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The Great Seelbach Hoax, White Gold to Launch Dinner Next Week, and More Intel

Van Leeuwen's co-owner lists his sweet Greenpoint condo, plus more news and gossip from around NYC

A curved booth with a table set for service at Pasquale Jones, an Italian restaurant in Nolita.
[The dining room at Pasquale Jones in Little Italy]
[Daniel Krieger]

— Adam Seger, a bartender who is helping with the opening of the Tuck Room on Fulton Street, is credited with reviving an old cocktail called The Seelbach at a Louisville hotel bar over 20 years ago. As the story goes, a bartender in the pre-prohibition era accidentally made this drink, but he liked the mistake and it became a signature of the bar, only to be forgotten about and then rediscovered by Seger half a century later. Now you can find The Seelbach at bars all around the world, including more than a few uppity cocktail parlors in NYC. The problem is that that origin story is a complete and utter lie. Seger just invented it himself. The bartender tell Times cocktail scribe Robert Simonson: "I had no previous accolades in the bar world. I knew I could make a great drink. I wanted it to be this promotion for the hotel, and I felt the hotel needed a signature cocktail." News of the hoax has prompted all sorts of reactions from drink makers and food media people on Twitter, including this gem from punch guru David Wondrich:

Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield’s newest baby, the Upper West Side butcher shop/cafe White Gold, is up and running for breakfast and midday snacks, but the crew is taking some extra time to work on the dinner menu. Although it was originally slated to launch this evening, now the White Gold team hopes to start serving dinner in about a week or so. Check out a photo of the shop's fairly bonkers breakfast sandwich here.

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream co-founder Pete Van Leeuwen just listed his sweet Greenpoint two-bedroom condo for $1.075 million. The unit has dark cherry wood floors, Quartz countertops, a dishwasher, and huge windows that look out onto McCarren Park. Curbed NY notes that Van Leeuwen bought the apartment for $637,424 in 2011.

Jill Hing, one of the owners of the San Loco mini-chain, says that the cost of operating a restaurant in NYC has changed drastically over the last 30 years, and many of her loyal customers have been forced to move away. The restaurateur tells Jeremiah Moss: "We have been feeling unbelievable pressure caused by the increased cost of doing business for quite a few years now../.At this point, we are not sure how much longer we can hang on."

Spice at 71 First Avenue recently morphed into a new restaurant called The Sabieng Thai. EV Grieve notes that at one point, there were three locations of Spice in the East Village, but now there are none — although the chain still has eight other outposts across the city, including one on 13th Street near University Place.

— Former Times critic Mimi Sheraton reacts to the news that acclaimed chef Liz Johnson is moving on from the kitchen of Mimi:

David Chang’s blazin’ hot delivery-only restaurant Ando is now serving fried chicken on the bone once again — this time, with a slightly different recipe than the one employed over the summer. A thigh and leg combo with house sweet & sour sauce is $11.

A veteran of the Peaches restaurant group is planning a new rotisserie-focused cafe at 701 Flatbush Avenue in Prospect-Lefferts Garden called Risbo.

— Last night, Greenpoint tavern Alameda dressed up as Bob’s Burgers.

— Starting tonight, Dante’s bar director Naren Young will be serving 99 cent martinis at the Greenwich Village restaurant from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

— And finally, here’s a look at the bread-baking operation at Arcade Bakery in Tribeca: