New Kids on the Block: Mudhoney + RE:AL

In the Better Late Than Never Department, the neighborhood should welcome Mudhoney, a longtime Soho business that migrated down to our neck of the woods last fall – to Hudson and Laight — after 29 years on Sullivan Street. The space is fabulous – a little bit of sexy glamour in our mid-Century-rinse-and-repeat lives. And these folks are old pros: Michael Matula started out on East 4th Street in 1987 before moving the business to Soho in 1990. He then opened a shop at ABC Carpet, and later one on Bond and another on Kenmare. When the rents got jacked up, he consolidated.

It’s a bit of a family affair. Some of his first clients from the ‘80s own in the building (he’s cut Chris Shriver’s hair since 1983) and encouraged him to come down when their retail tenant moved out. Then Matula persuaded a longtime Tribeca resident and friend – Al Abayan – to take part of the space for RE:AL, his experimental (my word) retail shop that changes its theme – and décor, and products – every season. (This winter he had The Elder Statesman’s cashmere; now it’s a tongue-in-cheek souvenir shop by the designer Takahiro Miyashita, aka TheSoloist.) “It’s a gallery concept with a retail mentality,” said Abayan, who previously had the shop Number Nine at 431 Washington.

Matula has kept the edgy rock-and-roll tone of the shop – even though a lot of his clients are now long past their East Village days and, well, settled here. “It’s funny how many customers lived in Tribeca already and I didn’t realize.” And for the folks he hasn’t met yet, Mudhoney, he says, “is for people who live in the neighborhood who want a little something different.”

165 Hudson (entrance on Laight)
Tuesday –  Saturday, noon to 8p
Closed Sunday and Monday