Tokyo Record Bar, Ariel Arce’s subterranean West Village izakaya — known for letting guests pick their playlist for dinner, and giving out takeout pizza slices on their way out — is expanding. For the New Year, Arce is closing her upstairs Air’s Champagne Parlor, which had been open since 2017, and has transitioned the Air’s space into what she’s called the Tokyo Listening Room. Set to open on January 10, Tokyo Listening Room resides at 127 MacDougal Street, above Tokyo Record Bar. Upstairs seats 30, with a menu that will include wine and cocktails beyond champagne; a new chef, Tadaki Iwai, formerly at the exclusive Japanese restaurant Bohemian on Great Jones Street, will steer the expanded food menu. Arce says she plans to play around with how to make the two spaces musically and atmospherically distinct (the team has a partnership with McIntosh for its sound systems). Reservations for the listening bar can be made via Resy. This isn’t Arce’s first flip: In 2023, she closed her West Village spot Niche Niche, turning it into the American home for Roman restaurant Roscioli, which has already found local success.
Scarr’s is back following building fire
In November, a building fire on Orchard Street caused Scarr’s Pizza to temporarily close. As of this week, the slice shop is back open for regular operations.
Black Cat Wines makes its debut
Originally housed inside of KIT in Prospect Heights, before the storefront closed in early 2022, Black Cat Wines now has a standalone space of its own. The wine shop opened at 252 Fourth Avenue, near President Street, in Park Slope on December 29.
Somtom Der launches 10th anniversary menu
In 2023, Thai staple Somtom Der hit its 10th anniversary. To celebrate, the restaurant is launching a limited offer menu starting today, running until February 9. The new Isan menu features family-style tiered platters, with a little taste of everything. The small sampler ($79, serves two to four people) includes a larb with tuna, sticky rice, grilled pork, and Isan sausages. The large ($148, for three to four people), has an expanded list of offerings that includes stir-fried noodles, grilled calamari, and cured pork sausage. Customers must book via Resy in advance. Eater critic Robert Sietsema first reviewed the restaurant in 2013, and it later gained Michelin recognition.