East Side Gets Grilled Cheese, Bubble Tea and Ice Cream Sandwiches

By Mary Johnson on September 11, 2012 4:52pm 

OPENINGS:

Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, which recently moved its flagship Fifth Avenue location a few blocks south, has opened its newest spa at The Chatwall hotel near Times Square. The new, 2,400-square-foot facility will feature three treatement rooms and three private changing suites, as well as a manicure and pedicure studio. 130 W. 44th St.

Celebrity makeup artist Bobbi Brown has opened an 800-square-foot pop-up shop in Grand Central Terminal. The shop, which has a staff of five full-time makeup artists to offer makeup lessons and Brown’s signature “instant pretty” touch ups, will be set up in the terminal’s Lexington Passage until January of 2013. 82 E. 42nd St.

The Pod 39 hotel in Murray Hill is opening a new rooftop bar this month. The budget hotel chain has brought in mixologist Sam Anderson to craft a slew of specialty cocktails, Grub Street NY reported. The list of drinks include the Sandita Trio — a concoction with silver tequila, sangrita verde, watermelon cubes and chili salt — and the Vanishing Point — made with gin, cinnamon, vanilla bean, fresh lemon juice, orange blossom and sea salt. 145 East 39th St.

Bocca, a new Roman-inspired restaurant specializing in Italian comfort food, has opened near Union Square. The restaurant, operated by the folks who own Cacio e Pepe in the East Village, serves fresh pastas made in-house and dishes such as pan-seared salmon with Italian couscous, and roasted pork shoulder, marinated for two days in fennel pollen and rosemary, served with broccoli rabe and red onion marmalade. 39 E. 19th St.

Glaze Teriyaki Grill has opened its second location in Manhattan, setting up shop on Fourth Avenue near Union Square, The Local East Village reported. The Asian-flavored restaurant is known for its charcoal-grilled teriyaki, and prices range from about $7.50 to $10 for the main courses. Delivery service will begin in the fall, and the restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. 139 Fourth Ave.

COMING SOON:

Pushcart Coffee, a popular Lower East Side coffee shop, is heading uptown to open a new location on Second Avenue near East 21st Street this fall, the blog pcvstBee reported. The Lower East Side location brews Stumptown coffee and serves fresh eats sourced from local farmers markets and bakeries, according to the company’s website. The new location will be called Pushcart Coffee-Peter’s Field, an apparent nod to a nearby park that has historic roots. "We also plan to place a large emphasis on the past, present and future of the neighborhood in our decor and customer service," Jamie Rogers, a co-owner with Lisa Fischoff, told the pcvstBee. "For example, we will publish a weekly print newsletter of local news in the shop for customers to read." 362 Second Ave.

A pop-up shop specializing in ice cream sandwiches will open soon near Bryant Park, Gothamist reported. Smush, which touts itself as the “NY deli of desserts,” offers several signature sandwiches, including the B.V.T., made with with two French toast cookies with caramel spread, vanilla fudge, sliced fresh bananas and vanilla ice cream. Then there’s also the chocolate-covered Struben, which consists of two chocolate chunk cookies surrounding milk chocolate fudge, sliced fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream. 28 W. 40th St.

Music destination Sam Ash is preparing to open a massive store on West 34th Street to replace half a dozen of its stores that have comprised much of West 48th Street’s “Music Row” for years, the New York Post reported. Those smaller shops sell guitars, woodwinds, brass instruments, drums, keyboards and sheet music and once drew the likes of Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana, according to the Post. 333 W. 34th St.

Crocs, the brand of plastic sandals that has been praised for its comfort and blasted for its clunky design, is looking to open a 13,600-square-foot retail store in Herald Square next summer, across the street from Macy’s, Crain’s NY reported. The megastore will replace Tad’s Broiled Steaks, a Pizza Hut and Tim Horton’s. 152 W. 34th St.

The Flatiron district is getting an influx of comfort of food with the opening of the Melt Shop on West 26th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue, the blog Mad Park News reported. The Melt Shop, which already has an outpost on Lexington Avenue near East 53rd Street, serves classic grilled cheese sandwiches, along with other sandwiches, including the “buttermilk fried chicken,” with pepper jack cheese, creamy red cabbage slaw and special Melt sauce, and “the dirty,” with pepper jack, muenster, caramelized onions, pickled jalapeños, sliced tomato and crunchy potato chips. 55 W. 26th St.

Come Buy, a chain of Taiwanese bubble tea shops with multiple locations in Queens, has opened on Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron district, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership announced in a recent newsletter. The shop will offer more than just the trendy bubble tea selections; there will also be milk tea and “teaspresso,” as well as cupcakes and donuts. 251 Fifth Ave.

FIKA Espresso Bar has opened on Park Avenue South in the Flatiron district, according to a recent announcement from the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership. The coffee shop, which already has outposts on West 58th Street in Midtown and on Pearl Street Downtown, serves coffee made from beans imported from Sweden and chocolate, as well as homemade pastries, sandwiches and Scandinavian specialties such as Swedish meatballs. 303 Park Ave. S.

CLOSINGS:

Gravy, a restaurant and lounge that specialized in Southern-style comfort food in the Flatiron district, has closed its doors, the blog Mad Park News reported. The restaurant posted notice of its closing on its Facebook page, thanking its customers and pledging to remain open throughout NYC Restaurant Week this summer. “Thank you so much for all the support and love you’ve shown us,” Gravy wrote. “We couldn’t have had this wonderful year without you.”

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