Job Growth in U.S. Restaurants and Bars Jumps in March

Image result for Average weekly earnings were up to $427.78 per week, as compared to $425.88 per week in February.

Restaurants and bars in the U.S. added 27,000 jobs in the past month, quieting rumblings of an economic slowdown following February’s unexpectedly low job growth numbers for both the industry and the U.S. economy overall. According to the latest economic report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, March’s job growth numbers more closely align with what the industry had been reporting in previous months: 36,000 jobs added in January and 40,000 jobs added last December.

There were 196,000 total jobs added in March across all industries in the U.S., and the unemployment rate stayed at a steady, low rate of 3.8 percent or about 6.2 million people unemployed. Unemployment rates in leisure and hospitality remained slightly above the national rate, at 5.8 percent people unemployed in the industry.

Average hourly earnings in the leisure and hospitality sector remained essentially unchanged from the month prior, at $16.39 per hour. That’s up about 60 cents from March 2018’s average hourly earnings. Employees in the sector worked an average of 26.1 hours per week, the same hourly average that was reported in March 2018. Average weekly earnings were up to $427.78 per week, as compared to $425.88 per week in February.

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Thailand’s South Gets Its Due in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Lately, when it comes to Thai food in New York, the spotlight has been on the spice-fueled cuisine of the Isan region, in the northeast. But the restaurateur Kittigron Lertpanaruk, also known as Khun Oh, is from the south, where curries dominate, and he feels it’s time to give that part of Thailand its due. His new restaurant, decorated with red hanging lamps, gilded Buddhist statues, temple bells and carved wood panels, features a long list of curries. They include cua kreang, a dry curry; gaeng kua, a black pepper curry; and tiplah, a salted fish paste curry. But Mr. Lertpanaruk, who founded the chain of Asian restaurants called Spice and who recently became a partner in Arun’s, a highly regarded Thai restaurant in Chicago, also knows what’s popular, so the menu has dishes like crispy spring rolls, tom yum soup, pad Thai, green papaya salad, satays and mango salmon.

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Thomas Keller’s Hudson Yards Restaurant Is Now Taking Reservations

Image result for tak room hudson yards

“Reservations are now live for Thomas Keller’s big Hudson Yards debut TAK Room — but alas, the first three weeks available have already booked up for tables for 2 or more at the mid-century American restaurant. A solo diner has several selections, though. The restaurant, which seats about 180, also accepts walk-ins. Eater has reached out to the team for info on how many spaces are reserved for that.

Perhaps most unexpected, TAK Room’s Resy page claims that people will spend just about $50 per person on a meal at the fifth- and sixth-floor restaurant at the Shops at Hudson Yards. That would be a downright steal for any fine dining restaurant, let alone a Keller one that’s being marketed as glamorous and elegant.

But word is that the TAK Room menu is similar in content and pricing to the one at the Surf Club, Keller’s spendy Miami restaurant that also serves continental cuisine. There, a Caesar salad costs $20 and a ribeye costs $75, according to an online menu. Still, it’s a far cry from the cost of dining at the chef’s other NYC restaurant Per Se, which currently charges $355-per-person for a tasting menu before wine. Eater has reached out to the Keller team for more info on pricing TAK as well.

Keller has insisted that he wants this restaurant to be “fun.” Champagne carts and live music are planned in the dining room, which has views of the $25 billion development, deep green chairs,velvet banquettes, white tablecloths, and a spiral staircase.”

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Inside Williamsburg’s New All-Day Restaurant Gertie

Gertie

“In its bright, 70-seat space, Gertie — which opened over the weekend at 357 Grand St., at Marcy Avenue — will eventually serve an all-day menu built around its rotisserie, dedicated to roasted meats and vegetables. The setting and service style are casual: Orders get placed at the counter, but there’s still an element of table service when it comes to refilling drinks and bussing. There’s also a full bar program to come, the restaurant billing itself as both a luncheonette and a liquor bar.

Adler went to business school and was on the finance track when he started dabbling in the restaurant world by starting his own business in college. It was a take-out and delivery-only service for University of Pennsylvania students that mimicked home-cooked meals. After school, he decided to go all-in on hospitality and got a job at Danny Meyer’s Blue Smoke, working as a bus boy and then a floor manager. A couple years later, he partnered with fellow Danny Meyer vet Jonah Miller to open Huertas, East Village’s Basque tapas restaurant.”

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What To Expect From Hudson Yards’ Restaurant And Food Options

Anya Fernald is bringing Belcampo's burgers, bowls and

“(…) The majority of new restaurants are slated to open this Friday, an almost unfathomable feat in a city where opening day can be synonymous with delays and postponement.

“We have an absolutely incredible construction and tenant coordination team,” Stuessi says with a laugh when asked how they’re pulling off the large batch of openings. “They’re working with us to bring them all to life in one moment.”

Already, there’s a sense of community in the new neighborhood.

“You see people from different restaurants walking in each other’s spots, grabbing a coffee,” Stuessi says.

The benefit of proximity has also helped the restaurants work together on staffing and supply needs; Stuessi recounts that the hospitality businesses were able to share applicants with their neighbors when good candidates presented themselves but job openings were already filled. “There is a sense of camaraderie with everyone opening a restaurant in Hudson Yards at the same time,” says Sam Gelman, vice president of operations at Fuku, Momofuku’s fast-casual fried chicken sandwich mini-chain.

The Hudson Yards outpost will feature Fuku’s new bone-in fried chicken program and menu of sides, along with its signature spicy fried chicken sandwiches and chicken fingers.

