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Employees Only Expansion, Bernie at Nathan's, Hillary at Junior's, and More Intel

Desi Galli moves into the Mercadito Cantina space, plus more news and gossip from around NYC

The line of Bernie supporters outside of Nathan's on Sunday.
Nick Solares

Acclaimed West Village cocktail bar Employees Only is sprouting three spinoffs around the globe, each spearheaded by a different partner. Co-owner Igor Hadzismajlovic will open a new location of the bar in Singapore along with head bartender Steve Schneider this June. Co-owner Billy Gilroy is planning to open an Employees Only in Miami's Washington Park Hotel this September. And Jason Kosmas hopes to open an Austin branch of the bar with some local partners at a yet-to-be-determined location. Kosmas tells Robert Simonson: "The bar is going to be shaped the same, function the same....It’s kind of a machine. It’s a proven animal. Messing with it is not in anybody’s interest."

— Here is a photo of Bernie Sanders, Jane Sanders, and Michael Stipe eating hot dogs at Nathan's Coney Island after a rally on Sunday:

— And here is a photo of Hillary Clinton resisting the siren song of Junior's cheesecake in Brooklyn on Saturday:

Damon Wise — formerly of Lafayette, Monkey Bar, and the Colicchio empire — is planning three new restaurants in Charleston, SC. The main restaurant, Scarecrow, will offer a menu of farm-to-table American fare, and the kitchen will have a wood-fired oven. The restaurant will have a casual counterpart called Feathertop, which will also double as a coffee bar during the day. And Wise is also planning to open another casual establishment called Wise-Buck Smoked Meats. That last restaurant will open next month, and the other two will make their debuts later this year.

— The proprietors of Lexington Hill Indian restaurant Desi Galli are planning to open a second location in the former Mercadito Cantina space at 172 Avenue B. The owners have applied for a beer and wine license for the new street food restaurant The menu will feature an Indian riff on poutine.  It's slated to open next week.

— Brooklyn-based ice cream chain Ample Hills is expanding to BoardWalk at Disney World in Orlando, FL this spring. Proprietor Brian Smith is planning a turn-of-the-century-themed ice cream shop for the theme park-adjacent shopping center.

Fourth Avenue sports bar The Royal has closed after less than three years in business. A "for rent" sign now hangs in the window.

Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson visited many fine dining restaurants — including Momofuku Ko — as research for his new Broadway play about a reservationist at a New York City hot spot. The actor tells Bon Appetit: "The other night at Ko there was a very, very loud group of guys next to us celebrating a birthday....and they kept getting drunker and drunker. They kind of out-stayed their welcome. Watching how they interact with the staff…was very informative."

A new documentary about the recently-relocated Streit's Matzo Factory will premiere at Film Forum later this month. Here's the trailer:

The Art on A Gallery is also hosting a new exhibit celebrating the life of the famed Matzo factory. It's slated to open on Thursday. The Rivington Street building that housed the factory for a century is going to be demolished this week.

— Becky Cooper files a Tables for Two review of Okonomi/Yuji Ramen in Williamsburg.  Here's the critic on Okonomi's breakfast: "Miso soup and nutty, mauve rice accompany a plate of sides, as thoughtfully arranged as a painter's palette: pickles, egg custard, and seasonal vegetables, like sweet potatoes tossed with sesame oil and mirin. It comes with a choice of fish, and you can't go wrong—the salt-flecked mackerel is as perfect a bite as the kombu-cured roasted sea bass. But the real showstopper is the optionalonsen egg, gently poached until the white and the yolk are the same molten texture."

— And finally, here are five weird ways to open wine bottles: