, Wed, September 12, 2018
There’s a good chance that if you’ve walked into one of Orwasher’s Bakery‘s Manhattan storefronts over the past decade you’ve assumed the 102-year-old business is still family owned. But the original Orwasher family sold it in 2007 to Keith Cohen. The likely confusion comes from Cohen’s dedication to maintaining the mom-and-pop feel of his Upper East and West Side locations, along with the vintage recipes for New York staples such as rye bread, challah, and sourdough. But he’s also used his business smarts to make some well-received updates, including a major expansion of the wholesale business, a new line of wine breads in collaboration with Long Island-based vineyard Channing Daughters, a formula for the perfect baguette (he even traveled to Paris to learn the art!), and, perhaps most impressively, the addition of the elusive New York bagel.
6sqft recently visited Cohen at the two-year-old Upper West Side location to learn a bit more about his journey as master baker and proprietor of one of NYC’s most beloved old-school businesses and get a behind-the-scenes look at where the magic happens.
Rendering via Vice/Munchies
Is NYC’s biggest food hall coming to New Jersey?! According to Eater, that may be the case. They report that the long-stalled (16 years, to be exact) American Dream mall planned for the site next to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford will have 50 grab-and-go options, 20 full-service restaurants, a Vice-branded food hall, and the world’s first Kosher food hall. This is in addition to the $3 billion, 4.5 million-square-foot shopping mall’s insane amenities like the largest indoor ski slope in the western hemisphere, an NHL-sized ice rink, a 4-D movie theater, a LEGOLAND, and an eight-acre Nickelodeon water park and theme park.
All the details this way
Head baker Dianna Daoheung and Black Seeds’ new Nomad location
6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and businesses of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re going inside Black Seed Bagels‘ new Nomad location. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!
“We founded Black Seed with the goal of bringing extremely well-made bagels, bagel sandwiches, and coffee to everyone,” said co-owner Noah Bernamoff. After he and Matt Kliegman met through a mutual friend while running separate restaurants (Matt, The Smile and the Jane Hotel ballroom and Noah, Mile End Delicatessen), they decided to open their first location of Black Seed Bagels in Nolita in 2014. The Montreal-meets-New York-style bagels became an instant foodie hit, and the partners now have locations in the East Village, Battery Park City, and, as of this week, Nomad.
6sqft paid Noah a visit at their latest location in the trendy Ace Hotel and chatted with him about Black Seed’s journey. We also met with head baker Dianna Daoheung, who developed the shop’s unique hand-rolled, wood-fired bagels (which garnered her a James Beard nomination) and expanded the menu to include sandwich collaborations with fellow NYC restaurants and chefs.
See the space and meet Noah and Dianna
Via Ismael Leyva Architects
The plan to convert the landmarked Battery Maritime Building into a hotel and Cipriani rooftop restaurant is back on schedule after an injection of capital into the project, Crain’s reported on Thursday. Developer Midtown Equities will take a 30 percent stake, allowing construction to resume this fall or winter. In 2009, the city first approved a plan to redevelop the building, which sits at 10 South Street in the Financial District, but was delayed after a series of legal and financial setbacks.
More details here
Image: Wikimedia commons
Even as New York City continues to experience record financial growth, a small explosion of fast food chains within city limits still comes as somewhat of a surprise. A recent Crain’s article confirms that, even more surprisingly, McDonalds, perhaps the fast-foodiest of all, is not only expanding but polishing up its image to appeal to a more upscale market–and it’s working. You might just chalk it up to a sweeping takeover by big chain stores, but isn’t that about gentrification? Fast food has traditionally had a big presence in the city’s lower-income neighborhoods–known as “food swamps“–and in tourist areas. But the nation’s largest Chick-fil-A just opened in…the Financial District. Reasons for the latest fast food boom are many, it turns out, and extend beyond mere mallification.
Would you like fries with that?
Photo by 6sqft
It’s hard to miss the two floors of flashing, chili pepper light-adorned Indian restaurants on First Avenue and Sixth Street in the East Village. The origin of these two stacked eateries, though, is much more frequently overlooked, as is the fact that the neighborhood’s adjacent “Little India” is really more “Little Bengal.” New York’s main Bangladeshi community is often cited as being in Jackson Heights, which boasts a large South Asian population and a great representation of its diverse culture, including the beloved Patel Brothers grocery store. Less well known is that East New York also has a large Bangladeshi community, and in the 1990s, the East Village’s “Curry Row” worked to identify itself as Indian, a culture more Americans at the time were familiar with. Ahead, we look at the whole history and break down the best places to experience Bangladeshi culture in NYC.
Not only are New Yorkers eating at all hours of the day, they’re also posting photos of the grub on Instagram. An animated map from Crimson Hexagon dubbed “Bites of the Big Apple” displays all of the food-related posts on Instagram published over a 24-hour period across the five boroughs. Not surprisingly, the number of photos of fried chicken, burgers and pizza increased after midnight, with snapshots of salads most prevalent around lunch time. And proving NYC is the city that never sleeps, photos of coffee were popular at every hour.
Explore it here
Photo via Flickr cc
Shake Shack, Irving Farm coffee, La Chula taqueria–these sound like your typical food hall staples, but this time they’re not in a Brooklyn warehouse or a trendy new building, but in LaGuardia Airport. Governor Cuomo announced today the lineup of in-state food purveyors for Terminal B, which will open in phases starting later this year as part of his massive $8 billion overhaul of LaGuardia. When complete, the entire new airport will have a total of 50 new restaurants, shops, and services, many of which will be local small businesses.
Get the scoop
Rendering via Vass Stevens
A new food hall is coming to the Astoria–Long Island City border in Queens, the Commercial Observer reported on Tuesday. Developer Vass Stevens Group is in the process of converting a former print shop, dollar store and restaurant supply store at 34-39 31st Street into a retail space with eight 2,000-square-foot storefronts. The interiors of the single-story building have been demolished and renovations, which will add new glass storefronts and doors, are set to begin soon.
Get the details
Brandon Doughan (left) and Brian Polen (right). Photo © Molly Tavoletti for Brooklyn Kura
6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and businesses of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re touring Industry City’s Brooklyn Kura, New York’s first sake brewery. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!
“It was my first ‘oh, my God’ sake which was made in the U.S.A.” said Japanese-born sake sommelier Chizuko Niikawa-Helton when he tasted the product of Brooklyn Kura, NYC’s first sake brewery and one of only 15 in the nation. And this is exactly what co-founders Brian Polen and Brandon Doughan strive for. They’re committed to respecting the thousands-year-old Japanese sake brewing traditions, but they also hope to inspire a new interest in this ancient beverage by using unique American ingredients and engaging New Yorkers in the process at their Sunset Park brewery and tap room.
After meeting at a mutual friend’s wedding in Japan and developing a passion for sake, Brian and Brandon teamed up and got to work on their 2,500-square-foot space in Industry City, which combines the functionality of traditional Japanese breweries with a contemporary Brooklyn design aesthetic. 6sqft recently paid them a visit and had a drink in the tap room (yes, we agree with Niikawa-Helton that the sakes are “so soft, so gentle”), got a look at the sake making process, and chatted with Brian and Brandon about their journey, life at Industry City, and how they’re turning New Yorkers into sake lovers.
Read our interview with Brian and Brandon and see inside Brooklyn Kura