Restaurant round-up: Bar Velo and Taqueria Santa Fe open, Paulie Gee’s gets petitioned and more

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Bar Velo

In Williamsburg, a new vegetarian restaurant and bar has opened in the former home of Moto called Bar Velo:

Longtime Williamsburg haunt Cafe Moto has been reborn as a cycling enthusiast’s temple to two-wheeled transportation called Bar Velo, opening Monday on Broadway. John McCormick shut down his 14-year restaurant a few months back to retool the design a bit and update the menu to be completely vegetarian. And in the spring, they’ll launch Velo-To-Go, offering grocery-type things like bread, fruit and flowers plus…cycling gear. The cycling theme continues with items from McCormick’s personal collection of bike gear, including jerseys and lots of bike fixtures (a bicycle has always hung outside the restaurant’s front door). Like Moto, Velo will also double as a casual live music venue, stuffing musicians into the tiny space on certain days.

Artichoke Pizza is now open in Bushwick in the former home of Northeast Kingdom:

The owners of Artichoke Basille’s Pizza opened two new Brooklyn locations last week. First to open was a Bushwick outpost, which took over the 18 Wyckoff Ave., at Troutman Street, space that was home to influential restaurant Northeast Kingdom for more than a decade. Wanting to honor the farm-to-table restaurant, Artichoke’s owners Sal Basille and Francis Garcia left the restaurant’s awning untouched.

Bun-Ker is closing next week as they prepare to reopen in a larger location in East Williamsburg Bushwick

Five Leaves has plans to expand nationally and is now no longer affiliated with its neighbor, Nights and Weekends:

The crew behind Greenpoint neighborhood favorite Five Leaves has stopped working with nearby bar Nights and Weekends — a move to focus on planting more Five Leaves across the country. The Five Leaves team’s departure from its neighboring bar also means that Nights and Weekends will soon turn into something else. It’s not yet clear what it will be, though the owners plan to rebrand in January 2017. The team at Nights and Weekends did not respond to a request for comment.

As for Five Leaves growth, co-owner Jud Mongell has already moved to LA to work on a new location of Five Leaves in East Hollywood, but that outpost is just the beginning for more locations, he says. Moving away from Nights and Weekends is in part to invest in the expansions. They’re eyeing more projects in LA and in other cities, all different versions of the popular bistro. Though each one might have local twists — a theoretical in Miami might have frozen drinks, for example — the core will be like the original 18 Bedford Avenue location. “For us, it’s all about Five Leaves right now,” Mongell says.

Taqueria Santa Fe is now open and Bushwick Daily calls it “A Taco Lover’s Dream”:

Tacos cost $2.50 apiece ordered individually. If you eat meat, order the grilled steak and Mexican sausage; it’s profoundly satisfying. A meal of three tacos is $6, 10 tacos costs $18 and comes with two free sodas, and a spread of twenty-five tacos is $39 and can be ordered to go for a taco party (arguably the best kind of party there is)….Though the menu is largely comprised of meat dishes in keeping with the cuisine of Mexico City (the Santa Fe of the restaurant’s name is a district in Mexico City, not the capital of the American state of New Mexico), vegetarians can opt for the avocado version of each menu item, which comes with roasted green and red peppers and tomatoes in addition to the avo.

Finally, Paulie Gee is getting push-back in Greenpoint from neighbors concerned that his new slice joint will be too noisy:

Paulie Gee may sling some of the best pizza in the city but that hasn’t necessarily won him friendships with his neighbors in Greenpoint, some of whom are launching a campaign to block his new sports bar coming soon to Franklin Street. A group of residents on Noble Street, the street at the intersection where Paulie Gee’s Slice Joint will open up, have started a petition to block the pizzaiolo from obtaining a liquor license for the 110 Franklin Street space.

The petition’s signees are aggrieved about a multitude of what they see as potential quality of life issues surrounding what Paul Giannone refers to as a classic slice joint and sports bar. Many of the petition’s postings point to Noble Street’s quiet residential character, in addition to the Greenpoint Shul just up the block.

“This block is a zoned historical district, filled with many young families and different types of residents that pride the fact we have a quiet, peaceful block,” one of the petition’s signers said. “I have lived here for 14 years and have two young children. There has never been a bar or restaurant on Noble street, as it is filled with houses and small apartment buildings.”

110 Franklin Street, the planned home of Paulie Gee's new slice joint

110 Franklin Street, the planned home of Paulie Gee’s new slice joint

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