— A man named Bayna-Lekheim El-Amin was charged with four counts of assault and attempted assault for brawling with another customer at the Chelsea location of Dallas BBQ last summer. The incident was sparked when an intoxicated customer named Jonathan Snipes approached El-Amin and accused him of uttering a homophobic slur. Snipes then smacked him in the face with his purse, and El-Amin responded by pushing him to the ground and stomping on his head. The fight later involved El-Amin throwing a chair at Snipes and his boyfriend. The panel acquitted El-Amin for the stomping, on the grounds that it was self defense, but he received the assault charges for his actions during the rest of the fight. On top of the charges, El-Amin could face up to 15 years in prison.
— Improbably, the owners of Philippe are launching a fast-casual chain called Chow by Philippe, which will offer grab-and-go dishes inspired by the clubby East 60th Street Chinese restaurant. The team has already locked down spaces on West 55th Street, West 38th Street, and Fulton Street for the new restaurants. Company president John Villa tells Commercial Observer: "The menu will be mostly Philippe favorites with some new additions, but smaller single portions at very affordable pricing." Eventually Villa and his crew hope to expand to other cities, and open locations in airports and shopping centers.
— Jamestown, the company that owns and manages the Chelsea Market building, is spending somewhere between $35 million and $50 million to convert the basement space into a retail corridor that will include restaurant spaces. Rent downstairs will be cheaper than the main strip on the ground floor. No word yet on when those downstairs spaces will be available for rent.
— Long Island City lunch/brunch restaurant Sage General Store is closing this weekend after 19 years in business. Owner Leslie Nilsson says that she was not able to renew her lease at 24-20 Jackson Avenue. She plans to keep her catering business going after the restaurant closes.
— Since closing Kin Shop and Perilla last year, Harold Dieterle has been busy working as the chef-consultant on the AMC show Feed the Beast. The chef suggested a few dialogue tweaks to make the kitchen scenes more realistic. Dieterle tells Bon Appetit: "The character is a dirtbag chef who is also an ex-con—he isn’t going to say something’s ‘orgasmic.'" Noho Hospitality Group's wine director Josh Nadel taught David Schwimmer how to act like a sommelier on the show.
— An Upper West Side lawyer claims that he found a 1.5 inch screw in his order of General Tso's chicken from Wa Jael Sichuan Chili House. The restaurant offered to replace the dish, but the lawyer is mad about the fact that they didn't offer him a refund instead.
— The owner of Cucina di Pesce on East Fourth Street gave up part of the dining room to the landlord. Now a "for rent" sign is hanging on that section of the space.
— In a previous life, the Meatpacking District space that houses Dos Caminos was home to a hardcore S & M club called The Vault. Michael Musto looks at this space, and several other addresses where trendy restaurants replaced gay clubs, in a new article for Paper. Musto notes that the Shake Shack Times Square space was once home to Adonis, a club which "hosted dirty movies and raunchy real-life blow jobs among the customers, all creating a multimedia skankfest of delight."
— This week, Hungry City critic Ligaya Mishan visits Nabaya, a West African restaurant in the South Bronx: "By day, there may be a Guinean stew of sweet potato leaves, nutrient-dense and mellow, more buttery than biting and, once cooked down in a rich bath of palm oil, akin to spinach minus the bitter aftermath. The brine comes from smoked fish and crawfish powder, the fervor from Scotch bonnets. And the lusciousness: that’s cow’s foot, hidden in the depths, swiftly approaching jelly."
— The Dutch is going to host an "all-day cookout" on Memorial Day with specials like watermelon punch bowls, sticky pork ribs, and peanut butter ice box pie. These dishes will be offered a la carte in addition to items from the regular menu. The restaurant will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the holiday.
— Whole Foods is in the early stages of negotiating a deal to open a new grocery store at the forthcoming Hudson Yards mega-development.
— The team behind Eldridge Street bar Attaboy is planning to open a new outpost of the cocktail parlor in Nashville this summer.
— And finally, here's a look at the brunch spread at Pies 'n' Thighs: