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Where to Eat, Drink and Shop During Kingpins NY

New York will be a little bluer this week when denim heads check in for Kingpins New York. Taking place on Jan. 11-12 at Basketball City, the trade show is a chance for denim insiders to mix, mingle and check out Spring/Summer 2024 fabric collections.

It’s also a opportunity to rediscover New York’s flavors and top-tier shopping.

Here, locals share their favorite restaurants, bars and boutiques to check out once Kingpins goers clear the show floor.

Viresh Verma, Arvind Denim Lab, SVP sales and marketing 

Where to eat: Baar Baar. If anyone is in mood for some spiced Indian food then this is a great go-to joint in the Noho/East Village area.

Where to shop: Blue in Green Soho. It’s an authentic denim place to find great Japanese and innovative selvedge denims. 

Pierette Scavuzzo, Cone Denim, design director  

Where to eat: Taverna Kyclades is one of my favorite authentic Greek restaurants—consistently delicious, I could eat here every night. The original location is in Astoria, Queens, which is one of my favorite neighborhoods with too much good Greek food than you have time for. Luckily, they opened another location in the East Village which is just as good especially if you have less time for a commute.

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I also love L&B Spumoni Gardens. It has the best NY Sicilian slice I’ve had. I dream about this slice regularly and it is well worth the trek to Gravesend, Brooklyn. It’s an old school establishment making pizza since the 1950s. If you sit down in the dining room, the Spumoni is a must. It’s part of their namesake and this family has been making it since the 1940s.

Angela Velasquez, Rivet, executive editor

Where to eat: A breakfast sandwich on a roll from the closest bodega. Rain, sleet or snow—it’s always the first thing I venture out for after being away from New York.

Where to shop: There’s no denim at Catbird on Centre Street, but you might leave with fancy soap, a knickknack for your apartment or a bracelet welded onto your wrist. Speaking from experience.

Where to relax: Get a denim-inspired manicure at Color Nails Bar on Third Avenue. The salon is owned by two sweet and creative sisters who know all of the latest TikTok nail art trends.

Henry Wong, AGI Denim, VP product development & marketing, North America

Where to eat: I’m currently obsessed with Cervo’s in Dimes Square [the intersection of Ludlow and Canal on the Lower East Side] and the little wine bar tucked away across the street without any signage except the name “Parcelle” discreetly rendered in gold on the green door.

Ebru Ozaydin, The Lycra Company, strategic marketing director

Where to eat: Tin Building by Jean George is new and noteworthy. RH Rooftop Restaurant offers a hotel/store experience and beautiful views. Don Angie is Michelin awarded Italian. 

Where to shop: Nordstrom on 57th Street, Kith, Reformation and GU, the newly opened sister of Uniqlo.

What to see: Refik Anadol’s exhibition at MOMA, the virtual experience at Artechouse and the immersion experience, Wonderland Dreams by Alexa Meade.  

Melissa Urbina, Soorty, showroom manager

Where to eat: Los Tacos Numero 1 has some of the best tacos you will have on the East Coast. The texture and quality of the corn tortillas made in house are out of this world and makes the rest of the fillings taste better. There are also the off-menu items, like the cheese tortilla that really hits the spot. The Agua Frescas are also incredible. 

I also recommend E-MO, a tiny shop that specializes in kimbab in K-Town. Great for getting a light lunch or a filling snack on-the-go. My favorite is the spicy tuna. Just make sure you have cash on you as it’s a cash-only spot. 

Michelle Branch, Marks + Twigs, founder

What to see: Whitney Museum of American Art. We are often so focused on all things blue that I find it refreshing to step out of my indigo happy place and immerse myself in art. We all know inspiration is all around us. Sometimes we just need to remember to open our eyes wider. The Whitney and the surrounding small galleries are the best place for that.

Sarah Posluszny, Cone Denim, design manager 

Where to shop: Housing Works on Columbus Avenue. Housing Works is a thrift store with many locations throughout the city. I love this location on the Upper West Side. There are always fun things to find, clothing, accessories and home goods, plus the store supports the homeless.

Edward Hertzman, Sourcing Journal, founder and president

Where to eat: Some of my favorite sushi spots are Blue Ribbon Sushi, Lure and Bond Street Sushi.

What to see: Death of a Salesman on Broadway. The story is a classic and the cast is top notch.

Mark Ix, Advance Denim, director of marketing, North America

Where to eat: Joseph Leonard is a classic downtown restaurant with a rustic atmosphere that is reminiscent of a bistro in the Swiss mountains. Except when you exit after a wonderful meal you are in Sheridan Square which is the center of the West Village.

Where to shop: R by 45RPM on Mercer Street has been just perfect for over 20 years. 

Eric Hertzman, Fairchild Fashion Group, senior director of advertising and marketing

What to see: Book of Mormon on Broadway—it’s fun, entertaining and creative. 

John Mallon, Cone Denim, NY sales exec

What to see: The Red Lighthouse under the GW bridge.  Officially Jeffrey’s Hook Lighthouse, it’s located in Ft. Washington Park along the Hudson. I’ve been looking at it since I was 10. It’s very picturesque—a hidden treasure. You really have to look for it to see it.

Daren Abney, Lenzing Fibers, Inc., director of business development, Americas 

Where to eat: I always love the Antique Garage on Church Street, where the Kingpins party was held in December 2021. This is a great place to relax and unwind after work. It’s a fantastic atmosphere with a real New York feel, especially if you’re looking for an alternative to one of the rooftop bars.

Christine Rucci, Godmother NYC, Inc., founder

Where to eat: John’s of Bleeker Street. It’s a no-slice, dine-in coal oven pizza place with the best pizza in NYC.

Where to drink: Ray Bar is the best bar in NYC. It has a dive bar vibe with a disco ball and a pool table, and it serves beer and craft cocktails. Ray’s burgers are also tasty. Pebble Bar is in a small townhouse tucked into the side of Rockefeller Center, and it’s the coolest bar in Midtown. Georgia Room is an inclusive lounge that welcomes beauty in all its genders, colors, shapes, and sizes. And one of the best looking bars in NYC.

Where to shop: 9th Street Vintage has beautifully curated men’s and women’s vintage denim. Quality Mending has a huge selection of vintage denim, tees and military gear. Nomad is a magical vintage shop with women’s designer labels and boho-style clothing, shoes, and jewelry.

Deborah Baron, Fashion Fairchild Group, advertising director

What to see: Visit One World Observatory. It has the most amazing views.

Where to eat: Gran Morsi, Blue Ribbon Sushi, Seamore’s Brookfield Place, CUT by Wolfgang Puck and PJ Clarke’s on the Hudson.

Blake Gaines, Cone Denim, senior design and marketing  

Where to shop: Fine and Dandy. The store is owned by a couple of my friends, Enrique and Matt. They opened as a men’s accessories store (think Dapper Dan) ties, handkerchiefs, hats, cufflinks, Ivy League pennants, etc. They always had some pieces of vintage denim in the back that Enrique would always pull out and show me. They have recently segued into more streetwear fashion that we are all seeing.

Also visit Domus on 44th Street. They carry all sorts of gifts from all around the world and they always have some kind of indigo/denim type pieces (pillows, blankets, etc.).