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Retro Restaurant and Piano Bar Debuts in Midtown West

Plus, a new Greek restaurant joins Tribeca — and more intel

Rag Trader
Rag Trader
Photo via Gabi Porter for The Rag Trader

Three new restaurants to usher in 2018

Now open at 70 West 36th Street near Sixth Avenue is Rag Trader, an American restaurant with throwback tendencies and a subterranean piano cocktail bar. The menu, from executive chef Justin Ottervanger (Street Taco), focuses on updated old-school American fare like sriracha deviled eggs and steak frites with scallion chermoula. It’s inspired by the Garment District in the mid-20th century. Downstairs is Bo Peep, a cocktail bar with live piano, styled with speakeasy decor and drinks popular in the 1940s and ’50s.

Over in Tribeca, Greca from the people behind The Greek has opened at 452 Washington Street, offering both savory Greek food as well as breads and pastries. And in the East Village is the second location of Frisson Espresso (36 Third Avenue), a coffee shop with espresso and matcha drinks, plus pastries.

Two restaurants that closed in 2017

Forty-two years since its opening, Saint Mark’s refuge and gloriously no-bullshit dive bar Grassroots Tavern has closed. Rent simply became too high for the bar to survive, and so owners decided to bow out. Murray Hill beer bar Ginger Man will be taking over. Plus, the Department of Health temporarily shuttered Tiny’s Giant Sandwich Shop (129 Rivington Street), though a sign in the window says it will be back once owners renew the shop’s health permit.

Two restaurants coming up this year

Some businesses to look forward to in 2018 include The Sound Bite at 737 Ninth Avenue, a collaboration between news anchor Julian Phillips and jazz singer Barbara King. The jazz club will serve Cajun food — a cuisine on the rise in NYC — as well as drinks from Sushi Samba-famous bartender Alex Ott. Plus, over in Boerum Hill, Panzerotti Bites will serve its namesake Italian pastry at 235 Smith Street. There will be both sweet and savory fillings inside the half moon-shaped fried dough, such as nutella and ricotta or salmon, cream cheese, and avocado.

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