Another holiday pop-up bar
The former No Malice Palace space has been taken over by Donner and Blitzen’s Reindeer Lounge, a holiday pop-up bar with tons of lights and cocktails like an “Elf Nog.” After the new year, NMP will reopen with its old vibes; it had previously closed after the owner died. Other bars doing holiday pop-ups already in business include the annual Miracle on 9th Street in the East Village, The Winter Room at The Roof near Central Park, and Sleyenda, a pop-up at Leyenda in Boerum Hill.
Semilla in Williamsburg turns into a clam bar
Williamsburg neighborhood restaurant master Joe Carroll has flipped the space for shuttered vegetable-heavy tasting menu restaurant Semilla into a clam bar. Casino Clam Bar, at 160 Havemeyer Street, offers shrimp cocktail, clam chowder, uni pasta, and white clam Grandma pizza. The chef Jeremiah Del Sol used to work at Bar Bolonat.
Art-inspired food from Claus Meyer
Noma co-founder and Nordic empire builder Claus Meyer is hosting “The Art of Food” next year, where 25 chefs will make dishes inspired by different art. It’s the third year for the event. Other participants include Todd Mitgang from Crave Fishbar, Dominic Rice from Amali, and Angel Ramos of Candle 79. VIP tickets cost $195.
Two stars for The Aviary from New York
Grub Street critic Adam Platt knows that New Yorkers “pride themselves on being immune” to the magic tricks and showmanship of the cocktails at The Aviary, but he liked it anyway. Many of the drinks are sweet and “have a way of blending into each other,” Platt writes. Still: “It’s worth getting a ticket, even if the prices are a little extreme, and, like most magic shows, the tricks work best if you see them just once.”
Panda Express continues its opening rampage with UWS opening
Chinese American chain Panda Express had a packed opening day for its new Upper West Side location at 2852 Broadway, according to West Side Rag. The company has been targeting more debuts in NYC. Elsewhere in the neighborhood, a new date night-friendly Thai restaurant called Thai 72 opened at 72nd and Columbus Avenue. Italian restaurant Lucciola is now serving pastas in the neighborhood, and shuttered Turkish restaurant Turkuaz has reopened in a new location.
Coming attractions and openings
In East Village, a second location of Mani in Pasta looks almost ready to start serving pasta and Roman-style pizza. Another poke place called Kahuna Wave is opening in LES. And over in Long Island City, a Freeman’s alum will man the kitchen of a new restaurant called Bellwether.
Co-working space slash coffee shop closes, and other shutters
East Village Coffee shop and co-working space combo Pourt has shut its doors. The business, which opened in January, offered bottomless coffee for $2.99, conference rooms, internet access, and things like printers and chargers. Down in Tribeca, a juice spot called Wicked is down for the count. A Dunkin’ Donuts will open in its place.
Park Slope Food Coop staffers accused of wasting money with Paris trip
Drama’s brewing (again) at the crunchy Park Slope Food Coop: members are pissed that two staffers went to Paris on a company trip, saying that it looked more like a vacation than work. The two staffers went to France to help people set up similar coops there. When they returned, they gave a slideshow presentation of the trip — which members called simple “gloating.” One staffer defended the trip: The Paris coop paid for their flights, and it’s good to report on what other coops are doing, she says.