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Roberta’s Owners Duke it Out in Court, Danny Bowien's Holiday Special, and More Intel

Sushi Nakazawa's owner addresses his decision to open in a Trump building, plus more news and gossip from around NYC

[The dining room at Gallagher’s in Midtown]
[Daniel Krieger]

— The three owners of Bushwick perennial favorite Roberta’s are in court this week finalizing the terms of their messy divorce. As the story goes, Brandon Hoy and Carlo Mirarchi tried to buy out their partner Chris Parachini following an argument about expansion plans. After they couldn’t agree to Parachini’s terms — and an incident wherein he allegedly showed up at the restaurant unannounced and started bossing people around — Hoy and Mirarchi filed a lawsuit to keep him away from Roberta’s. In court this week, Hoy testified against Parachini, alleging that he yelled slurs at his staffers and would pound his fists on countertops. Hoy also claimed that he instructed assistants to get him a gym membership and a fishing license. And according to the Post report, Hoy mentioned that "Parachini forced a mistress onto the payroll." Parachini’s lawyer called this testimony a "gross mischaracterization." The Roberta’s owners will be back in court on Friday.

An electrical fire broke out in the basement of Sauce on the Lower East Side last night. Firefighters rushed to the scene, and Bowery Boogie notes that there did not appear to be any damage to the dining room. Eater has reached out to the restaurant to find out if it will remain closed for repairs. Stay tuned for updates.

Chef/restaurateur/author/TV star Eddie Huang is singing the praises of Los Angeles, where he just opened a new location of his bun shop BaoHaus: "I’ve gotten better Korean barbecue here than I did in Seoul. I’ve gotten hot pot here on the level that I got in Chengdu. You can’t say that in New York. You absolutely can’t."

Jim Delligatti, the creator of the Big Mac, died recently at this home in Fox Chapel, Pa. He was 98. As William Grimes notes in his obit, Delligatti was one of the earliest McDonald’s franchisees. The chain gave him the okay to introduce a double-stacked burger as long as he used ingredients already found in the McDonald’s kitchen. He bended the rules a bit by employing a large sesame seed bun from a local baker cut into three pieces, and the rest is history.  In an attempt to appeal to local steelworkers, Delligatti also introduced the hotcakes and sausage breakfast, and it too became a nation-wide fixture of the McDonald's menu.

The Estela team’s new restaurant in the Met Breuer, Flora Bar, is going to launch weekend lunch tomorrow. The menu will include a number of dishes from the dinner menu. It’s going to be available Friday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Restaurateur Alessandro Borgognone addresses the fact that he’s opening a Sushi Nakazawa spinoff in a D.C. building owned by the president-elect: "It’s business. We’ve been in negotiations for a year and a half. Whatever’s going on with the White House or whatever’s going on with Donald Trump is not my focus. That’s four years. Maybe eight years. I’m looking at 20, 30, 40 years." He also tells New York: "With D.C., I had reached a point where I saw so much bad that I was actually looking for the good. I couldn’t find it." And he calls it a "meat-and-potatoes town." DC-based chef extraordinaire José Andrés responds on Twitter:

Danny Bowien, the chef/proprietor of Mission Chinese Food and Mission Cantina, is the star of the Mind of a Chef holiday special. The episode also features appearances by Anthony Bourdain, April Bloomfield, Sean Brock, and Iñaki Aizpitarte. The whole special, which has a potluck/music theme, is available now on YouTube.

— And finally, here’s a look at Marco Canora’s offal-heavy, bun-less "variety burger" at Hearth: