Lea Now Serving Crepes and Panini in the Former Diamond Wine Bar Space

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188 Allen Street: where once there were hookahs and soccer fans, there are now paninis and crepes.

After the Maradona Hookah Bar and Soccer Center gave up the cross-promotional ghost in 2007, it became home to the Diamond Wine Bar. Despite its location on a strip of Allen Street dominated by bars and clubs, the Diamond never really sparkled, and by November, paper covered its windows. But now it appears that 188 Allen is giving it another go, and instead of hitting the bottle again, it's opting for more solid sustenance.

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Its latest occupant is Lea, a panini and crepe shop. The owners have done little to alter the decor of their predecessor, keeping the long bar intact and simply adding a crepe griddle. The menu, pictured below, includes an interesting selection of panini, such as mushroom, cauliflower, red onion jam, and egg; serrano ham, Manchego, romesco, and parsley; and basturma, kashkaval, artichoke, hummus, and tzatziki. As the sandwich renaissance continues to spread, could Lea be its newest outpost? Only time will tell, but it's likely that crepes and panini will be a more surefire combination than water pipes and spectator sports.

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