Incoming Taqueria ‘Gracias Mama’ Peels Away the Plywood on East Broadway
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Incoming taqueria, Gracias Mama, is swiftly approaching the finish line. The controversial establishment – under construction at 162 East Broadway since springtime – peeled away the plywood from its cornershop exterior last week and painted the exterior white. Workers were seen breaking down the shed and stuffing the contents into a demolition truck.
This corner (at Rutgers Street) is now upscaled, having replaced the two Chinese businesses that operated here for many years – both incarnations of the Golden Carriage Bakery and the unassuming window newsstand.
Gracias Mama also became ground zero for a battle between Chinatown, the upper-crust Lower East Side, and the block associations representing both. Much of the arguments centered around the front door – now in place – installed above the East Broadway subway station to skirt the 200-foot law that initially threatened to torpedo plans.
The fight is seemingly over, though. A liquor license here is nigh. Word on the street is that the state already gave its conditional letter of approval (bolstered by Community Board 3 backing), and that Gracias Mama will open in December.
Koorosh Bakhtiar and Nima Garos are the principals, the latter also with a controlling interest in Gelso & Grand in Little Italy.
Here’s a look inside: