No need for an intro today. Let’s get right to it…
Chang confirms L.A. location – “Momofuku, the restaurant empire headed by David Chang, will soon open a full-service restaurant called North Spring in an industrial section north of Downtown Los Angeles… The location of the approximately five thousand square foot project will be at 1725 Naud Street… [in an] area of town that is already poised to bring in more than a few New York City outposts, including cocktail bar Apotheke and music venue Baby’s All Right.” – Full story and details in Eater LA.
And the Julia Child award goes to… Danny Meyer. This is the award’s third year – Jacques Pepin won in 2015, Rick Bayless in 2016 – and the Washington Post has a nice write-up on the honor, complete with some tidbits about Meyer’s upcoming plans: “The next few years will be busy for Meyer. He also has a slew of openings in New York, starting with ‘three new places that all express our love affair with rum in three different ways, in the next month and a half. One is going to be called Martina’ — a riff on his pizza restaurant, Marta, but without a wood-burning grill — and behind Marta, he’s also opening a rum and coffee bar, and a rum and wine bar… both still unnamed.”
The name does not convey – In NY, star sushi chef Eiji Ichimura is suing former business partner, Idan Elkon, to try to get his name off the restaurant he left last May. Eater says he’s moved on from Ichimura to Uchu.
The Re-Org – Not quite sure how this works practically, but Daniel Patterson is apparently breaking up his restaurant group to put his Alta concepts in an independent Alta Group entity. Per Eater SF, that group “also includes Alfred’s Steakhouse, and Plum Bar. Patterson’s other properties, including fine-dining flagship Coi and Aster, remain under Daniel Patterson Group.”
The (legal) profile treatment – Matthew Kenney, the vegan / raw food star, is currently being sued for $1.4M in back rent at Plant Food + Wine, has a string of business failures that have left him with “more than two dozen tax liens filed against him, dating back to 1995 and as recently as February 2016,” and even has a Trump University-esque culinary school debacle hanging over his head – all laid bare in the Miami Herald this week. Ouch.
Even Mr. Monopoly blushed – According to Bloomberg, Amazon has filed a “trademark application for ‘prepared food kits composed of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or vegetables . . . ready for cooking and assembly as a meal.’” You’ll never guess what happened to Blue Apron’s stock when that news hit.
The Backfire – Pro tip: Make sure to talk your PR ideas through with a diverse group of people to avoid sending out a press release that causes an Eater editor to tweet “I am so mad at this restaurant” above a link to an article that reads: “Summerhill… opened in June, but yesterday, owners sent out a PR blast to editors at various New York publications, including Eater, highlighting elements of the restaurant that, to anyone familiar with the endless push-pull of neighborhood demographics in New York, read like a checklist of gentrification red flags and worst-practices.”
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The Floater – The NYPost reports servers at the Stardust Diner stand accused of using the old “floating drink” trick to steal almost $400k over 10 years. Check your checks: “In order to rip off the restaurant, a server would record a commonly ordered item such as a soda in the computer system and present the customer with the correct check, according to court papers. After the diner paid, the server would remove the item from the order in the computer system by shifting it to someone else’s bill… The same soda or coffee would travel from bill to bill throughout the day as the server would grab the money each time, legal papers charge.” FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS skimmed one Pepsi at a time over ten years. Johnny Cash would be proud.
For the bar (and brewer) – U.K. craft brewers are working on a plan for a “special seal” that sets them apart from so-called “craft” breweries that are actually owned by much larger companies. Their pitch comes after indy London Fields was bought by the massive Carlsberg Group, sparking outrage similar to the AB Inbev purchase of Wicked Weed here in the U.S. The Axios article summing this up also includes a handy list of recent American buyouts (am I the only one who didn’t know Miller owns Terrapin??).
Run to the hills – The SF Chronicle is out with a story of chefs leaving the Bay Area behind for more bucolic (and less pricey) pastures in the countryside. Cameos by Jake and Shauna Des Voignes (Local Mission Eatery and Knead Patisserie respectively), Jim and Michelle Wimborough (Zut!), Zack Sterner (Solbar), and Aaron Peters (Plumpjack Café, Aram’s). Flashback: A D.C. version of this was published last month in WCP.
And finally, ATTN: Front of House – Probably a good idea to share this on your social media far and wide. The entire article consists of the SF Chronicle food staff telling everyone to shut up and tip 20% on everything. You’re welcome.
And that’s it for today. Thanks much to everyone for the (news) tips this weekend! Keep them coming, and I’ll see you Friday for next Family Meal…
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