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A New Korean Fried Chicken Spot Takes Flight in Queens — and More Openings

A weekly updated roundup of new restaurants in New York City

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A red and white takeout box and several serving trays filled with fried chicken, two fried chicken sandwiches, and fries.
Crispy Korean fried chicken from Rokstar.
Rokstar Chicken

Nearly two years into the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants across the city continue to open their doors, sometimes because their concepts could be adapted to the new normal, but more often because their owners saw no other choice but to forge ahead. Since March 16, 2020, when the state first temporarily closed indoor dining, hundreds of new restaurants have opened, including Emmet’s on Grove, Chocobar Cortés, and the relocated Jing Fong.

Here’s a round-up of the restaurants and bars that opened in December. This list will be updated weekly. If there’s an opening in your neighborhood that we’ve missed, let us know at tips@eater.com.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.


December 22

Bay Ridge: New York’s growing birria scene is getting a new player. Birria Mania in South Brooklyn is now open from the Amani Hospitality Group, which is behind spots like Woodhaven’s Sugar n Coal. Birria Mania is halal-friendly with a menu of tacos and unique interpretations like birria ramen, as well as other birria dishes. 7508 Third Avenue, near Bay Ridge Parkway

Chelsea: Acclaimed Sushi Noz is expanding with a new restaurant called Noz 17. Sushi Noz’s chef Junichi “Matsu” Matsuzaki will run service at the 30-course edomae tasting menu. The experience here is $400 per person, not including tax or beverages. 458 West 17th Street, at 10th Avenue

Chinatown: According to Explore Chinatown, a new Chinese spot has landed on bustling Mott Street called Ming Wong Restaurant. According to at least one Yelp reviewer, the restaurant appears to specialize in Cantonese-style meats and cheung fun, the rice noodles popular at a number of Chinatown establishments. 61 Mott Street, between Bayard and Canal streets

Douglaston: The managing partner of celebrated Spot Dessert Bar in the East Village, Mark Lee, is striking out on his own with the launch of Rokstar Chicken, a counter-service Korean fried chicken shop located inside Douglaston supermarket Food Bazaar. The restaurant hones in on crispy, juicy fried chicken paired with sauces like spicy ranch, sweet chili, and soy garlic barbecue. “The whole focus for me is on high quality food,” Lee says. “It’ll make you feel like a rockstar.” 242-02 61st Avenue, near Douglaston Parkway

East New York: Brooklyn now has its first Dave & Buster’s, and it’s located inside of the Gateway Center. The 36,000-square-feet restaurant, bar, and arcade is known for showcasing sports on its televisions and entertainment options, including games. 395 Gateway Drive, near Erskine Street

Flatiron: The latest fast casual spot to open in Flatiron is Mezeh, focused on Mediterranean flavors with bowls and pita wraps. The chain has 36 locations throughout the northeast, though this is its first location in New York City. 900 Broadway, near East 20th Street

Greenpoint: Clark Riley, a longtime employee of neighborhood coffee shop Littleneck Outpost, is stepping out on his own. Stowaway takes its cues from low-country cooking, and includes dishes like a roast beef sandwich, biscuits with mushroom gravy, shrimp rolls with remoulade, smoked salmon rillettes, pimento cheese toasts, and more. 159 Greenpoint Avenue, near Manhattan Avenue

Hoboken: Five-time World Barbecue champion Myron Mixon’s new restaurant landed itself on Eater’s most anticipated openings list for fall 2021. Now, Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster BBQ is finally open in Hoboken, joining its sibling restaurants in Alexandria, Virginia, and Miami, Florida. The menu features baby back ribs, family-style combo platters, pulled pork, smoked half chicken, and more. 618 Washington Street, between Six and Seventh streets

Midtown East: Mad Lounge and Bar is a new spot inside of the NH Collection hotel, a hospitality chain hailing from Madrid. According to the New York Times, the venue’s name references both its Madison Avenue location and the television show Mad Men. Food at the bar and lounge is helmed by the Serafina restaurant group. 22 East 38th Street, at Madison Avenue

Midtown East: Rosa Mexicano, the chain of Mexican restaurants founded in 1984 that made a name for itself from its table-side guacamole service, has opened its latest location in Manhattan. At this new location the kitchen is helmed by chef Judy Cooper. The bi-level restaurant can hold 140 seats. According to a press release, there are four more Rosa Mexicanos planned for the northeast region in 2022. 251 East 52nd Street, at Second Avenue

