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Popular Mac-'n'-Cheese Joint Coming to Houston Street

By Patrick Hedlund | June 4, 2011 11:38am | Updated on June 5, 2011 9:48am

By Patrick Hedlund

DNAinfo News Editor

EAST VILLAGE — Houston Street is about to get a lot cheesier.

An outpost of popular East 12th Street macaroni-and-cheese joint S'MAC will soon open in a food kiosk in a small park near the corner of First Avenue, employees said.

S'MAC will replace a branch of the landmark Second Avenue Ukrainian eatery Veselka, which owner Tom Birchard confirmed will vacate the space at the end of the month.

The city Parks Department put out a request for proposals in January for vendors to bid on the space, after Veselka hinted that it would likely not return.

S'MAC, which currently has adjacent sit-down and takeout locations between First and Second avenues, features a dozen mac-'n-cheese mash-ups including cheeseburger, Cajun and buffalo chicken. It opened in 2006.

The Parks Department had stipulated that the vendor should be affordable, and that the city would look more favorably on operators that "incorporate ethnically diverse and/or healthy food choices, such as salads, fresh fruit, yogurt, nuts, granola bars, protein bars, bottled water, juices, smoothies, etc."

A spokesperson for the department did not return a request for comment Friday.

Meanwhile, Veselka is getting ready to launch its second full-scale restaurant on East 1st Street near the Bowery in the next four to six weeks, Birchard added.