A tipster tells us he recently spotted a Rice truck unloading kitchen equipment at the long-vacant Day-O space, but Rice owner David Selig tells us he isn’t doing anything there. He says he’s interested in opening a Rice in the West Village and indeed looked at the space some months ago, but that the rent (then somewhere in the neighborhood of $30,000 per month, if he remembers correctly) was too prohibitive. In the meantime, there’s news from his other operation, Rockaway Taco, which recently made Sam Sifton’s list of favorite 2009 openings.
Selig tells us that he’s planning to open a coffee and breakfast truck on the peninsula sometime in the spring (hopefully by April). Details aren't yet set in stone (his partner, Andrew Field, is currently off in Mexico sourcing avocados), but they hope to feed hungry surfers with provisions similar to the ones you might find at the Ditch Witch of Ditch Plains, Montauk. Chances are they’ll be serving Jack’s coffee, the purveyor they use for their cold brew in the summer. What’s more, they’ve also been speaking to the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance about bringing a weekly fish fry to a marina near the 59th Street firehouse that the Alliance is developing into a community center.
By the way, Selig says John DiCosmo will again be selling Italian ices next to Rockaway Taco, and another vendor is forthcoming as Selig works to fill an empty corner space. This should soothe anyone bummed about the loss of Rockaway Lobster House.
Update: David Selig thinks Rice’s vegetable oil–powered van was spotted near Day-O because it was picking up buckets of used coffee grinds from Jack’s, close by. The buckets are trucked to Added Value's Red Hook Community Farm where the grinds are composted with organic waste from Rice's locations. Currently, the compost is used, among other things, to generate fertile soil for the farm; come spring it will be for sale, with profits funding the farm's programs.