News Roundup: Recessions, Rinks, and Restaurants

gary-graham-by-tribeca-citizencowgirl-seahorse-courtesy-nymagcom• Womenswear designer Gary Graham is opening a boutique in what was the Moulin Bleu space at 176 Franklin Street, between Hudson and Greenwich. He currently has a boutique inside ABC Carpet & Home.

• The New York Times’s “City Room” blog interviewed Peter Braus, chairman of the Tribeca Committee for Community Board 1 and co-owner of Sierra Realty, about how the neighborhood is weathering the recession. Braus says people aren’t leaving so much as modifying their lifestyle.

• Frank Bruni, the NYT’s restaurant critic, visited Locanda Verde, the hot new restaurant in the Greenwich Hotel. He gave it two stars: “Hit the menu’s strong spots and you’ll have a terrific meal at a reasonable price.” (TC’s two cents: Prices are relatively low, but the portions are small.)

New York magazine got an early look at Cowgirl Seahorse (right), the new restaurant in what TC thinks of as the Fish District, the mini-hood north of the Seaport (259 Front Street, near Dover), and slammed the new Checkers outpost on Chambers, which opened yesterday (“The thin, dry patties don’t rise to the level of Burger King or Wendy’s”). And the magazine’s annual “Cheap Eats” feature highlighted the broccoli-rabe-and-sausage grinder ($12) served at lunch at Locanda Verde, the calzoni (from $7) at Farinella (90 Worth, west of Broadway), and the Artisanal Blend burger ($13) at Bar Artisanal.

• Yesterday’s Battery Park Broadsheet Daily reported that “the Battery Park City Authority is finalizing an agreement with an ice rink operator to construct a seasonal skating facility on the Battery Park City ball fields” between Warren and Murray Streets. The plan calls for a regulation-size rink and a skating path around the circumference. The opening could be as early as this winter.