Mott Haven: A renowned chocolate shop in San Juan, that’s been in business for nearly a century, has expanded to New York. The restaurant at Chocobar Cortés features grilled cheese sandwiches made with chocolate butter, burgers with chocolate ketchup, and other unusual uses for cacao. 41 Alexander Avenue, at East 134th Street

Prospect Heights: Just down the street from Barclays Center, a new fried chicken spot is flapping its wings. Byrds Bar offers fried chicken and waffles, as well as sandwiches such as one with stuffed with Buffalo mac and cheese. For dessert, there are fried Oreos. 216 Flatbush Avenue, at Bergen Street

Upper West Side: Uptown Manhattan has gained a new affordable omakase spot, according to the Infatuation. Sushi W offers one-hour service, with three price tiers. There’s a $33 lunch-only option, as well as at lunch and dinner a 15-piece option for $63 or a paired down $48 version. An la carte menu is also offered. 2673 Broadway, at West 102nd Street


December 16

Bay Ridge: One of Brooklyn’s most dynamic dining neighborhoods gains a second outpost with Milano Market. The popular Manhattan meat market has been a staple on the Upper East Side for the past 40 years, but the Bay Ridge move is the market’s first expansion to Brooklyn. 7801 Third Avenue, at 78th Street

Brooklyn Heights: Though Taqueria Al Pastor only opened in January 2020 on Bushwick’s Wyckoff Avenue, it quickly became one of the city’s top taco contenders. Eater New York’s senior critic Robert Sietsema has said the taqueria gives Los Tacos No. 1 a “run for their money.” In November, the beloved spot expanded with a second location on Court Street, where there’s fish tacos and a twirling al pastor spit. 119 Court Street, near State Street

East Village: The seemingly expanding food hall, specializing in viral food hits like Korean corndogs and croffles, is opening its latest venture on St. Mark’s Place. The chain Afternoon, first launched in New York back in April of this year and is already onto its fifth location. 34 St. Mark’ s Place, near Second Avenue

East Village: Owner Michelle Morgan’s delivery-only pandemic venture Tiger Lily Kitchen has settled down in a permanent location in the East Village under the name TLK. Since securing a liquor license for a brick-and-mortar location, Morgan is showcasing more of her gluten-free, mostly vegan pan-Asian cooking that runs the gamut from a celery root steak to cocktails infused with pandan. 58 Third Avenue, near East 10th Street

Flatiron: The first East Coast location for IHOP’s fast casual concept Flip’d is now open — and there are already plans to open additional locations in the city. Robert “Don Pooh” Cummins of Brooklyn Dumpling Shop is at the helm of the new pancake offshoot. 110 East 23rd Street, near Park Avenue South

Harlem: The team behind local spots Lido and Bixi have opened another uptown restaurant that’s slightly more casual. Serena Bass and Susannah Koteen’s the Fox has British dishes like sausage rolls as well as desserts like Eton mess, which will be rolled out soon. 2224 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, at 120th Street

Hell’s Kitchen: Korean tasting menu spot Kochi has opened a new restaurant in the neighborhood. Where Kochi once focused on eight courses of skewers for $125, Mari is about Korean-style handrolls, with an expanded 11-course tasting menu for the same price. 679 Ninth Avenue, between West 46th and 47th streets

Midtown West: A new restaurant from Dani García, one of Spain’s top chefs, has landed in the new Citizens NY food hall building. Casa Dani is a bi-level, 3,700-square-foot restaurant with dishes like croquetas de jamon Iberico and pulpo (octopus) con papa alina. 448 West 33rd Street, between between Ninth and 10th avenues

Midtown West: The French restaurant Brasserie 8½ located in Manhattan’s Solow Building has since been taken over by an Italian spot with a similar name. Cucina 8½ references the Frederico Fellini movie, 8½. In their version, Cucina is now helmed by a new chef, John Villa (Tao Group) with Italian-American dishes such as chicken parm and penne alla vodka. 9 West 57th Street, between Sixth and Fifth avenues

