NoHo Restaurants – December Catch-Up

The Wren, 344 Bowery

NoHo welcomes The Wren at 344 Bowery - Yes, really !

The Wren, NoHo’s new gastro pub at Bowery and Great Jones opened December 14th.  We are most pleased to welcome their classy but unpretentious vibe and especially owners Simon and Mark Gibson and partner Krissy Harris,  who reached out to the neighborhood well in advance of signing the lease and planning the space to work out a community agreement.  Now, we are especially happy to see the reviewers agree this could be a real NoHo treasure:  Zagat, East Village Local/NY Times blog (complete with slide show),

In December the Mile End Sandwich Shop which has taken a lease at 53 Bond St. (yes the same lot# as the faultering Hung-Ry, but actually a separate storefront next door) made an appeal for a Wine and Beer license at CB#2.  It was defeated, though we were impressed with their menu and the Brooklyn-successful entrepreneurs.  Had it not been for the over-saturation of license issue (which they unwisely ignored when they signed the 10+ year lease) and the fact that eating is at stand-up bars –  just a tad too easy for the usual bridge and tunnel crowd to grab their last 8 beers at on a Friday and Saturday night, we were a little sorry we couldn’t look forward to a real overstuffed Jewish corned beef sandwich with a beer.  Oh well.  If they are really as good as they say they are, we’ll help find a “kosher,” already-licensed address for them somewhere.

The Montreal Jewish deli-inspired Brooklyn restaurant Mile End has already charmed diners with its take on smoked meat platters and the gravy-covered french fries known as poutine. Mile End, which is named after a neighborhood in Montreal, plans to open a NoHo outpost at 53 Bond St. early next year, owner Noah Bernamoff said. Mile End Sandwich will be a quick-service version of its Brooklyn sister restaurant. Read more at DNA Info

The planned hearing for the new ownership of ACME at 9 Great Jones was held-over to the January CB#2 calendar.  Interested NoHo stakeholders have had one lengthy sit down with new owners Jean-Marc Houmard and Huy Chi Lee who are also principals at Indochine.  A second sit-down is planned to iron out some basic details, like occupancy, hours of operation, sanitation and the delineation of uses between the upstairs and downstairs.  No, the ACME menu will not return; in fact we are having a difficult time pinning the new owners down to any menu though they insist that at least the groundfloor will be primarily restaurant oriented.

Forcella at 334 Bowery did get the go-ahead for their Wine and Beer license from the SLA, but not without the comprehensive list of stipulations recommended by NoHo and adopted by CB#2 in it’s resolution.  Had we arrived earlier to formally present the lack of Certificate of Occupancy (for a changed groundfloor and cellar use) and the fact that a Public Assembly permit cannot be issued until there is one, we could possibly have blocked this further.  As it stands, the building owner William Fung of Infinity Realty has two citations from the Landmarks Preservation Commission for the unapproved storefront infill that Forcella has designed and installed and, then there are issues of odor and venting noise, which, now that the SLA has recognized the stipulations, are to be cured within 90 days of opening.  We hope that will be in January since we think they opened in November.  They seem pretty intent on adding a sidewalk cafe, soon.  So what about the food?  Here’s Forcella’s review from the NY Times.