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El Meat Hook Pops Up at Berg'n, Frauneder Expands to the Fidi, and More Intel

Fontana's closes after 11 years in business, plus more news and gossip from around NYC.

[The forthcoming bakery spinoff of By Chloe on Bleecker Street. If you spot any new restaurants opening in your neighborhood, let us know.]
Nick Solares

— The Meat Hook team is now operating a stall inside popular Crown Heights food hall Berg'n called El Meat Hook. Proprietor Brent Young describes this as the "Sandwich Shop meets In 'n Out meets Del Taco." The menu includes burgers, sandwiches, and French-fry-stuffed burritos. Here's the full list of dishes:


If you stop by, let us know what you think.

— Fresh off the opening of his Greenwich Village cafe Freud, Eduard Frauneder is already planning another restaurant. In a few months from now, the chef will open Schilling, an Austrian bistro with Mediterranean influences, at 109 Washington Street.

— Shake Shack is on a Los Angeles expansion tear. The first LA outpost opened last week, and several more are already in the works.

An employee at the Barilla outpost near Rockefeller Center stabbed his co-worker in the back and the arm last week. According to the police, the incident took place around 11:30 p.m. on March 17 as the victim was leaving the restaurant. He called 911 after getting back to his apartment in the Bronx, and was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital. No word yet on whether the police have arrested the attacker or issued any charges.

Is the Greek Corner Coffee Shop on the corner of 28th and Seventh Avenue in danger of shuttering soon? After hearing rumors about its possible closure, Jeremiah Moss visited the 36-year-old greasy spoon and heard varying reports from the employees. Some workers claim that the building was sold or is going to be sold, while others say that everything's going to remain the same.

Former Times critic Bryan Miller points out that Mezzaluna on the Upper East Side helped popularize trattoria-style restaurants in America. 32 years after opening, the restaurant still has legions of fans. Miller notes: "Today, the Manhattan original thrives as a low-key favorite of chefs like Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Bobby Flay."

— As expected, 11-year-old Lower East Side music venue Fontana's closed for good on Sunday night. Co-owner Holly Ferrari tells Bedford + Bowery: "[R]ent increased and we weren’t able to run the kind of place we wanted to run for what we had to charge. We were forced to make our drink prices higher and changing the type of music we played. It was really unfortunate but the landlord would not negotiate with us at all." Ferrari and her partners signed a 10-year lease with a starting rent of $10,000 per month. The landlord recently jacked the rent up to $20,000, and his last request was $30,000 per month, which was untenable.

Work is nearly complete on the Ludlow Street spinoff of Seaport Mexican restaurant El Luchador. The taqueria is taking over the tiny space that previously housed Pomme Creperie.

— Phillip Kirschen-Clark has left Cafe Cluny in the West Village to go work for the Uchi Group in Austin, Texas.

— A Beijing-style street crepe stand called Mr. Bing is popping up at Bowery Station from now through March 31.

East Village Japanese restaurant Curry Ya is sprouting an uptown spinoff. The new location on 113th Street is right next to sister establishment Rai Rai Ken. Harlem Bespoke notes that it looks like Curry Ya is almost ready to roll.

The proprietors of Purbird are planning a second location of their flame-grilled chicken restaurant in the Carroll Gardens space that formerly housed Maybelle's Cafe. It's slated to open in a few months.

— A company called FoodPanda is experimenting with drone food delivery in Singapore.

— And finally, here's how to tell if your steak is the right temperature: