Commerce & Culture
When Whole Foods opened just to the south of the East Village and Trader Joe’s along its northern edge, some feared the demise of the area’s eclectic mix of restaurants and stores. As it turned out, they didn’t alter the neighborhood and instead joined the designer boutiques, small galleries, and trendy cocktail lounges and dive bars. Denizens and visitors continue to dine at the Indian restaurants on Sixth Street, the Japanese ones on Ninth, and others helmed by young chefs serving almost every cuisine imaginable. St. Mark’s Place still draws college students and recent grads. Cultural highlights include leading off-Broadway theater companies and the Cooper Union, which has hosted cultural and political events for over a century. One of New York’s best contemporary art museums, the New Museum, sits on the Bowery, while the Brant Foundation, an art space located in a former ConEd substation, opened in 2019 on Sixth Street.