Park Slope: A new Greek restaurant called Chicken Feastin is now open. This is the second outpost for the business, which first opened in Bed-Stuy on Gates Avenue. As the name suggests, the menu here features chicken dishes like souvlaki, but not exclusively poultry. In addition, find Greek specialties like spanakopita or a lamb gyro. 450 Fifth Avenue, at Ninth Street

Prospect Heights: The team behind Olmsted has expanded again in Prospect Heights with Evi’s Bäckerei. The new Austrian-leaning bakery — with treats like sacher-torte and stollen — is led by Olmsted and Maison Yaki pastry chef Alex Grunert and is named after his mother, Evelyn. 635 Bergen Street, at Vanderbilt Avenue

Ridgewood: Queens has a new halal-friendly Thai spot. The family-owned restaurant Pattanian Thai Restaurant has dishes like crispy fish with chili sauce and crab fried rice. 64-02 Fresh Pond Road, at Grove Street

Times Square: Chocolatier Max Brenner has headed uptown with a new confectionary. While the Union Square location is more of a cafe, this new outpost focuses on its retail chocolate shop. The new spot is home to Brenner’s signature chocolates, pralines, and hot chocolate sets, as well as newly debuted items like a pistachio spread. 720 Seventh Avenue, near 48th Street

Tribeca: The latest outpost for chain bakery Patisserie Chanson is now open in downtown Manhattan. The sleek French bakery and dessert bar offers classics like croissants, eclairs, kouign amann, and more pastries. 355 Greenwich Street, near Harrison Street

Upper East Side: French bistro Cafe D’Alsace is moving one block away with the same menu. According to the New York Times, the old location’s building is being demolished. 1703 Second Avenue, between East 88th and 89th streets.

Williamsburg: The latest Italian spot to open in North Brooklyn is Bacàn. The new restaurant comes from Ismael Tapia and Marcos Roldan, who collectively pull experience from June and the Farm On Adderley. Here, the focus is on sharing plates or cicchetti. Pastas, like the papardelle, pici, or cacio e pepe agnolotti, are also offered in full or half portions. 79 Grand Street, near Wythe Avenue


December 9

Chinatown: House of Joy, a new dim sum spot claiming to be the biggest banquet hall in Chinatown, opened in September. Formerly, the largest restaurant title went to Jing Fong with roughly 800 seats, but the original location shuttered during the pandemic. 28 Pell Street, near Mott Street

Chinatown: Close to a full year after Jing Fong closed its dining room, the decades-old Chinatown institution returns this week for takeout and delivery. Now operating out of a smaller, 100-person dining room, the restaurant’s dim sum menu is mostly unchanged, with a handful of newer items — crispy crab fried rice, silky egg tofu — geared toward sit-down service. 202 Centre Street, between Hester and Grand streets

Chinatown: New Spicy Village, a restaurant advertising itself to be a bigger, expanded version of the area’s popular Spicy Village is drawing some controversy for its copycat menu and name. New Spicy Village is run by Spicy Village co-owner Wendy Lian’s brother, however, the two restaurants are unrelated. Items like Spicy Village’s popular big tray chicken appear on the New Spicy Village menu. 118 Eldridge Street, near Broome Street

East Village: After Barnyard Cheese Shop called it quits in October, now the beloved sandwich spot is back at its old Avenue B location. According to the Infatutation, Barnyard Express will operate only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 to 3 p.m. 168 Avenue B, near 11th Street

Forest Hills: Hit taco chain Tacombi — now backed by Union Square Hospitality Group headliner Danny Meyer — has added another location in Queens. The outpost marks the chain’s eleventh location in NYC. 71-22 Austin Street, near 71st Road

Fort Greene: Fort Greene mainstay Black Forest has expanded next door with a new spot called Lilly’s Pizza Bar. The wood-fired pizza spot serves pies, and shared plates, as well as cocktails and other bites. 737 Fulton Street, near Lafayette Avenue

Gramercy: East Harlem restaurant Malii has a new location downtown. The Thai restaurant has dishes like chicken, beef, or tofu larb; crispy lime chicken; and tom yum wings. 391 Second Avenue, near East 23rd Street

Hell’s Kitchen: The expanded new Irish Arts Center in Hell’s Kitchen has a new food spot. The Cafe at Irish Arts Center features Irish-leaning dishes with New York twists such as Irish brown bread scones with smoked salmon and cream cheese. 726 11th Avenue, near 51st Street

