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Coming Soon: Pulperia at 131 Essex Street
Cibao Express remittance entity shuttered its 131 Essex Street offices almost two years ago and relocated up the block. The 1,500 square-foot ground-level space has been vacant ever since. So, real estate listings were subsequently circulated, marketed as perfect for anything from boutiques to gourmet shops. Well, it appears the latter option just won out.
Work permits were filed with the DOB last week to renovate the existing store, including “replacement [of] existing bathroom fixtures, new kitchen plumbing fixtures, and new front glass windows. For what, you ask? An “eatery/market” called Pulperia, named for the traditional neighborhood grocery shops that once dotted the landscape of Spain and Latin America (i.e. bygone bodegas).
Pulperia is the brainchild of Erick Caceres. The menu will offer small dishes (not tapas) consisting of “Pintxos” and “Montaditos” for $3.50 to $4.00. But the space doubles as a grocery for items such as “exotic” canned goods, charcuterie (prepared meats), cheeses, and by-the-pound sundries.
Caceres also hopes to score a restaurant wine license in an effort to serve “unique beer and wine cocktails.” To that end, he is preemptively addressing the concerns of the immediate surroundings, stating:
Our goal is to create a space for neighborhood residents. We understand that the LES has its struggles with noisy bars that attract customers from other areas, which then come in and behave a certain way. At Pulperia we’d like to provide simply a true neighborhood spot.
Wariness would be a normal response here, considering the “neighborhood establishment” argument is the most evoked tool in the arsenal.