in the old 71 Clinton Fresh Foods space is now open. Grub Street puts the opening at next week, writing “The American-food menu is already posted outside the restaurant...highlights include burger fondue — sliders served with bacon bits, pickles, and a fondue dipping sauce — and chili-and-chocolate-glazed spare ribs served with a radish-and-watermelon slaw.” Even though a worker told our correspondent the restaurant was indeed open on Tuesday, PR is putting the opening on the 13th. Pic of exterior and menu above. Status: Purportedly opening the 13th. 71 Clinton Street; 212-228-0994. [GS; Eater Inbox]

2) East Village: Update: Blogger Sweat Freak is more than psyched to report that the much-delayed Bespoke Chocolates has finally opened, just in time for V-Day. Here’s her early review: “Rachel's signature pretzel-covered sea salted caramel is crazy, with crackly, salty pretzel bits coating the chocolate shell and caramel center. Insler suggests popping the whole thing in your mouth since “it’s really liquidy caramel inside.” As amazing as these truffles are, I can't wait until they unveil their homemade hazelnut spread (better than Nutella?!) and chocolate bars.” Status: Certified Open. 6 Extra Place (First Street between Bowery and 2nd Ave); 212-260-7103. [Sweet Freak]

3) East Village: Meanwhile, the pun-happy wordsmiths over at Thrillist report that recently plywooded Marfa will open this week in the former Waikiki Wally’s space. Here’s the skinny: “Marfa's the brainchild of an E.Vil townie who convinced the Lucky Cheng's crew to replace Waikiki Wally's with a scuffed-wall, cellar-esque barstraunt named for a West Texas artist colony ...Texas grub includes fried catfish w/ cole slaw and beans, dry rub BBQ, mac & cheese, and their own Marfa Chili, so meaty, other chilis will jealously whine "Marfa Marfa Marfa".” Status: Certified Soft-Open. Grand Opening on the 12th. 101 E. 2nd Street; 212-673-8908. [Thrillist]

4) Murray Hill: A very shilly-sounding tipster writes in with word that a new sandwich shop called Press has opened on 27th and 3rd. They write: “The long awaited Press on the NE corner of 27th and Third has opened. It is a soft opening which means the sandwiches are FREE. Also there are no lines and no menus (takeout) yet. Menus appear on the tastefully decorated walls. A handful of sandwiches and a handful of salads. We ordered a chicken on a whole wheat tortilla and they added veggies - that we pointed to. Friendly friendly staff. Yum.” Status: Certified Open. NE Corner of 27th Street and 3rd Avenue, phone unknown. [Eater Inbox]

5) Noho: Flo Fab reports that a second branch of pizzeria Mezzaluna has opened on W. Houston Street. Status: Certified Open. 146 W. Houston Street; 212-533-1242. [NYT]

6) Forest Hills: And finally blogger Forest Hills 72 has it that mini-chain Sushi Time has opened in the former Sushi Oh space: "Congratulations to Sushi Time, the new owners and operators of the old Sushi Oh space. Today was opening day and food and service was excellent. They also run a Sushi Time in Flushing. Cheap, fresh, and friendly - just like Sushi Oh used to be." Status: Signs point to open. 7242 Austin Street, Forest Hills; phone unknown [Forest Hills 72]

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