CBD-Infused Food and Drinks Have Been Banned From NYC Restaurants and Bars

“If you’ve been relying on a smidgen of CBD oil in your latte to relax after a long day at work, you might want to look into alternative methods of decompression (at least temporarily).

According to the New York Daily News, as of Tuesday, the New York City Department of Health is prohibiting restaurants and bars from selling any and all perishable products containing cannabidiol (or CBD, for short), a compound found in marijuana purported to have therapeutic effects.

This might seem dire, but the ruling was basically inevitable. When it comes to the ever-fluctuating invocations of cannabis law, state governments aren’t going to take any chances with validating CBD oil as a safe ingredient until the compound is confirmed to be harmless on a federal level. CBD oil was banned from Californian food last July, and authorities in Maine are taking steps to strip businesses of the marijuana-adjacent treats this week.”

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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.”

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Minimum Wage Hikes in New York City Cause Restaurants to Eliminate Jobs, Cut Hours, Raise Prices

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“New York is known for its incredible food scene, but legislators in the Big Apple may have bitten off more than they can chew with the newest minimum wage hike.

The city’s mandated increase, which took effect on December 31, requires businesses that employ 11 or more people to boost wages from $13 to $15 per hour. But most restaurants operate with the tipped wage, offering servers and bartenders a lower hourly base pay and the opportunity to rake in the rest in tips, which often yields better pay overall. If workers don’t earn enough this way, employers are required to make up the difference.

That tipped minimum just rose from $8.65 to $10 an hour. A 16 percent jump is fairly punishing, considering the industry operates on razor-thin profit margins.

A new study conducted by the New York City Hospitality Alliance lends credence to the idea that substantial increases made to the tipped wage are far costlier than they are beneficial. After surveying 574 restaurants, they found that 2019 looks bleak: 75 percent of full-service establishments plan to cut employee hours, and 47 percent will eliminate jobs entirely in response to the forced minimum wage hikes. That follows closely on the heels of a dreary 2018, when 77 percent of full-service restaurants reduced employee hours and 36 percent cut jobs, both of which were also in response to the mandated wage increases.”

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

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“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.”

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WeWork Ventures into Coffee Retail with Bluestone Lane Partnership

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“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.”

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New York City on sale: Deep discounts on shows, restaurants, hotels starting Jan. 21

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New York City is appealing to visitors for countless reasons, but price is not usually one of them.

But starting Jan. 21, the city will be at its cheapest thanks to a new initiative called NYC Winter Outing organized by the tourism marketing association, NYC & Company.

For the first time, NYC Restaurant Week, NYC Broadway Week and NYC Must-See Week will take place at the same time.

That will result in some of the lowest hotel rates of the year, shopping sales, theater, restaurant and attraction/sightseeing deals.

About 400 restaurants will participate in NYC Restaurant Week from Jan. 21 to Feb. 8. Diners will get two-course prix-fixe lunches and brunches for $26, with three-course dinners for $42.

View more here.

Flatiron Plaza Food & Beverage Kiosk RFPs

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The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership (BID) is seeking proposals from qualified firms to manage and operate an outdoor food or beverage kiosk (“Kiosk”) in the Flatiron North Public Plaza, located at 23rd Street, Broadway, and Fifth Avenue, and the Flatiron South Public Plaza, located on Broadway between 22nd and 23rd Streets, adjacent the famed Flatiron Building.

Created by the by the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) in 2008, the Flatiron Public Plazas have become town squares, where countless residents, employees in the neighborhood, and visitors from around the world converge each day. The BID has a concession license agreement with DOT for the operation, management, and maintenance of the Plazas which allows for the operation and management of subconcession(s).

It is the goal of the BID to draw customers to a successfully-branded food or beverage kiosk that is successful and enhances the atmosphere and experience of the Flatiron Public Plazas and this vibrant neighborhood.

A nonmandatory pre-bid conference will be held on Thursday, January 24th at 10 am at the office of the Flatiron BID (27 West 24th Street, Suite 800B). The pre-bid conference will include a site visit to the Flatiron Public Plazas. Questions related to the RFPs should be submitted in writing to the BID no later than Friday, February 1st at 5 pm. All proposals are due by 5 pm on Friday, February 22, 2019.

See more here.