If you live in SoHo, or anywhere nearby for that matter, you’ll want to check out the new French bakery. Maman, which means “Mother” in French, will take you back to your last trip to Paris. Their offerings include focaccia breads, brioches, chickpea galettes and so much more.
Elisa Marshall, a wedding and event planner who loves to bake, met her boyfriend and business partner, Benjamin Sormonte, in 2011. Together, they decided to bring a bit of the South of France to Centre Street, including Michelin-starred chef Armand Arnal in their plans.
They serve breakfast, lunch and take-out food at the moment and have created a wonderfully cozy atmosphere in their rabbit-themed rustic store. The store is definitely a treat for the eyes and the mouth and is the ideal spot to linger on a Sunday morning…or any day for that matter.
If you love shoes then you’ll want to have your sights on Dune London. They will be opening their doors of their first US store on Friday with a large array of trendy and fun shoe choices.
Founded in 1992, Dune opened their first UK store in 1993 and will now be in the States and also in Mumbai for the first time.
They sell at 250 outlets in the UK, but it is getting to its saturation point says founder and executive chairman Daniel Rubin.
As Rubin said, “The opportunity in the states is huge. It’s not without its pitfalls. There’s a record of U.K. retailers coming to the U.S. and not doing so well. But we’re cautious people, and we want to respond quickly to what the customer is telling us.”
The goal is ultimately to open 20 stores in the States. As Rubin said, “I think the key is going to be to get the product right. We have a great location, the brand is doing really well. The question is how much we’ll need to adjust the product to this market. But that’s part of the learning process.”
Everyone probably already knows about this – but it’s worth mentioning. Central Perk, the fake coffee shop from “Friends” will open for real starting September 17th. They will open in honor of the show’s 20th anniversary, as Warner Bros. and Eight O’Clock Coffee team up for the one-month project.
The pop-up shop will be at 199 Lafayette Street in Soho. They will be serving free java from 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays and 10 am to 8pm on weekends.
It will be an exact replica of the fake coffee shop where the Friends characters hung out for the 10-season run on NBC. There will be many promotions during the month and visitors will be able to buy “Friends” merchandise and enjoy in-store musical performances.
If you’re enamored with Aurelie Bidermann’s jewelry from Paris, you just might be in luck now. She is opening her first US boutique in New York at 265 Lafayette Street. She called New York her “second home” and the new storefront has a striped awning and an airy set of colors inside. She explains that the decor was inspired by New York and LA in the 60s and 70s. Inside, of course, you’ll find Aurelie Bidermann originals such as her series of scarab-themed pieces with the accented lapis lazuli.
As she said, “The blue felt very New York to me.”
Check out her gems in the store and at aureliebidermann.com.
Birchbox, a beauty sample delivery service, has had an online business model only up until now. Now, they are opening an actual storefront in SoHo. Co-founders Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna are confident that the store, which will have full and sample-size beauty products, will be a success.
As Beauchamp said, “We set it up like an Internet store.” The store has 4200 square feet and has more than 250 beauty brands and lifestyle goods.
Creatively set up like an online store, customers shop by category rather than brand. So they shop for lip products, hair products, etc. and can test things out at the “Try Bar.” As a cute addition, they have a “BYOB” section, or “Build Your Own Birchbox” where customers can select five sample items for $15.
They will also have a makeup, hair and nails studio downstairs where women can come for a quick braid or a polish change.
Beauchamp and Barna are no fly-by-night business women. They met at Harvard Business School and their company is rumored to be worth about $500 million.
As Beauchamp said, “We’re really excited. This is the best way to discover beauty.”
Paintbox is the place to go in SoHo for the ultimate manicure. The salon is owned by Eleanor Langston, a former beauty editor for Cosmopolitan, Self and Fitness. Now, they don’t accept special nail requests and they don’t do pedicures. But you won’t find a more luxurious place at the moment for a manicure in SoHo.
Those eyeing real estate in SoHo may want to focus their attention, instead, along Canal Street. Last year, a group of buyers purchased 351 Canal Street and were led by Elli Ausubel of the White Bay Group. Uriel Cohen is the founder of the White Bay Group, while Elli Ausubel is the Managing Partner.
The purchasers bought the five-story, 25,000 square foot retail and loft apartment building for $24.8 million. Pouring $17.3 million into renovations, they are hoping to turn a healthy profit through retail space and tenant rentals.
As David Eisen, the broker at Eastern Union Funding who arranged for the bridge loan from Investors Bank, said “They believe they can secure a marquee national retail tenant for this space. There are a lot of people banking right now that Canal is going to be the next big shopping corridor.”
Up until now, Canal Street has not been a particularly desirable address. It has typically housed discount goods. As Michael Glanzberg, a principal at the So-Ho-based retail leasing brokerage Sinvin, said “Top-end retailers have been unwilling to go there.”
Now, as SoHo rents have skyrocketed, many are looking elsewhere. At the White Bay Group, Uriel Cohen and Elli Ausubel and others will certainly be watching how this property does.