— Restaurants and shops near Trump Tower continue to feel the squeeze as a result of the security check points and sporadic road closures that have been enforced since election day. On Friday, Mayor de Blasio promised that the city would not shut down Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower on "any kind of permanent basis," but he recommended that New Yorkers avoid that area as much as possible, saying that it "will make your own life easier and everyone else’s life easier." The fact that Melania and Barron Trump will continue living in the gigantic chocolate diamond as opposed to the White House will likely cause more headaches for local business owners. Momofuku head honcho David Chang — who operates Má Pêche, Fuku Plus, and Milk Bar around the corner — is not particularly pleased by this news:
Fuck: West 56thSt closed to traffic btw 5th & Madison, shoppers have to go through security subject to bag checks https://t.co/fX6t6eHrXB— Dave Chang (@davidchang) November 20, 2016
— Are you worried about life in America with Donald Trump in the White House? If the answer is yes, then perhaps it’s time to look into joining The Bubble, a "planned community of like-minded free-thinkers and no one else." It has "small farms with the rawest milk you’ve ever tasted," cafes where you can read the HuffPo, and access to plenty of "Netflix documentaries about sushi rice." (Spoiler: It’s actually Brooklyn with a bubble on it). Here’s a tour:
— The Lenox Lounge space in Harlem has sat vacant since the landlord doubled the rent in 2013, forcing owner Alvin Reed to close up shop. Right before Nobu partner Richie Notar swooped in, Reed stripped the space of its historic details. Notar eventually decided not to open a new jazz club in the space, and now Jeremiah Moss notes that plans have been filed to add two stories to the building — or demolish it and erect a bigger structure on this site. Earlier this year, the asking rent on the ground floor space was listed at $40,000, which is four times what Reed was paying before he left.
— Ryan Sutton’s favorite Theater District Cuban restaurant, Guantanamera, is expanding to Forest Hills. Owner Mario Zarate signed a 10-year lease at 110-80 Queens Blvd. No word yet on when Guantanamera II will open.
— Amy Schumer and her pals, including Colin Quinn, had dinner at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse in Midtown last week.
— Sarma Melngailis, the Pure Food & Wine restaurateur who was arrested for stiffing her employees and allegedly pinching money from investors, has to pay more than $18,000 for failing to respond to the suit filed by her staff. Melngailis is expected to return to court next month.
— Roast beef sandwich chain Arby’s is opening a new branch at 32 East 23rd Street. The first Manhattan location opened around this time last year on the corner of 40th Street and Eighth Avenue near Penn Station.
— Park Slope Italian restaurant Scalino recently closed after nine years in business. A Greenpoint location of the restaurant is still open. In other Park Slope shutter news, neighborhood Mexican restaurant Lobo served its last over the weekend. The Cobble Hill location is still going strong.
— Whoopi Goldberg recently celebrated her 61st birthday at Delmonico’s in the Financial District with her friends from The View.
— The East Village Tavern on the corner of East 10th Street and Avenue C is now closed for good. Elsewhere in the neighborhood, Healthfully Organic Market at 98 East Fourth Street is also dunzo.
— Today in novelty foods: Lower East Side pub Raw Material is serving a cheeseburger that explodes like a zit, and Old Homestead Steakhouse in the Meatpacking District is selling a $50K Thanksgiving dinner that includes caviar, foie gras, truffles, and tickets to a Giants game.
— And finally, here’s a look at The Beatrice Inn’s 127-day whiskey-aged steak: