Dreaming of a Downtown Area for NYC Home Cooks

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Diamonds have their own district here in New York City. Flower markets and restaurant supply stores have carved out their sections of Manhattan too. But what about us home cooks? Could there be a few blocks of shops for us?

Broadway Panhandler closed their Soho store and will be opening on 65 East 8th Street tomorrow at 11 a.m. sharp.

In the late 1800's, 8th Street near Broadway served as the southern end of the fashion-forward Ladies' Mile. More recently, this section of 8th Street was known as the city's spot for shoe shopping, but most of those shops are now shuttered. I'm wondering if this area (N or R train to 8th Street) might now be on the way to becoming a have-everything destination for home cooks.

According to signs in the windows at 24 West 8th Street, IS - Wine, the shop "for everyone with a passion for wine" is coming soon too.

Warehouse Wines and Spirits (735 Broadway at 8th Street) and East Village Cheese (40 3rd Ave. at 10th St.) are already fixtures in the neighborhood. In a pinch, Kmart serves as an afforable source for Martha Stewart Everyday kitchen gadgets, table settings and linens.

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'wichcraft, celeb chef Tom Colicchio's sandwich shop, recently opened up in a former sneaker store opposite the new Panhandler, and would be just the place to take a lunch break while shopping the new 8th Street. The new Trader Joe's and Whole Foods on Union Square are a quick walk away. Together this might be the critical mass more food-related retailers look for to open up in the area too.

What other stores would it take to make the 8th Street and Broadway corridor work as a one-stop-shop areas for us? I'm dreaming of a butcher shop, a produce market similar to the Manhattan Fruit Exchange in Chelsea Market, a shop selling spices, and a coffee and tea place. Would a 212 outpost of the Park Slope Food Co-op and a knife sharpening stand be too much more to ask for?

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