— Chris Santos and the Tao Group got initial approval from the CB3's SLA licensing committee last night for a sprawling new restaurant in the space that formerly housed The General. The restaurant will have three dining rooms plus a fake storefront entrance à la Beauty & Essex and a lounge in the basement. No word yet on what type of food it will serve. The local NIMBYs complained about the previous occupants and the dangers of putting another club in the space. But Santos is an experienced operator, and the team agreed to an early closing time.
In other CB3 news, a 10-table Asian restaurant called Lucky Bee is headed to the space that's occupied by Jin Sushi, and a new team is planning a restaurant in the Clinton Street storefront that's currently home to Barramundi. No word yet on when the old restaurant will close.
— A lot of big-deal restaurant groups are selling cheap fried chicken dishes right now — including Momofuku, Shake Shack, and Blue Ribbon. Many different factors are fueling the fried chicken boom, but Andrew Zimmern has one theory why these options are so popular: "The audience is there. They want bespoke chicken. They don't want the Colonel. They don't want Popeyes. They want the bespoke experience." Philadelphia's hit chain Federal Donuts just opened a massive commissary that could help them expand outside the area, so maybe NYC will finally get Michael Solomonov's fried chicken and doughnuts sometime soon. At least one NYC chef is not feeling this fried chicken boom:
Let's all take pictures of fried chicken sandwiches and then kill ourselves.— alex stupak (@alexstupak) July 8, 2015
— This Saturday, July 18, both the Queens and Brooklyn Smorgasburg markets will offer delivery from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Food from five vendors will be available on this first day: Anitca Pesa, Chickpea and Olive, Good Stock, and Imperial Egg. The delivery zones cover a lot ground.
— Katz'a head chef Kenneth Kohn passed away recently. The restaurant announced his passing last week on Facebook. The management notes: "As a lifelong resident of the Lower East Side, Kenny was passionate about our neighborhood and its residents, and as a 20 year member of the Katz's family, he will forever remain an integral part of this restaurant's legacy."
— Mets pitcher Matt Harvey went to Asia de Cuba Noho the other night to celebrate his first career home run.
— The McDonald's pagoda at 26 Bowery is dunzo. Fare thee well sweet junk food prince:
— And, as a Cheap Eats Week bonus, here's a video about one of Sietsema's favorites, Super Taste: