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Trader Joe's Williamsburg, Chicken Sandwich World Domination, and More A.M. Intel

Everything you need to know about New York dining today — plus some things the government doesn't want you to know.

[The Clover Club, a fine place to grab a drink this weekend.]
[The Clover Club, a fine place to grab a drink this weekend.]
Daniel Krieger

— Is Williamsburg truly dead now that Trader Joe's is moving in? Or is this really the birth of the neighborhood's true self? And is it boring to talk about the neighborhood's relative coolness/deadness? Or is that dead too? These are questions that can be debated, endlessly. But one things's for certain: Everyone in the neighborhood will probably go to the 8,000 square-foot location of the grocery store that's opening soon on the corner of North 3rd Street and Kent Avenue, right next to SoulCycle and across the street from Oddfellows and The Camlin.

Steve Cuozzo has a really great time at The Clocktower. The critic gives the Stephen Starr restaurant in the New York Edition Hotel three sparklers, with special praise for the foie gras-stuffed rabbit loin and the beef tartare. The Cuozz also writes that pastry chef Sebastien Rouxel "beats this year’s stinker-dessert jinx."

—During its two-day test-run, the ChickenShack outsold the ShackBurger at the three locations of Shake Shack where the poultry sandwich was offered. That's the first time that any Shack item has outperformed the ShackBurger. One more juicy ChickenShackFact: The sandwich includes coleslaw made from the bottom parts of the lettuce used in the ShackBurger, which the Shake Shack previously discarded. So, just like Dan Barber, Shake Shack is repurposing waste. Also: The meat is made of unicorns and the bun is slathered with rainbow dust.

— Coming soon to the Downtown Bro Corridor, an emerging district that stretches from St. Mark's north to 14th Street, and from Fourth Ave over to Second: a new location of California-style burrito chain Blockheads. It's moving into the old Unidentified Flying Chicken/Apiary/Après space at 60 Third Avenue:

[Photo: Nick Solares]

A new French cafe called Paprika is coming to 110 St. Mark's Place. Former Boulud Empire chef David Malbequi is listed on the liquor license app as well as Summit Bar's Hamid Rashidzada.

— Tribeca restaurateurs Akiva Elstein and Matt Abramcyk are planning to open Belzer, a New American cafe, in the old Ivy's Bistro space. No word yet on if the CB1 SLA licensing committee gave them initial approval or not, but Tribeca Citizen thinks they got this one in the bag.

— Florian Hugo, the chef/restaurateur that opened NormCore Midtown French restaurant Brasserie Cognac, is planning a new French restaurant on 61st Street called Maison Hugo.

— Bay Ridge favorite Pippin's Pub is being demolished to make way for a new development. The 46-year-old pub will close at some point in the next three months, with plans to open in that same space once the building is completed in a year or so.

— Chinatown hit Fung Tu is closed temporarily due to an issue with the gas. It's expected to reopen next week.

— And finally, here is your daily moment of zen, courtesy of Thomas Waugh and ZZ's Clam Bar:

The Clocktower

5 Madison Avenue, New York, NY

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