It's been a long while since there was any news coming out of Empire Stores, the 60,000-square-foot retail and dining development at the north end of Brooklyn Bridge Park. But, today Flo Fab drops some relevant intel: The restaurant lineup includes a takeout spot from nearby favorites Vinegar Hill House and a Soho House-run outpost of London's Pizza East. Last summer, there were also promises of a beer garden, an "elegant" rooftop restaurant, and a French brasserie. If things stay on track, the complex should debut sometime in the middle of the summer.
Flo Fab also reports on some chef shuffles. John Paidas, who has worked at Le Bernardin and Charlie Bird, is the new chef at Contrada. The restaurant had a brief shutdown last week while Paidas reworked the menu. Uptown, Michael Lomonaco, who runs Porter House New York in the Time Warner Center will redo the small plates menu at neighboring swanky bar Stone Rose Lounge.