— Beloved East Eighth Street kitchen supply store Broadway Panhandler is closing this spring. Proprietor Norman Kornbleuth is ready to retire, and plans to sell the business didn't work out. Broadway Panhandler has been business for 40 years. James Beard shopped at its original location in Soho, and many chefs still go there for kitchen gear. Jody Williams of Buvette and Via Carota tells the Times: "I would go in there and find a cocotte or some other cute item and make a certain dish because of it....It’s our go-to source for a lot of things. They have everything." Kornbleuth has not announced the exact closing date yet. He might open a small store specializing in knives after Broadway Panhandler closes.
— Starbucks is closing all but one of its five Teavana stores across the country. Three of these tea shops are located in New York City. Buzzfeed notes that all of them will be converted into regular old Starbucks locations. EV Grieve points out that the Teavana store on the corner of Broadway and East Ninth Street was the space that housed Silver Spurs for over three decades. All of the shops will turn into Starbucks locations by April.
— The Jack's Stir Brew Coffee team is planning to open a new location in the Roxy Hotel (formerly the Tribeca Grand) this April.
— Charlie Sahadi, the 71-year-old proprietor of Sahadi's on Atlantic Avenue, is retiring this month. He's run his family's food store for over 50 years. Charlie's children, Christine and Ron, are taking over the family business, and they're not planning to make any drastic changes to the operations. Charlie tells the Observer: "I came into the business because my dad expected me to....Fortunately it worked out for me. Putting in 70, 80, 90 hours a week isn’t for everybody."
— Both Mile End locations will be offering five special poutines from February 1 to February 7 for something that Noah Bernamoff and his crew are calling "poutine week." The specials will include lamb shawarma poutine, Buffalo popcorn chicken poutine, and wild mushroom poutine. All of them will be priced at $20 during lunch and dinner.
— King of Falafel's forthcoming Astoria restaurant has an awning that's emblazoned with the hashtag #yeahhhhhhbaby in giant red letters. It's slated to open this weekend.
— A rendering of the new bar/lounge from Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield atop 70 Pine Street looks a bit like The Breslin mixed with Tørst. It's slated to open next year along with a restaurant and an event space run by the duo.
— McDonald's fourth quarter sales were better than expected. The chain attributes unseasonably warm weather and the launch of all-day breakfast for the uptick.
The reason I wanted to write about it was because — it's not the most sophisticated fun in the world, it's maybe not even my kind of fun, but it was fun. And I was really struck by how solemn so many of the restaurants I review have become. As I said in the review, it's become like going to church. Everybody used to say going to restaurants ... is like theater, there's stage sets, there's drama, there's play acting and you watch the show. And now, boy, everything's just become so serious.
— And finally, here's how to make Dominique Ansel's cinnamon rolls: