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Nello's Newest Nightmare, Chick-Fil-A Readies its Midtown Debut, and More Intel

The story of how Pizza Rat got that slice, plus more restaurant news and gossip.

[Ganso Yaki.  Solid choice for a Thursday night dinner in Boerum Hill]
[Ganso Yaki. Solid choice for a Thursday night dinner in Boerum Hill]
Daniel Krieger

— Nello Balan — the restaurateur who coddled celebrities while serving them awful food at Nello for many years — has a new Japanese fusion terror-dome in the works in Midtown East. Balan tells the Daily News: "It has four floors and four restaurants and a private club...One restaurant will be Japanese, one will be European. It will be exciting and fun, different than Nello. I don’t do the same thing twice." This new, multi-level clubhouse for the rich and famous will inhabit the space at 14 E. 58th Street, which formerly housed B & Co.

Nello bought the restaurant from his old bud Max Burgio in a Chapter 11 deal last year. Although he's been paying monthly rent on the space, Balan never forked over the cash for the sale of the restaurant, so Burgio, slapped him with a $1.5 million lawsuit. A judge ruled in favor of Burgio this week, but Balan is expected to appeal the decision. Nello explains: "I don’t know exactly what my lawyer is doing (day to day) but I’m sure he will handle it and the right outcome will be reached."

It looks like The Nite Owl on First Avenue is now closed. The bar hosted a farewell party last weekend, and the space has been dark this week. Six months ago, this space was home to a restaurant from the same owners called North River.

Mayor de Blasio spoke Italian with the waiters at Da Silvano in Greenwich Village on Tuesday night, and last Friday he had dinner at a similar establishment: Scaletta on the Upper West Side.

A new restaurant called Wantanabe is taking over the Allen Street space that was home to vegan cafe Tiengarden for 20 years. No word yet on when this new restaurant will open or what type of food it will serve, but the team is vying for a beer and wine license.

— Midtown's first-ever Chick-Fil-A is slated to open on October 3 at the corner of 37th Street and Sixth Avenue. The paper is off the windows and it looks like the management is training the staff right now:

Employees will take orders on iPads so that the food will be ready when customers reach the counter. A rep for the chain says: "We expect people will be camping out." But that might be an overly ambitious goal, especially considering that a lot of people will actively avoid this place because of CEO Dan Cathy's stance on gay marriage.

— So just how, exactly, did New York's favorite foodie critter, Pizza Rat, get that slice? Here's one theory courtesy of the Conan show:

— Vincent Chirico, the chef/owner of Vai on the Upper West Side, wants to open a new Italian "spuntini" restaurant at 306 W. 13th St. in the Meatpacking District, but the NIMBYs are not pleased with his plans. Chirico has agreed to an early closing time and a beer and wine license, but it sounds like some of the neighbors simply don't want a restaurant in this space. The full board will vote on his application tonight.

The new Pret a Manger location at 52nd and Seventh Avenue will be giving away free breakfast and lunch tomorrow. If you want some of the free stuff, stop by the location today for a voucher.

— Here's what the vibe is like a Kenta Goto's new Lower East Side boîte Bar Goto, according to the Times:

A mix of young Wall Streeters and creative types gather for after-work drinks and pre-dinner cocktails. On a recent Thursday night there was loud chatter about the volatile financial markets and Tinder. But after 9 p.m., the scene shifts to quieter conservations, on things like Netflix favorites and the comfort of leather pants.

Olma Caviar Boutique & Bar is taking over the old Yogurtland space at 420 Amsterdam Ave. The new restaurant will have a retail component, a bar with a full liquor license, and a lounge area. It's slated to open in December.

— And finally, here's how to make brick chicken, like Marc Forgione:


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