Friday, March 15, 2013

Coffee Talk, Etc.

Checking on the new Chelsea Coffee on 8th Ave. Both my Americano and my view are great -- even if the asshole speaking Russian at the top of lungs on his cellphone is ruining the atmosphere. (UPDATE: Of course he drives in Manhattan -- he finally just left.)

While I'm pleased with the addition of this small coffee joint, I was stunned to see Havana Central -- a Chelsea instituion from even before I moved here in the '90s -- has gone under. I guess the neighborhood's days as a working-class Latino neighborhood are far in the distance, but the joint's recent remodel made me think they were on solid ground.

UPDATE: Apparently I didn't realize that the place that was there when I moved here actually closed -- Havana Chelsea -- but was replaced with a similar style restaurant, and maintained the BEST CUBAN SANDWICHES sign in the window. Apparently this was a mini controversy at the time -- with the old owner unhappy that patrons would believe that they were eating in the same place with just a facelift. (He was right!)

 Likewise, Ruben's Empanadas closed shop awhile ago. This was a relatively new place, but clearly the demographic was not there to support it. With these two and the Rawhide all up for grabs -- and the former Big Cup set to become another nail salon -- I'm almost fearful of what 8th Avenue will look like a year from now.

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