Empire Diner Seeks to Take Back the Empire

The Empire Diner, located on the western edge of Chelsea, has been open since the 1940’s.  Just like the city itself, the venerable diner has gone through a significant amount of change in that time.  Now, chef John DeLucie is taking on the project with restaurateur Stacy Pisone, and plan to reopen this Monday.

The 92-seat space was previously helmed by Food Network start Amanda Freitag, but her command didn’t last.  That iteration closed in 2015.  But, the far west side is seeing more and more development, as the massive Hudson Yards project works like a magnet on the surrounding area.  So the new team is battling current competition just south near Chelsea Market, and betting on the new residents just north to keep the seats full.

Additionally, DeLucie and Pisone completed an extensive 8-month renovation that brought the vintage diner into the modern age with new electric, ventilation, and interior design.


To read more, click here.

New York City Parks Releases Bid Request

The New York City Parks Department has just released two Requests for Bids for mobile food concessions throughout the city.  One is for various parks throughout all five boroughs, and the other is for locations specifically within Central Park.

Both were issued yesterday, and both have a Tuesday, May 23rd deadline.  If you’re interested in applying, be sure to read thoroughly through the rules and regulations of the application and the operation.  Historically, NYC has enforced stringent bylaws for these types of operations, including menu items and pricing, operating hours, and initial capital cost requirements.


To read more, click here.  Requires log in to download the RFB documentation.

Eater Celebrates Balthazar’s 20th Anniversary

Last week Eater staff celebrated the 20th anniversary of Keith McNally’s restaurant Balthazar. As part of the event, Eater published some numbers giving insight into the operations of the business. Some of the numbers are fun, like noting that tables 60, 61, and 62 are the most sought after in the restaurant. Others get more to the heart of the business: The restaurant spends an average of $70,000 on food weekly and generates $25 million in sales annually. While this article is just for fun, it does give a cursory look into some of the analysis that goes into fully understanding how a restaurant operates.


You can read the entire article here.

Daniel Boulud to Open Restaurant in One Vanderbilt


danielboulud_curatorAlthough it won’t open until 2020, Eater is already reporting that Daniel Boulud will be opening an 11,000 square foot restaurant and private dining room in One Vanderbilt. The skyscraper in Midtown will be 58 floors when completed. This will be Boulud’s eighth restaurant in New York. He will also operate an Epicerie on the ground floor of the building.

You can read more about One Vanderbilt and Boulud’s project here.

The Democratization of Good Coffee


West coast brand Locol is looking to shakeup the very competitive coffee market by offering good coffee for $1. This excellent New York Times article delves into the current trends of the coffee business and how Locol is looking to buck them. By utilizing the efficiencies of a fast food model, Locol looks to offer on trend coffee at a fraction of the price. Further to this point, unlike at other coffee places, milk and sugar are an additional charge at Locol. So unlike at most places, black coffee drinkers will not need to absorb the costs associated with their milk-and-sugar counterparts.


You can read more about Locol’s coffee plans at The New York Times.

Smorgasburg 2017 has arrived


Spagettii donuts?

Churro ice cream sandwich?

Sigh me up! Read more here

Ladies’ Night at Verde Curated Greens

Verde Curated Greens, which Grubstreet called a “Fine-Casual Game Changer” is hosting a ladies night with it’s chef, Mariana Villegas, the founders of design firm MP Shft and Fare Resources Operations Director Kate Barney.

The event is produced by BKBF Productions,  which began with twelve women, ages 29 to 58, getting together over dinner in a Brooklyn apartment.  These collaborative monthly events are designed to bring women together for an agenda-free hang.  BKBF partners with different women-run or owned businesses as co-hosts.  Their goal is to create safe female-only spaces where women can make new friends or find help on business or personal issues.

Anyone who identifies as female is welcome.  The free event is tomorrow, Thursday the 6th, from 7-9PM at Verde Curated Greens: 22 West 25th Street.  For more information, click here.

Panera’s Hard Work Pays Off!

Panera Bakery, the 2,000+ unit chain, just sold to JAB Holdings.  Earlier this week, there was rumor and speculation rippling through the news about a possible sale, but nothing concrete was reported.  Now, though, it is official; JAB purchased Panera for $7.5 billion.

JAB Holding Company is the German investment fund that has, over the past few years, purchased a range of coffee and bakery-focused concepts including Krispy Kreme, Caribou Coffee, Einstein Noah, Peet’s Coffee, Stumptown Coffee, and Intelligentsia Coffee.

Panera Bread was founded in 1987 by Ken Rosenthal in St. Louis and has grown to over $5B in annual sales, primarily under the leadership of CEO Ron Shaich.  Asked about the sale, Shaich said “We weren’t looking for this. Panera’s on an extraordinary run. That performance has been because we always operated in the context of long-term strategy.” Meanwhile, JAB’s chief executive, Olivier Goudet, echoed the same: “We have long admired Ron and the incredible success story he has created at Panera.  I have great respect for the strong business that he, together with its management team, its franchisees and its associates, has built. We strongly support Panera’s vision for the future, strategic initiatives, culture of innovation, and balanced company versus franchise store mix.”

To read more, click here and here.

McDoland’s New Strategy + Wendy’s Reaction


McDonald’s announced on Thursday that it would use fresh beef instead of frozen patties in Quarter Pounder burgers in most of its restaurants by mid-2018, the latest step in the company’s efforts to overhaul its menu and image.

The change, which is intended to improve taste but would not carry nutritional benefits, would mean burgers are prepared as customers order them and served off the grill. Beef patties for the company’s signature Big Macs and other cheeseburgers would continue to be frozen, prepared ahead of time and kept warm.

Click Here to see Wendy’s twitter response