Sheridan Market, a deli with an espresso bar and seating, opened at the corner of Sheridan Avenue and East 161st Street a few weeks ago after nearly a year of construction and permit delays. It’s open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
The large space — the building previously housed a law office, a Dunkin’ Donuts and a pizza shop — includes fresh food counters, shelves of imported snacks and a dining room with a dozen or so small tables. Diners can choose from hot buffet items such as chicken and mashed potatoes, pizza-by-the-slice, grilled paninis or a salad bar.
Espresso shots go for $1.50, a large Mighty Leaf tea costs $1.75 and guilt-inducing pastries such as Reese’s Peanut Butter cupcakes and pumpkin pie cheesecake are a steal for $3. The market does offer some healthier fare, including fresh fruit, Naked-brand smoothies, individual cartons of Silk soymilk and aloe vera juice.
Farther west on 161st St., just blocks from Yankee Stadium, Flavas International Grill serves a mixture of Jamaican and soul food at 854 Gerard Ave. from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
This location, which opened in September and was previously home to a Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery, is the second Flavas site. The first restaurant was situated at the corner of Third Avenue and 161st Street — that location is temporarily closed, but will reopen in the coming months, according to owner Millicend Ragla.
The original Flavas initially served only Jamaican fare: codfish and oxtail stew, curry chicken, rice and beans, plantains and the like. But Ragla said that when customers kept asking for Southern dishes — fried chicken, collard greens, candied yams — she learned the recipes and added them to her menu.
Lunch specials include all variety of chicken — fried, curry, stew, jerk or barbeque — or fish, with rice and cabbage, plantains or greens and a lemonade for $5.50 to $7.95, depending on the choice of meat.
Some 152 retail establishments fill the 15 blocks along 161st St. between Yankee Stadium and Morris Avenue that make up the 161st Street business improvement district. The vast majority of storefronts along that stretch of 161st Street are occupied, according to district’s executive director, Cary Goodman.
One of the rare unoccupied spaces in the area is at 283 East 161st Street, just past Morris Avenue. A former beauty salon, the storefront is now empty and the old salon sign is peeling. An employee at the adjacent deli, Allen Deli Grocery, said someone continues to rent the space next door, but he was not aware of any pending plans to open a new business there.