Long Island City: Fast food chain Sonic Drive-In is opening its first location in Queens. There will be space to dine inside as well as a walk-up counter for to-go. 37-02 Queens Boulevard, near 37th Street

Lower East Side: Sally Can Wait, a new cocktail bar sporting ’80s-themed interior design with a Latin- and Jewish-inspired menu, has opened in the downtown neighborhood. The spot comes from Matt Friedlander (previously the general manager at Grand Banks) and Zak Snyder (formerly a White Horse Tavern manager). The cocktail list includes frozen drinks like the “Miami Vice,” a half frozen pina colada combined with a strawberry daiquiri. On the food side, there’s a pastrami-spiced roast pork and glazed ham Cuban sandwich, latkes, and a pastrami-spiced mahi mahi reuben, among other dishes. 252 Broome Street, between Ludlow and Orchard streets

Midtown East: Founded by Tiara Leak during the pandemic, keto- and diabetic-friendly food startup Inketoble Treats has branched out into a brick-and-mortar spot with the InKETOble! Cafe. The business focuses on low-carb and sugar-free desserts, plus items like pizza, soups, and smoothies that are now available at the cafe. 226 East 53rd Street, between Second and Third avenues

Midtown West: H&H Bagels, often cited as one of the major bagel players, has expanded. The new location is the team’s fifth and joins the food options at Moynihan Train Hall in the expanded Penn Station. 421 Eighth Avenue, near West 31 Street

Midtown West: Sichuan restaurant chain Han Dynasty opened its fourth New York outpost last month, operating out of Midtown’s Kitchen United ghost kitchen. It’s the company’s first outpost to offer solely takeout and delivery, with service to the Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown, and Times Square neighborhoods to start. 307 W 38th Street, near Eighth Avenue

Park Slope: Einat Admony’s popular falafel spot Taïm is expanding to Brooklyn. This is the team’s sixth location in New York City, with two additional outposts in Washington D.C. 341 Seventh Avenue, near Ninth Street

Upper West Side: Alex Stupak’s Empellon Taqueria empire expands uptown with the addition of an Upper West Side outpost at real estate development Waterline Square. The menu is nearly identical to the restaurant group’s other locations, according to the New York Times. 645 West 59th Street, at Waterline Square

West Village: Hospitality powerhouse couple Rita Sodi and Jody Williams, collectively known for neighborhood hits like Buvette, I Sodi, and Via Carota, are at again with a new spot called the Commerce Inn. The restaurant looks to the cuisine of the Shakers for inspiration. An expanded menu is to come. 50 Commerce Street, near Bedford Street

West Village: After accepting investment from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank for his fast casual pasta spot Pasta by Hudson, Brandon Fay has opened a new venture. The Perry Club will feature pasta and pizza, baked clams, shrimp cocktail, as well as meatballs that were shown on the ABC hit series. 157 Seventh Avenue South, between Perry Street and Waverly Place

Williamsburg: Former Win Son chef Calvin Eng has stepped out on his own with Bonnie’s. The new Cantonese-American restaurant is named after the chef’s mother. The menu includes an ode to the McRib, made here with cha siu glazed pork, served on a sesame milk bun, as well as a whole rainbow trout stuffed with shrimp, meat, and water chestnuts. For dessert, there’s an ice cream sundae with fried milk cubes, Ovaltine fudge, and buttered peanuts. 398 Manhattan Avenue, near Frost Street


December 2

Bushwick: Brooklyn has a new Nashville-style hot chicken spot. Flo’s Hot Chicken only features all white meat and includes add-ons like pineapple slaw and harissa mayo. If that’s not filling enough, there are sides like fried pickles and mac and cheese. 126 Wyckoff Avenue, near Stanhope Street

Bushwick: A new vegan jazz club (yes, you read that right) has debuted in NYC with the opening of Ornithology Jazz Club, which comes from Rie Yamaguchi-Borden and her spouse Mitchell Borden. According to Grub Street, Mitchell founded a ‘90s-era nightlife venue in the West Village called Smalls, and, later, the more well-known Fat Cat. The new club takes over the former queer-friendly CBD bar Bodeguita, which closed this summer, though many elements allegedly, per Grub Street, remain. 6 Suydam Street, near Broadway

East Village: A follow-up location for Cutlets Sandwich Co. has already risen in Manhattan, joining its Midtown West sibling. The deli spot is planning a third outpost to open in Williamsburg in 2022. 99 Third Avenue, at East 13th Street

