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Cops Busted for Karaoke Bribes, Farewell to The Living Room, and More Intel

The owner of Madiba launches a fundraising campaign, plus more news and gossip from around NYC.

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[IVia Carota in the West Village during lunch.]
[IVia Carota in the West Village during lunch.]
Daniel Krieger

An NYPD detective and a lieutenant were busted this week for allegedly taking bribes from a string of Flushing karaoke parlors in exchange for tips about police activity, and protection during drug busts. DNAinfo reports that Det.Yatyu Yam and Lt. Robert Sung have been accused of intervening during drug-related police busts at these bars and convincing their fellow cops to let the patrons go, or issue them tickets instead of bringing them to jail. As many as nine other cops were stripped of their badges or reassigned in relation to this alleged corruption. Some of the bribe money allegedly came from Club JJNY. According to court papers: "(Yam) told the club manager that if he got paid under the table, he would notify the club manager if narcotic or vice units scheduled police raids." If convicted, the officers could face up to 15 years in prison.

—  Phoenix-based health food chain True Food Kitchen is expanding to Brookfield Place in the Financial District next year. Proprietor Sam Fox worked with Dr. Andrew Weil to develop the menu, which will include things like an "inside-out quinoa burger," and spaghetti squash casserole. The new restaurant will inhabit a two-story space in the shopping center next to Amada.

The Living Room is slated to close at the end of the month. The bar and live music venue originally opened on the corner of Allen and Stanton in 1998. It relocated to Ludlow Street in 2003. Owners Steve Rosenthal and Jennifer Gilson decided to move it to a bigger space in Williamsburg last year, but the venue never found its footing in Brooklyn. On Facebook, Rosenthal tells fans of the bar: "Thanks so much to all the great bands that played here and gave us many memorable nights....Please keep supporting live music at your local venues."

Mark Henegan, the owner of Madiba in Fort Greene, launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money so that he can pay off his debt and keep the restaurant alive. He once had locations of the restaurant in Miami, Harlem, and Asheville, NC, but they all folded. Henegan hasn't had a lease in seven years and he's got a ton of credit card debt. The restaurateur tells Forbes: "I’m getting to the point where I know that I’m going to lose the restaurant...The idea that Madiba can actually go out of business—it kind of just hit me." So far, he's reached about 13K of his 200K goal.

A branch of fast casual paleo restaurant Hu Kitchen is coming to 1536 Third Avenue between East 86th and East 87th streets next year. The three-story space will feature a juice counter along with hot and cold food bars.

Makki Deli and Grocery at 440 E. Ninth St. has closed after less than a year in business. The shop served inexpensive Bangladeshi, Indian, and Pakistani food for take-away. A "for rent" sign now hangs in the window.

Caviar's FastBite service is now offering McDonald's delivery in 15 minutes or less. With the suggested tip and all the extra charges, a Big Mac with fries will cost you $13.

— And finally, here is an ode to meat pies from Eater's resident carnivore Nick Solares: