— Greenwich Village standby The Garage is closing for good in a few weeks. A regular at the restaurant tells Jeremiah Moss that the landlord spiked the rent to $50K a month. The Garage has been in business since the late 90s. In a previous life, this space housed a nightclub called The Nut Club, where guests raced cockroaches. After that, it was home to a jazz club called The Pad, and a theater called the Sheridan Square Playhouse. Word on the street is that January 3 will be the last day in business. The owners have not announced plans to relocate.
— TeaNY is officially dunzo. A marshal's not hangs on the door and all the furnishings have been stripped from the space. Late 90s superstar Moby opened the cafe in 2002, but he quietly backed out of the business around five years ago. The restaurant briefly changed its name to Teany-ssimo a few years ago, and then reverted to its original title. Two fires broke out in the restaurant during its 13-year run. It was seized by the taxman earlier this year, but it quickly reopened. Now a "for rent" sign hangs in the window.
— Melva Max, the proprietor of soon-to-shutter Chelsea French restaurant La Lunchonette, has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the children of her kitchen staff. The fundraising page notes: "After listening to racist and dehumanizing things that Trump has said against Mexicans and immigrant workers, La Lunchonette is taking a stand." The page's goal is set at $5 million. Max tells DNAinfo: "As much as we could, it would just be nice for them to have something, because we're not really sure what lies in the future for them." The restaurant is slated to close after service on New Year's Eve. La Lunchonette has been in business for the last 28 years. Max blames the rising cost of rent in the neighborhood for her restaurant's demise.
— A sign outside the new location of Tompkins Square Bagels at 184 Second Avenue promises that the restaurant will open "sometime before the 2nd Avenue Subway." Owner Christopher Pugliese encountered some delays related to the DOB, but he hopes to open in the spring.
— The Living Room in Williamsburg is closing after one final show tonight. The bar moved twice over its 22 years in business — from Ludlow to Stanton Street, and then from the Lower East Side to Williamsburg. The owners announced the imminent closure earlier this month. The venue never quite found an audience on Metropolitan Avenue.
— From now through New Year's Day, Alex Raij's excellent Chelsea restaurant El Quinto Pino is serving a holiday-themed frozen drink called the Yemita Merengada. This rum-based cocktail is inspired by both Spanish egg sweets and a traditional leche merengada. It's basically a frozen milk punch reminiscent of egg nog.
— On Friday, the A-team at the Today Show had a holiday party at Tao Midtown.
— Mark Barak, the restaurateur behind Italian hit La Pecora Bianca, previously worked as the senior vice president for international development at the NBA. He left that high-powered corporate position for a six-month vision quest through Asia, and after that, he decided to jump into the restaurant game. The Times takes a look around his West 16th Street townhouse.
— And finally, here's how Jacques Torres makes his chocolate Santas: