— Jacob Hadjigeorgis, the proprietor of Jacob's Pickles, is opening a French dip sandwich restaurant inside the old Ouest space on the Upper West Side. Dubbed Maison Pickle, the new restaurant will serve cocktails along with those sandwiches in a space that will seat approximately 150 people. No word yet on when it will open.
— Seafood restaurant/cocktail parlor Black Crescent has been closed since a fire broke out in its basement in January 2015. And now, finally, the team is ready to reopen the space. The insurance covered the repairs, but the proprietors ran into some issues with the DOB related to a fire compression system. The restaurant will be back in action this Sunday.
— Rivington Street wrap restaurant Wolfnights recently expanded into the small space next door. This storefront housed a tailor for many years.
— CBGB's experts disagree on the number of awnings that the legendary club had during its lifetime. Some people think it had three, while others think it had four or five. One of them now belongs to former employee Drew Bushong.
— The William Vale Hotel — AKA Starship Williamsburg — is now slated to open in April. It's going to have a restaurant, room service, and bar spaces from Andrew Carmellini and his partners at Noho Hospitality Group. No word yet on what the restaurant will be called or what type of food it will serve. Here's a rendering of the "ballroom and salon" via Curbed NY:
— Nino's Pizza on St. Marks will auction off its equipment this afternoon. The restaurant closed a few months ago due to a gas leak, and proprietor Nino Camaj was bought out by restaurateurs who want to open a new bar/cafe in the space called The Honey Fitz.
— Silvia Killingsworth of Tables for Two has mixed feelings about El Cortez: "The standard American fare at El Cortez, like a bacon cheeseburger and 'chicken buddies'—skewered fried-chicken sandwiches—hits the high-low notes that the Commodore is known for, though the chicken can occasionally be tough. But nachos recently mystified a group of diners—they had been made with the creamy cheese sauce known as queso, and there was so little of it that it was mistaken for sour cream."
— Japanese restaurant brands are expanding to New York City in full force. A government-sponsored program called the Cool Japan Fund is helping business people expand to the United States, and the establishment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership means reduced tariffs on ingredients from Japan. PR maven Steve Hall specializes in helping these Japanese hospitality brands find their footing in NYC. Over the next year, New York will see openings from Japanese heavy hitters Sushi Ginza Onodera, Ichiran, and Tsurutontan.
— And finally, here's a look at Blue Smoke's white wings: