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El Habanero Tex Mex Coming to 'sNice Space

It's been about nine months since vegetarian sandwich shop 'sNice closed up shop on the highly trafficked corner of Fifth Avenue and Third Street, and finally a new restaurant has been lined up for the space. Thanks to a temporary sign, we know that it'll be called El Habanero Tex Mex.

There are a handful of Tex Mex and Mexican restaurants on Fifth, including Lobo, Mezcal's, Rachel's and its new offshoot Varrio 408, Tacos Nuevo Mexico, Fatty Daddy Taco, and (Cal-Mex) Calexico. El Habanero will be jumping into a pretty crowded ring, but its has a few things going for it: Placement is prime, there's outdoor seating, and well-made enchiladas and fajitas are beloved by pretty much everybody.

There are no details out there yet that I could find, so will be interesting to see what develops.


Surfish Bistro Opening Gowanus Location

It's been more than four years since Surfish Peruvian Bistro opened on Fifth Avenue between Fourth and Fifth Streets, and now the successful restaurant is opening up a second location, on the corner of Third Avenue and 14th Street. Many thanks to a tipster for sending the above photo; the restaurant also posted a photo of the new space on Facebook.

The small restaurant, which is run by Chopped winner chef Miguel Aguilar, has remained somewhat under the radar but is quite popular and has been well-reviewed. The menu includes a wide variety of ceviche, tapas, and specialties like paella, pork adobado, and lomo saltado.

According to the Facebook post, the new location will be opening in November, and will be "bigger and better."


American Restaurant, "Sushi Speakeasy" Coming to 166 Flatbush Avenue

A new multi-format restaurant will be opening at 166 Flatbush Avenue, between Fifth and Pacific, next door to Shake Shack, DNAinfo reports. The owners also run a Michelin-starred Tribeca sushi restaurant called Sushi Abazu and a host of bars throughout the city.

The 3,700 square foot restaurant will have a unique concept: A New American restaurant and bar will be located on the ground floor and roof, a "speakeasy sushi bar" will be located on the basement level. Abazu, which is accessed via an upstairs Japanese restaurant called Daruma-Ya, has a similar conecpt.

Other partners in the endeavor include the owners of Manhattan bar Professor Thom's, Brooklyn bars Sekend Sun and Basik, and the Upper West Side bar Session 73. The restaurant is being designed by 2015 James Beard Award finalists Parts & Labor, and will also apparently have its own app, for some reason.

If all goes to plan, the restaurant should be open by April 2016.

Photo via Google Maps.


"Modern Caribbean" BK9 Opening Any Day Now on Fifth 

A Caribbean restaurant called BK9 has been in the works for about a month and a half in the space on Fifth between Bergen and St. Marks that was last occupied by a decrepit storefront church. All the signage and fixtures are in place, and it looks like it should be opening any day now.

Owner Gary Casimir told Park Slope Stoop that the restaurant will serve the Carribean food that he and the eight other co-owners grew up eating, but with a "healthier, foodie-er" twist. Chef Jeremie Tomczak previously worked at Marcus Samuelsson's acclaimed Red Rooster up in Harlem, and his menu hews toward the traditional but has a decidedly cheffy angle. Traditional menu items like doubles, drum pan chicken, whole red snapper and fried sardine escovitch, oxtail, and curry goat are joined by less traditional dishes like pork belly sliders, quinoa fritters, a burger, and roasted root vegetables. All the hallmarks of Island cuisine, from jerk to callaloo, salt fish, stew peas, bammy, and Haitian griot, are represented.

The restaurant is nicely designed, with a bar that seats about 12, lots of windows up front, and Edison bulb lighting. These dishes, when done right, can be incredibly delicious (as anyone who's spent any time eating in Jamaica can tell you), and the pedigree of the chef seems to bode very well.


Laytner's on Union Street Closing August 23

Laytner's Linen and Home, the sprawling outpost of the home goods chain located on Union Street neat Seventh Avenue, will be closing for good on August 28th. There's a currently a major sale going on — everything in the store is at least 20 percent off — and it's selling fast.

For those looking for a great deal, there are currently plenty to be had. Some sheets and bedding are 50 percent off, and furniture is also deeply discounted. This location opened in 2008, and is one of the only places in the area where staple home items like towels, shower curtains, kitchenware, and bedding could be found. Below is the note announcing their farewell.