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The Death of the Shift Drink, Restaurateurs Busted for Bribery, and More

Ivanka and Jared eat at Lilia, plus more news and gossip from around NYC

[The bar at Root & Bone in the East Village]
[Daniel Krieger]

Is the shift drink becoming a thing of the past in New York City restaurants? Several prominent restaurateurs — including John Bush of Three Kings Hospitality and Michael Chernow of Seamore’s — tell Gothamist that they have zero-tolerance policies where after-work employee drinking is concerned. Bush explains: "The shift drink was taken advantage of one too many times and I couldn't keep an eye on every place....After I found a bartender passed out in front of one of my bars with his keys still in the front door, well, shift drinks for the staff was over immediately."

Tribeca empire builder Matt Abramcyk hopes to open his new restaurant in the old Super Linda space at 109 W. Broadway this summer. The as-yet-unnamed restaurant will have separate menus for each of its two levels — one focusing on smoked meat and the other featuring seafood.

— A quick update on what is sure to be one of the biggest openings of 2017: Spotted Pig proprietor Ken Friedman tells Eater that the Bond Street restaurant from chef Travis Lett and his partners probably won’t open till at least the spring. Friedman and his partner April Bloomfield are helping to bring the team from LA hot spots Gjelina and Gjusta to NYC, where they plan to open something new. Meanwhile, Friedman and Bloomfield are also currently working on a restaurant on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.

Three restaurateurs were arrested this week for offering bribes to DOH inspectors. Morie Kabba, the proprietor of Jagana Family Kennedy Fried Chicken in the Claremont Village section of The Bronx, was busted for trying to offer an inspector $160 after the city worker spotted some violations in his kitchen. Jonathan Niranjan, who owns the Amazura club in Jamaica, Queens, tried to give a "wad of cash" to an inspector who founds his pet lizard inside the venue, and he later tried to bribe another city worker. And the restaurateur behind Farm Fried N Curry Chicken in Jamaica was also caught trying to give a DOH worker $200 for a good letter grade. All three restaurateurs face up to seven years behind bars.

— To commemorate the one year anniversary of switching to a "hospitality included" plan, East Village Basque restaurant Huertas will be donating 25 percent of profits from its tiki drink sales tonight to a non-profit group called Drive Change. The organization helps formerly incarcerated workers get jobs in the restaurant industry. All the tiki drinks will be priced at $15.

— 2016 produced many awful restaurant reviews that are delightful to read.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump had dinner with Goldman Sachs co-president Harvey Schwartz at Williamsburg hot spot Lilia this week.

— The staff of Primal Cut on the Upper East Side prepared a free holiday meal for around 300 people living in the Women in Need shelter in East Harlem yesterday.

Vanity Fair took extra precautions to protect contributor Tina Nguyen after she published a scathing review of Trump Grill last week. Nguyen tells the Columbia Journalism Review: "They kept an eye out for anyone who tried to release my address or my phone number or even tried to call me through the Condé [Nast] switchboard....They were on top of their game, so big credit to them."

Jake Gyllenhaal’s production company had a holiday party at The Spotted Pig this week that featured a performance of "Baby It’s Cold Outside." by the Nightcrawler star and his sister, Maggie.

— And finally, here’s a tutorial on how to pick the right glassware from Momofuku beverage director Jordan Salcito:


567 Union Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (718) 576-3095 Visit Website

The Spotted Pig

314 West 11th Street, Manhattan, NY 10014 (212) 620-0393 Visit Website