The Spot:Bunker, 46-63 Metropolitan Avenue, Ridgewood.
The Deal: Sometimes, as they say, the best-laid plans just go awry. The original plan for the rather industrial location on Metropolitan was for a fish distribution company called Fish & Ship. Then Hurricane Sandy flooded the space. Then a business partner, and the fish connection, had to back out. So what to do with this address that TK Adam refers to as “the curse and the blessing”?
Fortunately Jimmy Tu, the executive chef, and Jacky Tu, the sous chef, had been sitting on an idea: “Quality Vietnamese food,” says Adam. “The exotic yet accessible flavors of Vietnam, the street food that they loved, but elevated with quality ingredients. Bunker was born out of belief and out of survival instinct.”
But where new ideas and delicious food goes, attention soon follows. Bunker first drew the attention of locals, and then the food blogs and then The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, The Food Network and others.
“Through hard work, perseverance, sacrifice, and just plain luck, Bunker has been a destination spot for the better part of a year now,” Adam says. “We have a loyal, ever-expanding customer base willing to trek from all over to a middle-of-nowhere restaurant with nothing to entertain them within miles as they tough out torturous wait times. And for that, we are so grateful and so thankful.”
Read about the Signature Dish after the jump… (more…)
This Friday, Hong Kong’s prolific movie director Patrick Lung Kong will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from another Asian director, Tsui Hark, at the Museum of the Moving Image. A true pioneer of Cantonese cinema, Kong wrote 14 films that he directed between 1966 and 1979 and starred in 60 films between 1958 and 2002. The museum will then screen The Story of a Discharged Prisoner (below), followed by a conversation with Kong and Hark, a native of Vietnam who remade this film. The event will kick off Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: The Cinema of Patrick Lung Kong, a nine-film series featuring rare titles imported from Hong Kong from August 15th through August 24th.
Food Cellar announced it was opening its second LIC location on Crescent Street last summer. Since then, not a whole lot has happened. The Court Square Blog just posted a photo of the progress to be found at 43-10 Crescent Street, the ground floor of Rockrose’s Linc LIC development. Here’s what CSB has to say: “While we’ve seen construction crews start up work again recently after a long hiatus, it appears from this photo that the earliest it will deliver will be winter of this year. A source with knowledge of the situation told TCSB that a more realistic delivery date will be 1Q 2015.”
Once open, this outpost will be massive: 14,000 square feet, to be exact. It will include a food bar as well as outdoor seating.
A new restaurant and bar has been approved to open in a former pizzeria at 46-19 48th Avenue in Sunnyside. The restaurant, to be called Amanecer Caliente, will be small, just 10 tables and six stools at the bar and will be open for breakfast at 7 AM and stay open all day and into the night.
The exact hours, however, were a sticking point between the owner and Community Board 2 (which has already been the focal point of complaints about its blanket rejections of outdoor seating requests from other restaurants). The owner of Amanecer Caliente wanted to stay open as a bar until 2 AM Sunday through Wednesday and until 4 AM from Thursday through Sunday. He explained that he planned to sell food at about a break even price and that all of his profit would come from liquor sales at the small establishment. The community board, however, curtailed his hours, forcing him to close at 11 PM on weeknights and midnight on weekends, citing concerns about rowdiness in the area at night.
The Madison LIC, the 10 Story condo building near Court Square nicknamed the LIC Finger Building, has begun listing units. This one, unit 3A is a one bedroom, one bathroom asking $525,000. It has all the trimmings that one has come to expect in a new condo building–floor to ceiling windows, central air, quartz counter tops and shiny appliances. The building offers a gym, back yard, roof deck, virtual doorman and bike room. Since there is no floor plan in the listing for this unit but there is one available on the building’s site for unit 2A, the apartment directly below, we’ll assume that the the dimensions are the same. At 575 square feet, the ask is $913 a square foot. There is also a 36 square foot balcony so adding that in brings it down a bit. That seems like an ambitious ask for this neck of the woods, but according to The Madison’s website, one unit is already in contract. The building is expected to be finished next month. Is a nice one bedroom here worth that price?
This month two artists opened a temporary gallery in Rockaway Beach. The gallery, Topless Rockaway, is in a former eye doctor’s office that had been abandoned since Hurricane Sandy hit. The artists, Jenni Crain and Brent Birnbaum worked with the landlord to renovate the space, pulling down old drop ceilings. They told DNAinfo that they preferred being in Rockway over gallery-heavy neighborhoods like Bushwick and Chelsea because of the community feel.
The pair hope to have four exhibits over the course of the summer. Topless Rockaway is at 90-20 Rockaway Beach Boulevard and is open Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 8 pm and by appointment.
The Department of Transportation proposed a five-mile stretch of bike lanes going east to west along Flushing from Classon Avenue, in Brooklyn to Woodward Avenue, in Ridgewood. DNAinfo reports that the lane would be installed this summer. It’s an extension of an already existing bike lane along Flushing from Downtown Brooklyn to Classon Avenue. As DNAinfo notes, “The new path would mostly consist of shared bike lanes, where cars and bikers use the same lane, but some sections would also have separate bike lanes, including curbside ones with three of protection between cars and bikers.” The DOT will not take away any parking spaces to install it. Community Board One, based in Brooklyn, voted to support the proposal.