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Stonewall Inn on Track for Monument Status, Ripert Releases Memoir, and More Intel

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Brooklyn's first cat cafe opens this weekend, plus more news and gossip from around NYC

[El Rey is currently closed]
Matt Buchanan

— President Obama is expected to approve a plan to make The Stonewall Inn a national monument. The West Village tavern was the site of a police raid in 1969 that sparked a series of historic protests from the LGBT community. This would be the first-ever national monument honoring the gay rights movement. The White House has not made any public announcements about The Stonewall Inn, although according to AP sources, President Obama is planning to greenlight the monument after a public meeting about the proposal early next week. The tavern became a city landmark last summer.

— Lower East Side hot spot El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette is closed for renovations through May 12. Starting tomorrow, the team will be operating a four-day cafe at the Frieze Art Fair.

— Although he's a food media superstar who's been interviewed and filmed countless times over the last two and a half decades, Eric Ripert never has never opened up about his difficult upbringing — until now. In his new book, 32 Yolks, Le Bernardin's chef shares stories about his father's death when he was a boy, the evil stepfather that came into his life as a teen, his stint in boarding school, and his days as a young cook working in the kitchen of Joel Robuchon's Jamin. Ripert tells the Times that he still has nightmares about that experience: "The dream happens every two or three months, still....I fail in America in my career, and I go back to work for him." 32 Yolks will be released on May 17.

— The design of the new Amphitheater at Coney Island incorporates the historic, 87-year-old Childs restaurant building. The massive restaurant served as a fire-breaker during an epic boardwalk blaze in 1932. After the restaurant closed in the 1950s, the space was used as a chocolate factory and, more recently, a shortly-lived roller rink. When the Amphitheater opens this summer, it will include a new restaurant in part of this space. Here's a short film about the history of the Childs building:

— The East 12th Street space that previously housed Northern Spy Food Co. is now on the market. The landlord is asking for $6,400 per month in rent, plus $225,000 in key money. Northern Spy closed back in February.

— Yesterday, Attorney General Eric Schneiferman announced that Four Seasons landlord Aby Rosen has to pay $7 million for dodging taxes on $80 million worth of art that he purchased between 2002 and 2015. Rosen created two shell companies to buy the artwork. He got busted for claiming tax exclusions that are only meant for professional art dealers.

Brooklyn's first permanent cat cafe is opening this weekend at 149 Atlantic Avenue in Fort Greene. Dubbed The Brooklyn Cat Cafe, the space is being operated by the people from the Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition. Visitors will pay $5 per half hour to mingle with adoptable cats, and bottled drinks and prepared foods will be available. Some of the food will come from Atlantic Bagels Cafe next door.

— Troubled supermarket chain Fairway filed for bankruptcy yesterday, but all 15 New York-area stores will remain open.

— Elon Musk and his mom couldn't get into the Apple-sponsored Met Gala party at The Top of the Standard on Monday night.

— Palombo bakery near Yankee Stadium closed after less than a year in business.

— And finally, here's a look at the omakase experience at Sushi Nakazawa:

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