The Family Meal – Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Hello Tuesday,

Quick reminder to everyone out there reading this on the website: You can (and should) subscribe for yourself. It’s a twice-weekly, ICYMI roundup of industry news with (almost) no clickbait.

Let’s get to it…

The Rule Change – Law blog Lexology reports that the US Department of Labor has issued a statement saying in part: “In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Department will propose to rescind the current restrictions on tip pooling by employers that pay tipped employees the full minimum wage directly.” According to Lexology, “Employers can expect swift action to set the wheels in motion to rescind the rules, although the rescission process itself could take some time.”

The Awards – The 2017 Spirited Awards were announced at Tales of the Cocktail this weekend. A few winners of note: Best American Restaurant Bar went to Dante in NYC, Best American Cocktail Bar was The Columbia Roomin D.C., and the World’s Best Cocktail Menu is at Trick Dog in SF. Here’s the current menu there. Sample drink: “Lunatic Bog: Lot 40 rye whisky, Cynar, Hidalgo oloroso sherry, milk chocolate, green peppercorn. Served up.”

The Charitable Deterrent – Looks like Major Food Group is donating money from late-cancellation fines ($50 per seat for reservations cancelled after noon on day of) to the Robin Hood Foundation of NYC. Congratulations, everyone else: Now you look greedy if you can’t actually afford to lose those reservation $…

The Profile Treatment – Restaurant PR Edition: In July, 2011, Sarah Rosenberg left a career at TV’s Nightline to make a few videos for Chipotleand do some communications work for Will Guidara and Daniel Humm as they prepared to take over Eleven Madison Park. Now, her Wicked Good Media reps an eclectic group of clients including Panda ExpressStone Barns Center for Food & AgZahavFacebook, and the entire Make it Nice group. The Bon Appétit profile of her is well worth the read, and includes this key quote from Eater Editor-in-Chief Amanda Kludt on Eleven Madison Park’s 50 Best top spot this year: “I don’t think they would’ve gotten it without her. I think they’re extremely talented, but she really tirelessly worked on their behalf to get that: making sure that the restaurant is relevant to journalists all the time, whether it’s hosting a party, a menu change, redesign, always hosting people for meals. She’s put in the man hours making sure people know about that place and know it’s special and selling their story in person. I just want to make sure she gets credit.”

PS – Rosenberg must be a really great self-publicist too, because there weren’t a lot of questions on Chipotle in there…

And in the bad PR dept… that Summerhill restaurant in Brooklyn that tried to get some press off of its neighborhood’s less positive stereotypes (Instagram our bullet holes! Drink 40oz Rose in brown paper bags!) has finally brought on some publicists. But it looks like it may be too late.

This Family Meal is brought to you by Devoured, a new food recycling service supporting restaurants and foodservice businesses. Devoured provides food waste composting services, supports food donation program implementation, and helps restaurants with their waste and recycling needs. Be a part of the national food waste conversation. Visit Devoured on twitter to follow their new graphic adventure (@_Devoured_).

For fish fans – This is just out in the last hour, and I haven’t had a chance to read fully yet, but looks like a fantastic deep dive into the saga surrounding the famous Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. Current plan is still to move the market to what some say amounts to a toxic Superfund-esque site, while “Tsukiji [is] revitalized (read: rebuilt) as a revenue-generating ‘culinary theme park.’” But, you know, tasteful.

Some sad news – Eater SF reports, “The body of Charles “Tod” Friend, owner of Tomales Bay Oyster Company, was recovered Saturday in the waters of Tomales Bay according to his family. The oysterman was reported missing last Tuesday, after his boat was seen empty and idling in circles about five miles south of Hog Island Oysters’ boat ramp.”

Here’s the math” – This Bloomberg piece on rising rents around Union Square in Manhattan (and the resulting imminent departure of Republic and Blue Water Grill) gets into some real numbers for a change. Asking price for the BWG space? “Well over $2 million” per year. Landlord Marty Feinberg’s reasoning: “Taxes have gone from $90,000 to $476,000. Yes, [the building has] gone up in value since I bought it in 1983, and rents have escalated dramatically, but people are paying them. And people are paying because they can still make money. People aren’t renting space to lose money.” Fair enough.

For design fans – If you like big booths and you cannot lie – I’m so sorry – here’s the photo spread for Barrio, the new DineAmic home to Top Chef star Katsuji Tanabe in Chicago.

Last and least – A shirtless Rick Bayless doing superfast yoga. (I promise the shirtless chef thing is not a theme.)

And that’s it for today. I’ll see you here Friday for next Family Meal.

And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and send tips and/or your favorite Frontera Foods yoga flows to If you got this as a forward, sign up for yourself at!

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