A New Bill Proposes Foie Gras Ban for NYC

Foie gras could soon be illegal to eat in NYC. A new bill from lower Manhattan councilwoman Carlina Rivera is proposing that the sale of the fatty duck liver be illegal, on the basis of animal cruelty. The bill proposes that violators would be guilty of a misdemeanor, with the potential for $1,000 in fines and one year in jail for each offense. The bills follows the Supreme Court rejecting a challenge on California’s foie gras ban. Brooklyn councilman Justin Brannan backs the bill, telling the Post, “Don’t tell me you’re a fan of the Central Park Mandarin duck but you think foie gras is ok.”

Read more here.

One of West Africa’s Most Accomplished Chefs Opens an NYC Restaurant Soon

“Former Le Grand Dakar chef Pierre Thiam — who strives to be an ambassador of Africa’s culinary history — will open a Pan-African restaurant in Harlem’s Africa Center next month, where he’ll showcase his native cuisine in fast-casual format.

Teranga, which translates roughly to “hospitality” in Wolof, a language spoken in Senegal, will focus on Senegalese cuisine, as well as foods from Nigeria, Mali, the Ivory Coast, and Guinea in bowl-like formats.

The menu is molded by West African ingredients like sorghum and millet paired with dried fruits for breakfast, as well as fonio, a grain that’ll be served within salads and bowls during lunch and dinner, Thiam told the Times in August.

Vegetable and protein bowls like grilled chicken and caramelized onions over Liberian red rice will also be available, plus other vegetarian options like a sweet potato and black-eyed pea stew. Drinks range from hot and cold African coffees, teas, and juices. The menu is gluten-free; see it in full below.

The location of Thiam’s new restaurant within the cultural center makes sense, as he is a vocal advocate for Africa’s culinary history and even appeared in a 2016 episode of the late Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown in his native Senegal. The restaurant will take up a 2,000-square-foot space in the center, overlooking Central Park.”

Read more here.

New NYC restaurants: Danish bakery Ole & Steen’s stateside debut, and more

Screen Shot 2019-01-28 at 7.05.09 PM.png

“Ole & Steen

“NYC’s Nordic offerings continue to grow beyond destinations such as the Great Northern Food Hall with the stateside debut of this 28-year-old Danish bakery. Find Danish rye breads, pastries and tarts, as well as sweet or savory porridges, open-faced sandwiches, salads and more on the all-day menu. Now open Mon.-Fri. from 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Sat.-Sun. from 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; 873 Broadway, 929-209-1020”

View more here.

The Rise, Decline and Section 363 Sale of the New York Coffee Chain Fika

Fika coffee new york

“Though the word “fika” famously refers to the Swedish cultural practice of slowing down to relax with those around you over coffee or tea and a small bite, the New York City coffee chain Fika has been operating at a breakneck pace in recent years.

By 2016, ten years after opening Fika with a single Manhattan location, founder Lars Akerlund had led the boutique coffee chain to 17 locations while signaling the company’s intentions to expand its physical footprint into more U.S. cities and countries overseas. Two years after that, by Sept. 2018, Fika had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Today, the company is down to six New York locations, and it has recently been acquired through an auction process under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, section 363, according to an announcement made by Cozen O’Connor, a law firm involved with the acquisition process.

“The expansion required significant start-up costs for each of the locations before they could become profitable,” the firm said, noting the rapid addition of 12 Fika cafes that began in 2013. “FIKA was subsequently unable to secure additional investors to cover the expansion costs and its operations alone could not absorb the increased start-up expenses. The legacy costs from the aggressive expansion forced FIKA, therefore, to close a number of locations and return to a streamlined, conservative business model centered on fewer stores.”

Read more here.

WeWork Ventures into Coffee Retail with Bluestone Lane Partnership

WeWork coffee bar

“The popular co-working and office space provider WeWork today unveiled Made by We, a public retail concept that includes a full cafe from New York-based and self-described “Australian-inspired” coffee chain Bluestone Lane.

Located at 902 Broadway in the heart of Manhattan’s Flatiron district, the Bluestone Lane bar stands at the center of the new concept from WeWork umbrella company The We Company, which signaled an intention to open more retail locations in the future.

While the Made by We location includes 100 bookable individual workspaces and meeting spaces for groups, it varies from other WeWork locations in that a subscription or booking is not required to enter.

In addition to Bluestone Lane, there are other vendors within the retail space offering items like snacks, apparel and digital accessories. Bluestone Lane said it is including its full extensive coffee and espresso drinks menu, along with its freshly prepared toasts, and grab-and-go items including gluten-free pastries from Husk Bakeshop.”

See more here.

U.S. FDA Says It Will Try to Resume Some Food Inspections

Related image

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will be restarting high-risk food inspections as early as Tuesday — a process many Americans may not have even known was halted.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced via Twitter the plan to resume high-risk probes on Monday afternoon, adding that “we started sampling high-risk imported produce in the northeast region today. We’ll expand our footprint as the week progresses. Our teams are working.”

The work is “being done by an inspectorate that’s largely going unpaid,” during the government shutdown, he added.”

See more here.

Impact of Min Wage Increase / NYCHA Survey & Results

Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 3.10.33 PM.png

See here NYCHA Survey and Results on Minimum Wage Increase