Opening day eats

More than 25 restaurant and food concepts are planned for Hudson Yards, with a majority making their debut this week. (Some, like Sweetgreen, have already opened, while others, like new concepts from Danny Meyer in The Shed and Stephen Starr in the Equinox Hotel, as well as a Maison Kayser, will follow.) Here’s a look at everything on the food front that’s slated to open on Friday:

The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards

  • Teak Tearoom at The Conservatory: Choose from a variety of teas, as well as bites and baked goods, at this all-day cafe. Level 1
  • Blue Bottle Coffee: Get your java fix from the specialty coffee roasters. Level 2
  • Citarella Hudson Yards: Shop a selection of seafood, meat, cheese and produce, as well as wine and spirits, at the gourmet market. Level 2
  • The Drug Store: Try new beverages from Dirty Lemon at this cocktail bar. Level 2
  • Fuku: Find the latest location for the Momofuku fried chicken spot. Level 2
  • Kith Treats at Snark Park: The ice cream and cereal bar adds an outpost in this exhibition space. Level 2
  • Bluestone Lane: Another spot to get your coffee fix. Level 3
  • Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream: The fancy ice cream shop continues its rapid NYC expansion. Level 3
  • William Greenberg Desserts: Pick up some black and whites from the kosher bakery. Level 3
  • Belcampo: Sustainably-sourced meats are the focus of this California chain. Level 4
  • Dylan’s Candy Bar: Fill up on boutique candy. Level 4
  • Hudson Yards Grill: The latest from chef Michael Lomonaco. Level 4
  • Jack’s Stir Brew: More in coffee. Level 4
  • Li-Lac Chocolates: The chocolate institution opens its newest chocolate bar and new flagship. Level 4
  • Queensyard: A restaurant and bar from the UK’s D&D London. Level 4
  • Shake Shack: Get the chain’s signature burgers and milkshakes. Level 4
  • Bouchon Bakery: Find a selection of French pastries and freshly-baked breads. Level 5
  • Kāwi: Chef Eunjo Park helms this new restaurant from Momofuku. Level 5
  • Milos Wine Bar: Get yogurt to go during the day, sip on Greek wines at night. Level 5
  • Neiman Marcus: The department store will feature a cafe (Cook & Merchants, level 5), bar (Bar Stanley, level 6) and restaurant (The Zodiac Room, level 7).
  • Peach Mart: Momofuku’s new to-go concept specializes in kimbap and sandwiches. Level 5
  • Wild Ink: Chef Peter Jin helms this new restaurant from the UK hospitality group rhubarb. Level 5
  • TAK Room: Chef Thomas Keller debuts a new concept in NYC. Levels 5 and 6
  • Estiatorio Milos: Chef Costas Spiliadis opens a second NYC location of his acclaimed Greek restaurant. Level 6

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In New York City, Restaurants Welcome Tables for One

Customers dine at Boqueria for lunch. The Spanish restaurant’s tapas, or grazing-style menu, appeals to solo patrons.

In New York City restaurants, the party-of-one is becoming a cause for celebration.

OpenTable, the online reservation platform, said that bookings by solo diners at restaurants in the city jumped by 80% from 2014 to 2018. And while OpenTable said those parties-of-one represent a very small slice of overall bookings, some restaurants said that business from solo diners can now account for up to 10% of their sales.

Even on Valentine’s Day, the most couple-oriented dining occasion of the year, New York restaurants are making room for patrons dining alone. OpenTable said that Valentine’s Day solo reservations in 2018 increased by 33% over the previous year. And perhaps for good reason: Restaurants said solo customers represent the ideal, as they are truly there for the food and experience rather than the social occasion.

“The way we approach it is that when we have a solo diner, it’s more of an honor than anyone else,” said Andrew Kuhl, the dining-room manager at Eleven Madison Park, the Michelin-starred restaurant in Manhattan’s Flatiron District.

Restaurants are doing their part to encourage such business. At such establishments as L’Artusi, an Italian restaurant in the West Village, and Odo, a Japanese spot in the Flatiron District, solo diners are given a free offering—say, a small serving of an off-menu item or a glass of sparkling wine. And on Valentine’s Day, some restaurants said they make an extra effort to welcome the solo crowd. For example, at Jones Wood Foundry, a food-driven pub on the Upper East Side, a communal table is set aside for party-of-one diners.

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How Urban Development Shaped the Way 19th-century New Yorkers Ate

“New York City is famous for its food culture, whether it’s a $500 tasting menu at a Michelin-starred restaurant or a bodega bacon, egg, and cheese. It’s possible to find food from every corner of the world, no matter how obscure. Restaurants make, and sometimes unmake, entire neighborhoods.

This is a city that eats out. But that wasn’t always the case. Rewind just over 200 years, when New York was caught between being a Dutch colony and a city, and dining out was a rarity. As the city urbanized, how its residents ate profoundly changed.

An oyster cart, circa 1885

“Food serves as a nice medium to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of New York City history,” says Victoria Flexner, the founder of Edible History, a supper club that creates dinners themed around specific historical moments. Recently Flexner and chef Jay Reifel hosted a meal at the James Beard House that told the story of New York City’s urban development in the 19th century through how its residents dined out.

As the city became rapidly industrialized in the 19th century, a new system emerged to feed these workers: the mobile food cart.

While politicians, businessmen, and other white-collar workers went to oyster cellars and restaurants for their midday meals, lunch came to the working class. Vendors would park outside of factories and docks and, for a few pennies, would sell items like gingerbread, yams, oysters, and corn.”

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