At last, after years of being an eyesore, we now know that the southeast corner of 19th and 8th is about to become a Haru, a fairly high-end sushi joint. I used to frequent the location on 43rd Street when I worked in the original New York Times building and liked it a lot, but worry that yet another Asian restaurant is not the answer to the once-thriving neighborhood's problems. (We just got a Momofuku three blocks up.)
8th Avenue watcher will remember the space used to be Nisos, which had a rocky 10-year run ...
and before that, Sam Chinita, a Cuban-Chinese place housed in a diner-style building that was bulldozed when Nisos set up shop.
A block up, but closer to 7th Avenue, it seems even a longtime psychic couldn't see the exorbitant rent hike that was heading her way, which has given the neighborhood a post-apocalyptic look