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Risotteria Abruptly Closes, Fany Gerson Plans New Treat Shop, and More Intel

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Danny Meyer bumps up Shake Shack employee wages, plus more restaurant news from around NYC.

[The back space at The Musket Room in Nolita]
[The back space at The Musket Room in Nolita]
Daniel Krieger

— The original location of gluten-free Italian restaurant Risotteria on Bleecker Street is now closed. Yesterday, a worker at the space told an Eater tipster: "It's over due to a rent increase." There are no messages on the restaurant's homepage, answering machine, or social media channels about the closure.

The Upper West Side location of the restaurant also closed recently — now the Spotted Pig team is rumored to be taking over the space with plans for a butcher shop/diner. No word yet on what will happen to the Bleecker Street storefront.

Fany Gerson, the chef and co-owner of Dough and La Newyorkina, is opening a new frozen treats shop in the Greenwich Village space that housed Peanut Butter & Co. until last month. The restaurant will serve many types of paletas, plus ice cream, sorbet, and a frozen custard treat called nieve de garrafa. Gerson tells Grub Street: "It's just really a celebration of Mexican sweets....This is just the beginning, but for me this has always been to dream." It's slated to open in June or July.

— Someone please save Steve Cuozzo from this horrible sound:

Southern-style biscuit specialist Empire Biscuit is still closed with paper over the windows. Last month, a sign on the window promised that it would reopen in March. Now a new sign reads: "Peelin' potatoes."

— Shake Shack's revenue increased by 46.8 percent during the fourth quarter of 2015. In January, hospitality wizard Danny Meyer also bumped up the wages for Shake Shack employees. On an earnings call yesterday, CEO Randy Garutti said that the new Chick'n Shack sandwich is "the most important menu addition we've made since Shake Shack began."

The new West Village location of Brooklyn Fare is slated to open at 666 Greenwich Street this spring. This outpost of the hit grocery store will not have a restaurant. But rumor has it that Cesar Ramirez's tasting counter will soon make the move from Downtown Brooklyn to the Hell's Kitchen location of the store.

— Sietsema has an update on Guenter Seeger NY: "In case you think that progress isn't being made on Guenter Seeger's long delayed Hudson Street restaurant, take a peek at this new street shed that just went up this weekend."

Robert Sietsema

Yuca Bar on the corner of East 7th Street and Avenue A was dark yesterday with a sign on the door explaining that the restaurant was closed due to a "gas problem." The FDNY put out a fire in the building on Sunday night. Bedford & Bowery notes that the "interior was in disarray," and the phone line remained busy all day yesterday. It's still giving a busy signal this morning. Eater has reached out to the team for more information about when it will reopen.

Daniel Boulud tells Lucky Peach about his career-long relationship with French legend Paul Bocuse. One chestnut: "When I was at the Plaza Athénée, in New York, I was in charge of cooking Paul’s sixtieth birthday party, where many of those chefs gathered to celebrate. After I had cooked for Paul, I was invited to join all the chefs at Le Cirque. The meal was okay. The pheasant was overcooked, I remember. So, Roger Vergé and Bocuse told Sirio that he should hire me to take over the kitchen at Le Cirque."

Midtown's massive Chick-Fil-A has a C-grade from the DOH, but the place is still slammed during lunch.

— First Avenue hot spot MáLà Project is now open for lunch. The menu includes a three-ingredient dry-pot meal for $9, and a five-ingredient meal for $14. Sietsema liked his first meal there.

— And finally, here's how the Meat Hook Sandwich team makes the shop's Italian hero: