The New Face of 8th Street

The New Face of 8th Street

These things happen in New York; one day you walk down a street  you haven’t visited in a while, and it looks completely different. The stretch of 8th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue in Greenwich Village used to be known, somewhat disparagingly, as “shoe alley.” It was filled with kitschy bazaars and discount shoe stores, and it wasn’t a particularly attractive lane. Quite suddenly, it became home to a handful of high-end restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and a brand new hotel by none other than Sean McPherson, the man behind some of Manhattan’s most fashionable properties (and celebrity hangouts), like the Bowery Hotel and The Jane.

Take a look at the newcomers:

The Marlton

Opened in late 2013, this 107-room hotel was designed with a Parisian hôtel de charme in mind, and Mr. McPherson, the hotelier, said he wanted to eschew design trends like edison bulbs, taxidermy, and “over-deliberate flea-market ‘finds,'” as he told The New York Times. And yet The Marlton, whose wood-paneled lobby bar bustles at night with a crowd of young and young-looking denizens wearing checkered shirts, pleated leather skirts, and nerd glasses (not necessarily at the same time), feels rather over-deliberate. It is attractive, absolutely, but I could not imagine myself in Paris. Yet I don’t want to sound critical; this hotel is a very welcome presence in the neighborhood, and it has more charm and character than most of the city’s lodgings.

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This specialty-cocktails bar is just a few months old, and it already has a consistent clientele of fashionable-yet-approachable types. Walk by the large front window on any given night, and you’ll see an inviting scene: soft moody lighting, moss-green walls, tufted banquettes. Drinks were created by Nesha Korak, an alumnus of Employees Only (the mother of all specialty-cocktails bars).

(Photos by Oleg March via


Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Stumptown, as you may know, has become one of the most recognizable artisanal coffee brands. Barely one-year-old, this attractive cafe occupies the storied former home of 8th Street Books, famously frequented by Bob Dylan. Inside, it has all the expected bourgeois bohemian trappings: exposed brick, parquet floors, a wood-paneled bar, and moderne-style lighting.

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Burger Joint

The Burger Joint’s unlikely original address is inside a basement in Midtown’s Le Parker Meridien. People walking into the hotel’s glossy lobby often wonder what the big line is all about. Surely no one expects to find a dark, bare-bones joint there, dispensing delightfully greasy burgers in paper plates. The new 8th Street location is much bigger and slightly more upscale, at least in decor.

(Photos by Daniel Krieger via

Greenwich Project


The team behind the Mulberry Project, a speakeasy-style bar that draws scenesters to Little Italy, opened this restaurant late last year inside a nicely decorated townhouse (tin ceilings, wooden tables, pop art on the walls). The menu is filled with classic American fare like Berkshire pork chops, scallops with bacon, and NY Strip steak. Though the reviews have been mixed, I’m anxious to try their High Tea, served on weekends from 2-5 p.m.

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It’s easy to miss Neta, with its minimalist door sign and  drapes covering the windows. But sushi fans should definitely seek this place out, which in less than two years has established itself among the city’s connoisseurs. After all, chef Michael Lim worked with one of the most venerated itamae in the world: Masa Takayama, owner of Masa in the Time Warner Center.

(Photos via

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