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EaterWire: Julius Reopens & More!

WEST VILLAGE—This just in on the 'Wire, from a source: "I just walked by the reportedly ill-fated Julius'--I live next door--and it was open, crammed with the usual ancient drunkard queens who have nowhere else to drink because Marc Jacobs and Starbucks are eating up every vacant place in the West Village. I asked one of the smokers out front if Julius' was going to remain open. His response: 'Let's hope so.'" We were unable to confirm the veracity of this tip, as the establishment's phone is currently disconnected. Let's hope that the place is back up and running for good. [EaterWire Inbox]

UPPER EAST SIDE—Perhaps this tip should be filed under "Daily DOH," but you know what happens when you assume things. A reader writes: "Popped over to Le Pain Quotidien on 84th and Madison today (8/29) for a bite to eat after the Met, and found it "closed for renovations" with a petite, blonde, curly-haired woman actually STANDING IN THE DOORWAY telling everybody who walked by that it was "closed for renovations" (but no actual sign to be seen). The "renovations" must have been pretty spur of the moment (aka EMERGENCY) for them not even to be able to put up a sign, but instead to have an employee literally standing there informing passers-by of the bad news. I'm not implying that this place is closing, because it is way too busy with mega-rich, burnt-from-the-Hamptons, big-sunglasses uber-WASPs every time I'm in there, but what the hell is going on??" Mysterious. [EaterWire Inbox]

WEST VILLAGE—Horrible, depressing news from the publicist of Mercadito: "On Sunday, August 26, at 7:20 am Antonio Barranco Hernandez was killed, and Luis Romero and Augusto Bravo were seriously injured after a drunk driver slammed into the back of the van while the men delivered produce to Mercadito Grove restaurant, located at 100 Seventh Avenue South in New York City. Mercadito has set up a fund to accept donations on behalf of the victims and their families. Donations can now be sent to the following: The West Village Accident Fund, 332 Bleecker Street, F 38, New York, NY 10014. Please make checks payable to The West Village Accident Fund." [EaterWire]

CRAZYLAND—In case you're wondering, Bret Thorn's blog, Food Writer's Diary, had its biggest traffic day ever yesterday. The post that did it? Hooters waitresses' tips average 45%, officially making Hooters more of a draw than Frank Bruni (his blog entry about Bruni was the previous record holder). [EaterWire]

MIDTOWN EAST—Back in February, it was announced that Patina Restaurant Group had purchased Smith & Wollensky Group (the company that owns ) for $94.7 million. Well, some six months later, that deal has finally closed. [EaterWire]

EAST VILLAGE—Chef Matt Hamilton, who latest effort Uovo shuttered almost a year ago, has a new project. He'll be cooking at Belcourt, a restaurant slated to open next month at 84 E 4th Street at Second Avenue. [NY Sun]

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