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Banana Pudding Maker Baonanas opens in the East Village

A banana pudding store with a following in New Jersey has found its way to the East Village, with help from a smash burger counter located next door. Baonanaswhich operates two locations in Jersey City and has popped up in Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, extended with its first New York storefront in the East Village on March 5. It opened in partnership with 7th Street Burger, a popular burger shop next door that previously sold its puddings from a refrigerator.

Lloyd Ortuoste and Patricia Villanueva, owners of Baonanas, were already looking to open in New York, but those plans accelerated after the pudding company received a rave endorsement from Bella Hadid – to her 50 million followers – on Instagram in last September. The pudding was flying off the shelves on 7th Street, says owner Kevin Rezvani.

Baonanas has only been open in the East Village for two weeks, but business is already picking up, with the help of its next door neighbor. Rezvani offered customers a 20% discount on the store’s decadent banana puddings, which are mixed with ingredients like ube jam and graham crackers, while local followers of the New York-based brand Jersey showed up to support the opening. “I didn’t realize it would go so well,” he says.

Baonanas is open Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 12 p.m. to midnight and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Gaia Italian Cafè will open another location

After making a comeback as a take-out operation in the East Village last summer, Italian restaurant Gaia Italian Cafè on the Lower East Side seems to be open another location. According to neighborhood blog EV Grieve, the beloved restaurant posted upcoming signs on a storefront at 226 East Third Street, between Avenues B and C. It’s unclear if the restaurant will also focus on dishes. takeout and delivery, or when it intends to fully open. Eater has contacted owner Gaia Bagnasacco for more information.

Has the $50 Designer Strawberry met its match?

Bowery Farming is the latest to benefit from the designer strawberry craze. The Manhattan-based agricultural company, which specializes in produce grown using vertical indoor farms, has grown a market-ready strawberry, Crain New York Business Reports, with 8-ounce packets of berries for around $15 at Eataly and other New York stores. The company joins Oishii, the city’s preeminent designer strawberry company, which has been selling deluxe berries grown indoors — $50 for eight — since 2018.

The piano bar is heading to the Upper East Side

Tom and Anthony Martignetti, the restaurateurs behind a handful of celebrity hangouts in Manhattan, are heading to the Upper East Side for their latest, Page 6 reports. The brothers, who ran the closed hotspots of Nolita, Brinkley’s Broome Street and Southside, will open a piano bar on April 1 called Melody’s at 1020 Lexington Avenue near East 73rd Street.