A Harry Potter-inspired coffee shop is coming to East Village
Zach Neil, who was behind the East Village Tim Burton-themed pop-up bar Beetle House and the Will Ferrell-themed pop-up bar Stay Classy in LES, is cooking up a new gimmicky concept. The pop-up bar maestro will open a coffee shop called Steamy Hallows, inspired by Harry Potter. No address has been announced for the new venue, but Neil’s overstuffed milkshake spot Cake Shake USA closed up shop at 514 East Sixth St. this fall after running for the summer, so it’s a likely location possibility. According to the Instagram for Steamy Hallows, the “witchy goth” cafe is due in about a month and will serve coffee, tea, and cookies.
Schrafft’s is coming back
Old-school NYC lunch chain Schrafft’s, which debuted in the city in 1898 and proliferated until there were about 50 locations throughout New York, went extinct in the 1980s. Now it’s set to make a comeback. The restaurant is bringing back some of its classic recipes, with prices adjusted for 2019. Schrafft’s president James Byrne tells Page Six: “The world has changed. No more a mom-and-pop operation. More likely part of a hospitality group. And decorator Carleton Varney will reprise its familiar black-and-white floor tiles.”
More openings and coming attractions
Sean Ban of Sushi Bada in the Hudson Valley opened a Manhattan sushi restaurant called Pado, now open at 199 Second Ave. in the Lower East Side. It has omakase as well as a la carte options. A new piri piri chicken specialist called PortuGrill opened on the Upper East Side at 1215 Lexington Ave. on Thursday. It’s offering 30 percent off all take-out and eat-in orders today. The small restaurant has 12 counter seats. East Village pizza joint Sauce Pizzeria is set to open a second location in LES at 84 Rivington St. on January 18. A yet-to-be-named new Ukrainian restaurant opening at 136 Second Ave. in East Village has been undergoing extensive renovations but is now hiring for all positions.
Critic says skip the fancy new Starbucks
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery opened in Chelsea in December, offering cocktails, nitro cold brew, and siphon coffee in a massive 23,000-square-foot space that has five bars as well as an actual coffee roaster. And Steve Cuozzo at the Post is not having it. The critic admits it’s fun to get lost in the three-story coffee lover’s maze. But he laments the absence of a plain ol’ cup of drip coffee and points to several service kinks in the massive operation. He calls the nitro pepper jerky cold brew not “as awful as it sounded” and notes that the nitro hopped apricot is “faintly sweet with a pleasant, foamy head.” There’s more to like at the liquor lounge, where Cuozzo had a “six roads daiquiri” made with cold brew, rum, and amaro that blew him away. But he still resolves that next time he’ll just go to the normal Starbucks across the street.