East Village: A new bakery has blossomed on Seventh Street called 75 Degrees Cafe & Bakery. The spot serves sweets (such as an ube mousse cake in the shape of a bear) and coffee daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dine-in service is currently only offered on weekends. 93 1/2 East Seventh Street, near First Avenue

Greenpoint: From the team behind Greenpoint spots Alameda and Troost comes El Pingüino. The newly-opened Spanish seafood spot specializes in conservas, also known as tinned fish, such as mussels en escabeche, octopus in Galician sauce, a spiced mackerel pate, and more. In addition, the menu includes tapas like boquerones in a tomato vinaigrette, a Jasper Hill Farms cheese plate, as well as several raw bar offerings. For drinks, there’s amari, wines, beers, and cocktails such as a shiso painkiller. 25 Greenpoint Avenue, near West Street

Greenwich Village: Emmett Burke, known for his Chicago-style deep dish joint on MacDougal Street, which first opened in 2013, is expanding with Emmett’s on Grove. The new restaurant will focus on Chicago’s thin, tavern-style pies in plain cheese, a make-your-own version, or the Hot Poppy (pepperoni, red onions, and jalapeños topped with a paprika ranch dressing). The restaurant will also serve meatballs, chicken parm, shrimp cocktail, pappardelle bolognese, and twice baked potatoes with bacon and sour cream, among other dishes. Also special to this location is the kitschy Grasshopper dessert cocktail. On Fridays, Emmett’s on Grove will host a Midwest-style fish fry. 39 Grove Street, near Bleecker Street

Greenwich Village: Marian’s is a new bistro from chef Christian Rowan (previously of Le Bernardin and Eleven Madison Park). Here you’ll find comforting dishes such as a roast chicken dinner ($35 for one or $68 for two) served with potato puree, or a striped sea bass entree with mushrooms and a caraway broth. 24 Greenwich Avenue, at West 10th Street

Nolita: Regina’s Grocery, a family-owned Italian general store and sandwich shop on Orchard Street, has expanded nearby with a new Mulberry Street location. 241 Mulberry Street, near Prince Street

Midtown West: Cafe China, a restaurant that helped put a new wave of Sichuan restaurants in New York on the map, has reopened in a new location after more than a year-long hiatus and a “copycat operation” that spawned during its closure. Now, the team is operating out of a sprawling three-floor building. 59 West 37th Street, near Sixth Avenue

Midtown West: Ragtrader, a bar from Mark Fox, now has a next door sibling: the Parlour Room. The new spot is housed in a former Garment District factory and specializes in 400 types of whiskey, some allegedly quite rare. 70 West 36th Street, near Sixth Avenue

Midtown West: In a similar vain to Thai Diner, a new Thai-leaning restaurant has opened with comfort dishes such as a crab curry mac and cheese and a mussel chowder. Random Access comes from Hand Hospitality, behind several hot Korean restaurants in the city. The new spot attempts to bring more exciting options to the area near Penn Station. 138 West 32nd Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues

Midtown West: Wolfnights, the fast casual wrap chain also known for having swings installed in its restaurants, has opened a fourth location. 40 West 55th Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues

Sunnyside: Chef Myo Moe, behind Burmese hit Rangoon in Crown Heights, has expanded to Queens. The new takeout-only restaurant is called Mandalay Club and is spicier and more meat-heavy than Rangoon. Moe operates Mandalay Club with co-owner Daniel Bendjy inside an NYC outpost of CloudKitchens, a ghost kitchen. 40-05 Skillman Avenue, near 41st Street

West Village: Last month, neighborhood mainstay L’Artusi debuted B’Artusi, a bar and restaurant down the street. Now, the team has rolled out an all-day cafe called Via Porta adjacent to B ‘Artusi. Here, you’ll find Italian-leaning pastries such as cacio e pepe scones and carrot cake muffins and breakfast items such as a porridge with lemon yogurt and an orange-fennel compote. On the sandwich side of the menu, there’s a chicken cutlet with pesto on a Parisi Bakery roll and a Sicilian tuna salad sandwich with orange slices, among others. A market zone of the space offers pasta sauce from L’Artusi for at-home cooking. 522 Hudson Street, between West 10th and Charles streets

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