A fixture on the corner of St. Marks Place and Second Avenue in the East Village for 100 years, Gem Spa has permanently closed. The store, considered home to New York’s best egg cream, had been struggling financially due to the gentrification of the neighborhood, as well as the loss of its cigarette and lottery licenses last year. While a fundraising effort launched last fall by current owner Parul Patel helped temporarily, the coronavirus pandemic “ultimately sealed the fate” of the institution.
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Treat yourself this Friday to a meal of pierogis followed by cheesecake. East Village icons Veselka and Veniero’s Pasticceria & Caffe, the Ukrainian restaurant that started in 1954 and the Italian bakery that opened in 1894 respectively, will both reopen for takeout and delivery on May 1. Eater spotted the news on Veniero’s Instagram that the bakery will reopen for takeout, delivery, and curbside pickup. Likewise, Veselka posted on their Instagram that they will open for takeout and delivery.
Photo by Carlos Corona
The Bronx Brewery is moving downtown. The local brewing company announced on Wednesday plans to open a pilot brewery and taphouse this fall in a multi-level East Village spot at 64 Second Avenue. The Bronx Brewery East Village will also feature a kitchen with “special guest” chefs and space for live music.
For many, celebrating Irish American heritage in March brings one to Fifth Avenue for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, or perhaps a visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. But for those willing to venture beyond Midtown, there’s a rich Irish American history to be found in Greenwich Village and the East Village. While both neighborhoods became better known for different kinds of communities in later years – Italians, Ukrainians, gay men and lesbians, artists, punks – Irish immigration in the mid-19th century profoundly shaped both neighborhoods. Irish Americans and Irish immigrants played a critical role in building immigrant and artistic traditions in Greenwich Village and the East Village. Here are some sites connected to that great heritage, from the city’s oldest intact Catholic Church to Irish institutions like McSorely’s Old Ale House.
Images courtesy of Douglas Elliman
Though it’s located on busy 14th Street at the crossroads of Union Square and the East Village, this just-right-sized one-bedroom co-op at 243 East 14th Street promises pin-drop quiet within its walls. It also offers more closet space than the average Village pad.
All photos taken by James and Karla Murray exclusively for 6sqft
21,000 pierogis, 2,500 latkes, and 110 gallons of borscht–that’s how much Veselka is serving up each week. But it’s impossible to quantify how many memories have been made at the famous East Village Ukrainian restaurant, which has been in operation since 1954. Whether it’s grandparents who remember going to what was then a small candy shop and newspaper stand at a time when the East Village was a thriving Eastern European community, or counter-culture icons of the 1970s, or club kids of the ’90s, or the NYU students of today, you can bet that nearly every New Yorker has some story of enjoying a meal at Veselka.
6sqft recently got a behind-the-scenes tour of Veselka’s kitchen to see how the magic happens, in addition to chatting with third-generation owner Jason Birchard. Ahead, check out all the photos and learn about the history of Veselka.
Listing images courtesy of Halstead Real Estate
Exposed brick walls and a decorative fireplace give this East Village alcove studio at 186 East 2nd Street charm to spare while clever space-saving solutions and plenty of storage make it adaptable to modern life. Asking $525,000, it’s got a prime East Village location to boot, just two blocks away from the Second Avenue F train station and a short walk to Tompkins Square Park.
Photo credit: Melanie Greene courtesy of Compass.
This cozy East Village pad at 300 East 4th Street has the modern chic vibe that gives apartments in this neighborhood such charm. The building also has the architectural distinction of being in a former rectory that was converted to co-ops, giving each unit within a unique footprint. Asking $775,000, the one-bedroom home near picturesque and lively Avenue C gets 13-foot ceilings and a loft for storage or sleeping.
The Rite Aid at 81 1st Avenue. Photo © Adam Friedberg
In 2015, photographer Adam Friedberg was passing through Astor Place and took notice of the two single-story buildings on Third Avenue and St. Marks Place–the one that housed Continental Bar and the other a McDonald’s. From there, Friedberg began a project to photograph all the single-story buildings throughout the changing East Village and Lower East Side neighborhoods and the negative space they created. After capturing 97 of the roughly 105 structures, his work is now on view at the Center for Architecture in an exhibit titled “Single-Story Project.”
Via Wiki Commons
It’s been over two-and-a-half years since Trader Joe’s announced its plans to open a new store in a 23,000-square-foot space at 432 East 14th Street across from Stuyvesant Town, just three avenues east of their original 14th Street store. The beloved grocery store is the retail anchor tenant in the newly-constructed residential building called EVE that replaced the former Stuyvesant Post Office at that address. With leasing at the building a year in and an affordable housing lottery open, Trader Joe’s now confirms on its website that the store will open on Monday, January 6th at 8am (h/t EV Grieve).