— Starting today, all of the Shake Shack across America (except for the the locations in Times Square, JFK, and stadiums like Citi Field) are serving the Chick'n Shack. The crispy chicken sandwich formerly known as the ChickenShack was introduced last summer at the Shake Shack's three Brooklyn locations. After a recent chicken sandwich marathon, Sietsema offered his assessment:
Have you ever thought an item of food was over-engineered? In being designed to please many, it succeeded in pleasing few? Compared to the ShackBurger, the ChickenShack is small, and the wilted lettuce damaged it for me. I liked the lattice-like crisp coating, though.
He ranked it #6 out of 10. The Chick'n Shack is $6.29.
— Upper East Side stalwart Swifty's closed for good after service last night. Co-owner Robert Caravaggi tells Steve Cuozzo: "The business climate has not been conducive to a little restaurant like ours." The restaurant's lease was set to expire soon. Regulars like Michael Kors and real estate big wig Serena Boardman were in attendance last night. Swifty's had been in business since 1999.
— 12-year-old Lower East Side bar/music venue Fontana's is closing this spring. The landlord spiked the rent several times over the years. The management tells the Lo-Down: "It has become increasingly hard to be an independent business in New York city without compromising your vision. Choices get made due to economic strain and we are no longer willing to bend to that pressure." The owners have not announced an exact closing date yet.
— Empire Biscuit closed for two unexpected breaks this month, but owner Jonathan Price tells EV Grieve that the crew is just doing some tune-ups to the space during a traditionally slow time of the year. Price explains: "We refinished the floors in the kitchen Tuesday, for example. It's been over two years and there's just a lot of maintenance to do."
— Dan Hoyt, the chef/owner of Quintessence in the East Village, was arrested this week for masturbating in front of a woman at the 8th Street subway station. The police say that Hoyt exposed himself to the same woman at this station two previous times this month. He was arrested this week on charges of harassment, public lewdness, and resisting arrest. Hoyt was previously arrested for exposing himself at the 59th Street station back in 2005.
— The owners of tiny East Village burger shop Whitmans are opening a much bigger location at 500 W. 30th St., near Hudson Yards. The new restaurant will have table service and a bar. Whitmans 2.0 will offer an expanded menu of burgers and other comfort food dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. It's slated to open by the end of the summer or early fall.
— And finally, here's how to frost a cake like the team from Baked: