Seen & Heard: Restroom Start-Up

••• Art et Maison‘s final days in Tribeca are here; it closes June 30, and there’s still great stuff on sale. Related: The space at 31 N. Moore is being taken by Issey Miyake for corporate offices.

Art et Maison••• From Found Sound Nation: “From 11am – 2pm on Sunday, June 21, twelve small mobile recording studios will record and remix the sounds of neighborhoods, as part of FSN’s first-ever Street Studio City project, in collaboration with Make Music New York. [Producers/engineers] will invite passersby to sing a tune, spit a verse, tell a story, play an instrument, or record the sound of an ice cream truck. The producers then loop, remix and orchestrate these sounds, creating original pieces of music that reflect that one particular neighborhood on one particular day.” One studio will be at Brookfield Place.

••• From Community Board 1: “Special Landmarks Committee meeting on Thursday, June 25, at 6 p.m. Reconsideration of prior Pier 17 resolution adopted February 5, 2015.” The venue is TBD.

••• The restrooms at Mulberry & Vine are being used as a pilot program for a start-up called Looie. The idea is that you’ll be able to buy access to a network of frequently cleaned restrooms, so you don’t have to rely on Starbucks. Founder Yezin Al-Qaysi chose Mulberry & Vine because he’s a loyal customer; the restaurant presumably agreed to it because who wouldn’t love to have someone else take responsibility for cleaning the restroom? (Moreover, Looie added a baby-changing station and fresh flowers.) What this also means, however, is that M&V patrons will need a key to use the facilities. “If any of your readers want to take part in the next phase of our pilot and get their own Looie access key, they can e-mail me at,” says Al-Qaysi.

mulberry_and_vine_bathroom••• A sign on the door of the Starbucks at Broadway and Reade says it’s closed trough the weekend for “maintenance,” but there’s a full-scale renovation happening inside.

••• In case you missed the update, that amazing photo of a couple on the “beach” made of Battery Park City landfill was (a) by Fred P. Conrad for the New York Times, and (b) it featured Tribeca’s own Suellen Epstein and her beau at the time, James Biederman. “That landfill was a super fun playground!” she says.

••• I’m not embarrassed to say I enjoy a good catalog, and Best Made Co.‘s definitely qualifies. (They shot it on an “adventure” in Japan.) If you didn’t get it in the mail, you can pick one up at the store on White Street.

Best Made



  1. This is fantastic.
    Im a germaphobe- and I have to limit my movements to only places that I can find a reasonably clean facility. Also- being a new parent, I’m so concerned when my kids need the “loo” so this is something I would love for them also.

    Do I need keys for my kids? can they enter with my looie key?
    Do you have a family pack if I needed to purchase 4 keys?

    It would be nice if you had on your site a place where we could submit new locations. we spend a lot of time at Sarabeths in Tribeca- could really use a looie. Also I get my coffee from kaffee 1668, I’m there 6x a week and they need it bad.

    Tribeca is awesome if were coming up with solutions that make day-to-day commutes around the neighborhood more pleasant.

    • Hi James,

      As a fellow germaphobe I can totally relate. With Looie we’re really hoping to offer this neighborhood a spotlessly clean and pleasant restroom option – it’s a little detail that goes a long way towards improving everyone’s quality of life.

      We’re building Looie to serve families so one access key can be used by an entire family for unlimited uses. If the family spends a lot time apart, then it helps for everyone to have their own key when they’re on the go.

      We’ve surveyed the neighborhood for business that have facilities that are a good match and both Sarabeth’s and Kaffe 1668 are on the list – we’re working to get them on board.

      Tribeca in many ways lives in the future and innovations like Looie reinforce that – this neighborhood is the first in NYC to experience a world class restroom infrastructure and we’re super excited about it.

      Feel free to e-mail me at to reserve your Access Keys for the next phase of pilot launching in mid-July.


  2. Well, there goes the correlation that a spotless WC is an indication of a good restaurant. Will someone tell David Chang, of Monduku, please?

    Ah, NY, where you can monetize anything.

  3. What about the paying customers at Looie participating restaurants? Will they have to stand in line and compete with outsiders to use the facilities?

    • Great question.

      Every business has it’s own peak hours and that’s when the line ups tend to form. Outside of peak business hours, lines of more than 2 individuals rarely form (we’ve studied this). During peak hours, longer lines are more frequent.

      For the majority of business operating hours the restrooms are well underused. In those hours, Looie drives foot traffic to participating businesses.

      From the tech side, we use the app to direct Looie users to the businesses that are not experiencing their peak business hours. That way we can reduce the stress on participating facilities. Ex: at lunch the app will direct the Looie user to the nearby bakery instead of the popular lunch spot.

      • But when you are already having an urge in that case distance matters .Suppose you divert the Looie user to bakery but a cofeeshop is nearby .the customer will go to cofeeshop.In that case rush will increase in cofee shop