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A Mexico City-Inspired Taqueria Is Headed for Union Square

Plus, 42-year-old Cafe Español has shuttered — and more intel


A Mexico City-themed taqueria, and more coming attractions

The Gerber Group (Mr. Purple, the Campbell) is opening a taqueria at 201 Park Avenue South at 17th Street, serving up tacos, tequila, and mezcal in the 1,600-square-foot space. Taco Electrico will open later this month with a Mexico City-inspired aesthetic. Plus, headed for the East Village are two new Asian spots: Gala, a Chinese restaurant at 92 Third Ave. and Nunoodle Noodle + Bar, an expansion of the Queens restaurant to 130 First Ave. Meanwhile, neighbor Nai Tapas Bar will move from 174 First Ave. to 85 Second Ave, while dive bar Local 138 will also do a small shuffle, just moving next door to 140 Ludlow St.

Longtime Cafe Español is no more

After 42 years in Greenwich Village, Spanish restaurant Cafe Español has shuttered. Notes on the door at 172 Bleecker St. and on the website give thanks to customers. During its tenure, Cafe Español served up Spanish classics like paella, grilled seafood and meat dishes, and crema catalana in a throwback, stucco-covered space.

NIMBYs hate Metta’s grill smoke

Grill-focused Fort Greene restaurant Metta is pissing off its neighbors. Apparently the smoke from the open-fire grill, vented out of the roof, is heavily wafting into the fourth floor of the building next door, according to building owner Virginia Priest. It’s enough to make the smoke alarms go off if she leaves her windows open, she says, and neighbors have logged 18 air-quality complaints to 311 since Metta opened in 2017. Locals are asking that the restaurant raise its vent to above the height of other buildings on the block, but say owners have been “dismissive.” Now, the issue is going to an Environmental Control Board judge on July 9 to decide.

The number of NY-based craft alcohol companies has skyrocketed

New Yorkers sure do love their local booze, new data from the State Liquor Authority shows. The number of craft breweries in NYC is up a whopping 413 percent over the last five years, for a total of 41. Craft distilleries also rose 127 percent, wineries 57 percent, and the number of cideries doubled. The state of New York now ranks first in the U.S. for the number of hard cider producers, second for distillers, third for breweries, and fourth for wineries, the Post reports.

The styrofoam ban gets a starting date

New York City’s styrofoam ban has gotten a starting date: the beginning of 2019. A judge upheld the legality of the ban late last week, and thus restaurants must comply with the ruling next year and not serve to-go food in styrofoam containers.

La Mercerie sends diners straight to Paris, critic says

Critics sure do love La Mercerie, with New York magazine’s Adam Platt weighing in this week, writing that the Soho French restaurant “is notable not so much for fireworks and originality as for that classically French combination of first-class ingredients and technique and a kind of elevated, homespun care.” He’s particularly enamored with a “delicious” crêpe au sucre for dessert, opulent white asparagus with a warm brown-butter vinaigrette and toasted almond, and “one of the best New York versions of steak tartare I’ve ever had.”

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