On December 2nd 1657, The Nieuw Amsterdam City Council ruled that Tavernkeepers could not sell liquor in exchange for household goods. Believe it or not, the Dutch wives of the era (back in the day of gender norms, eh?) were coming to their local politicians complaining that their possessions were dwindling with the presence of an alcoholic family member.
In 1964, a father and son were renovating a former speakeasy in the East Village into a theater when they came across two unopened safes in the basement. The speakeasy had been sold eagerly for a very cheap price and the entertainment business then was closely linked to mobsters. To touch their belongings meant death. Opening it with the former owner, $2 million dollars were found inside. What happened next has shaped the lives and the theater for the next sixty years.
Join us for a tour and cocktail at this former Prohibition speakeasy on December 8th at 3:30pm, which includes a guided walk through of the Museum of the American Gangster. You’ll see the original safes that were discovered, the former escape routes for the mafia, and more. There are only a few tickets left, so grab them now!
We’ve been noticing this disturbing but unsurprising trend recently on the Upper West Side: food carts branded with advertising for big banks. On a stretch between 67th Street and 70th Street, every food cart had multiple umbrellas with Capital One emblazoned on it. With permits for food carts going for up to $20,000 on the black market, it’s not surprising that they might need some additional source of revenue. (more…)
Empire Biscuit opened over a week ago and already it’s pretty tapped, but we thought it was worth a mention for the fact that it serves (as you might guess) only biscuits amidst a Scandinavian style decor–and plans to be a 24/7 biscuit destination by Monday. That would make its tag line “Breakfast Lunch Dinner Drunk” even more apt.
At Hotel Particulier on Grand Street in Soho, the writing on the window states, “Enter the cafe through the art gallery.” When you go inside, it’s unclear where one ends and the other begins. There’s no coffee counter or bar. Other than the tables and chairs, there’s no sign that this might be a cafe.
Hotel Particulier’s proprietor Frederique Thiollet told us that people who come in off the street aren’t sure if the space is public or private. Those who figure it out will quickly realize what a courteous host Thiollet is. She invites people to sit, make themselves at home, gives them the wifi password and takes their order off the menu, which is small but carefully curated. Hotel Particulier serves coffee, tea, juice and buns from a well-known bakery in Chinatown. People come here to relax, to work and even hold meetings. (more…)
We spotted the Katz & Dogz pastrami truck in Midtown yesterday before the lunchtime rush. The truck serves–you guessed it–Katz’s Delicatessen style pastrami sandwiches and Hebrew National hot dogs. It also doles out corned beef, salami, burgers and something called the Reuben Orgasm (probably inspired by the famous scene in which Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm at Katz’s deli in Harry Met Sally). If the oversize sandwiches aren’t enough, you can get a side of cole slaw, potato salad, a potato knish or fries. (more…)