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While New York’s only constant is change (and maybe rats?), the good news is that 2022’s changes brought a plethora of exciting new businesses to Hell’s Kitchen. W42ST celebrates the freshman class of shops, restaurants, bars, art studios and gyms who have already made their mark in our neighborhood.
WORKING IT OUT
We got the chance to chat with veteran trainer John Snow of Hell’s Kitchen’s new Victory Boxing studio (455 W37th St bw 9/10th Ave) about his long legacy of helping boxers through holistic philosophy. John’s thorough and therapeutic methods have even paved the way for clients like Jim McKeon, who, despite having suffered a major stroke, regained significant motor function after working with him.
If you’ve wanted to hop on the pottery craze but don’t know where to start, there are plentiful beginner and one-off workshops at Pottery NYC (786 9th Ave bw W52/53rd St). Artist and Hush dancer Peter Ramirez plans to continue developing a diverse variety of technique workshops and class formats.
For tired West Siders in need of a daily caffeine fix, the Hell’s Kitchen coffee and snack-scape has only richened with the likes of newcomers like Portuguese pastry shop Cantinho de Aziz (478 9th Ave bw W36/37th St) or the elaborate latte art at Vanesa Kim’s latest White Noise Coffee (829 11th Ave and W57th St). For homesick Indonesians, Warkop’s arrival in HK proved a welcome source for indomie and regional brews (366 W52nd St bw 8/9th Ave).
Perennial favorite Frisson Espresso expanded their popular house-made pastries and coffee to a second location (405 W44th St bw 9/10th Ave), and in a new coffee format, The Loyalty Foundation and Don Café teamed up to launch a coffee shop where you can both grab a cappuccino and donate educational tech equipment for local youth programs (469 W57th St bw 9/10th Ave).
SHOP DON’T DROP
Making his way from Wall Street to Fashion Week, local entrepreneur Jason Alexander brought his curated, personalized fashions to new shop Style on J (746 9th Ave bw W50/51st St) where Alexander helps clients to build a new wardrobe.
Borrowing on their near-encyclopedic knowledge of 80s, 90s and 2000s fashion, vintage experts Peter Mauceri and Joshua Martinez set up camp at Vintage on 46th Street (235 W46th St bw 7/8th Ave) with a curated selection of nostalgic duds and a willingness to teach customers about the art of the throwback.
There’s perhaps no greater constant than the ever-expanding scale of Hell’s Kitchen’s culinary collection, and 2022 was no exception. The neighborhood saw a bounty of tasty new openings like those from the W42ST reader-shortlisted Cafe 424 (424 W54th St bw 9/10th Ave), where the W42ST team can attest that the Jamaican home cooking from Institute of Culinary Education-trained Chef Nicola Campbell is not to be missed.
Be sure to stop by Cheeseboat (747 9th Ave bw W50/51st St), where the Davitashvili family has taken their popular Georgian cuisine to the West Side. Or take a stroll down 9th Avenue to brand-new fine dining joint CHI Restaurant and Bar (492 9th Ave bw W37/38th St), where finely-tuned fare from the Szechuan, Cantonese and Hunan regions are already fan favorites.
Hell’s Kitchen was aflutter at the news of New York’s first Dave’s Hot Chicken outpost (944 8th Ave bw W55/56th St), bringing hot spicy sandwiches and locally-sourced restaurant decor to 8th Avenue.
Food market Gotham West saw the arrival of acclaimed Japanese Gorin Ramen and Smashed NYC’s sizzling burgers (600 11th Ave bw W44/45th St). And over on 50th Street, Singaporean street food celeb KF Seetoh launched his hotly anticipated Urban Hawker market (135 W50th St bw 6/7th Ave) featuring dozens of vendors and cuisines from across Asia and even a second location of popular Hell’s Kitchen outpost, Tradisyon.
Down the way at Penn Station, commuting got significantly more pleasant with the new Moynihan Train Hall (Penn Station, 8th Ave bw W33/34th St) and its new bars, grab and go stands. They include bakeries like Italian mainstay Vesuvio, which has also launched a new, light-filled cafe chock-full of bombolino at 824 10th Ave (bw W54/55th St).
For those looking for a new favorite slice, both the latest location of hot-hit Emmy Squared (311 W48th St bw 8/9th Ave) and new 10th Avenue pizzeria Royal Napoli Pizza (691 10th Ave bbw W47/48th St) opened to hungry Hell’s Kitchen residents, while those looking for more elevated (and expensive) Italian fare were able to try Cipriani’s Harry’s Table, now open in Waterline Square after several pandemic fits and starts.
Celebrity chefs had their eye on Hell’s Kitchen, as Hell’s Kitchen’s own Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips launched near Times Square (1500 Broadway near W44th St), hoping to catch eager tourists and perhaps a few curious British chippy purists.
Further west, the long road to opening is finally over for Bella Abzug concessionaire Paradis in the Park (Bella Abzug Park at W36th St bw 10/11th Ave), who have started serving up stacked sandwiches and bespoke beverages to parkgoers and Hudson Yards shoppers.
And in what is set to be an even bigger feature of 2023, a new Restaurant Row is rising on lower 9th Avenue. Chef Adam Schop and restaurateur Stephane Bibeau have opened brand-new bistro Steak Frites (496 9th Ave bw W37/38th St) as the first in a series of planned culinary projects in the area.
From the future, to the past (and back again): The wayback machine was activated at candy-colored, 70s-esque eatery Peachy Keen (321 W44th St bw 8/9th Ave) where you can enjoy New American comfort food and signature milkshakes.
West Siders were happy to hear that long-time Midtown Mediterranean Molyvos (402 W43rd St bw 9/10th Ave) has made its way West, with the Livanos family mainstay settling into an intimate, renovated space in the ground floor of Manhattan Plaza and bringing with them their significant wine selection and seafood classics.
We had the pleasure of chatting with sisters Sommy and Mo Hensawang ahead of the launch of their new Thai seafood bar, Lum Lum (404 W49th St bw 9/10th Ave). In the months since, the restaurant has picked up critical acclaim and a loyal customer following, where passersby can consistently spot packed tables.
A total newcomer as a restaurateur, Jaz Rupall took her passion for throwing unforgettable dinner parties and scaled up to open Jaz Indian Cuisine (813 9th Ave bw W53/54th St). In less than a year, the North Indian fine dining spot has become a go-to for locals, earning the Best Place to Eat award by W42ST readers in 2022.
Longtime local favorite Chef Carlos Roberto Inácio has made his way back to Hell’s Kitchen with new Brazilian eatery Rice X Beans ( 688 10th Ave bw W48/49th St where “not everything comes with rice and beans” but everything is delicious.
Colombian tapas bar El Cartel NYC made its debut at 613 9th Ave bw W43/44th St, serving up ceviche, tostones and carne asada as well as pitchers of sangria and margaritas. Thonglor (789 9th Ave bw W52/53rd St) opened up to offer Bangkok’s finest fare and daily lunch specials, while Shane’s Rib Shack (673 9th Ave bw W46/47th St down the way cooks up pork ribs and smoked wings in their long-awaited debut.
Coming in nearly as hot as the Hell’s Kitchen culinary scene is its bespoke bar culture, where watering holes ranging from delightfully dive-y to high-end line the avenues. Notably, the neighborhood’s glossiest outpost, Hudson Yards, got its very own Bronx Brewery (20 Hudson Yards, second floor) where proprietors of the popular brand hope both office workers and thirsty shoppers will stop in for a house-brewed beer — part of a drive to get people back to the office, as well as celebrating the craft beer boom.
In time for Pride month, Boxers (735 9th Ave, just south of W50th St) reopened its doors. And down the street the legendary 9th Avenue Saloon (656 9th Ave, just south of W46th St) was revived, popcorn machine included. Brand new bar VERS (714 9th Ave bw W48/49th St) survived a series of brick attacks on its window with the support of its passionate community fan base. Red Eye (355 W41st St bw 8/9th Ave) rolled into town with everything from coffee and co-working to cocktails and drag shows across its floors. And queer, literary-themed The Dickens (783 8th Ave bw W47/48th St) set up shop on the many floors of the once-shuttered Latitude Bar and Grill.
Named after a lesser-known character in Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy, Lady Blue NYC (363 W46th St bw 8/9th Ave) is singing to the tune of intricately-constructed cocktails and elevated small plates on Restaurant Row, while sky-high Peekaboo (30 Hudson Yards) serves up a breathtaking view with its beverages.
Speaking of sky-high, the Pod Hotel and Italian eatery brand Serafina in the Sky (400 W42nd St bw 9/10th Ave) started a clubby, exclusive speakeasy on W42nd with space-age-meets 70s decor and plentiful creative cocktails.
And while we’re talking about speakeasies, the time-tested crew from Lilly’s opened the vintage-vibe Molly Pitcher Club (675 9th Ave bw W46/47th St), is full of Prohibition memorabilia and drinks that definitely would have been both illegal and in serious demand in 1920.
The punk rock 80s are back at The WooWoo (266 W47th St bw Broadway and 8th Avenue), where Pac-Man, porno shops and Purple Rain cocktails are staking a claim in Hell’s Kitchen.
Fans of the Latin fusion cuisine at La Pulperia were thrilled to hear of its tasting room bar outlet Next Room (623 9th Ave around the corner on W44th St, where bartender Daniel Villanueva’s expert knowledge of whiskey and mezcal make for a creative menu of cocktail options.
And if you’re looking to enjoy a drink at home, the beautifully designed, inclusive and homegrown Beaupierre Wine & Spirits (664 10th Ave bw W46/47th St) is the place for French wines curated by sommeliers Yannick Benjamin and Heidi Turzyn.
We’re looking forward to more exciting openings in 2023 — and if you hear of something cool coming to town, be sure to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org