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Jason Wagner IN at Union Square Cafe, Mick Jagger Hits Up Greenpoint Dive, and More Intel

Gotham Pizza expands to the East Village, plus more restaurant news and gossip from around NYC

[Grand Banks, a summery place to catch a drink in Tribeca]
[Grand Banks, a summery place to catch a drink in Tribeca]
Daniel Krieger

— Union Square Hospitality Group has tapped Jason Wagner, the opening GM and beverage director at Fung Tu, to be the wine director at the new and improved Union Square Cafe. Years ago, Wagner was the wine director at L’Atelier de Jöel Robuchon in the Four Seasons Hotel, and he received certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers and American Sommelier Association. Union Square Cafe 2.0 is still a few months away from making its grand debut on the corner of Park Avenue South and East 19th Street.

— A location of Gotham Pizza — the NYC mini-chain that, like Two Boots, coats its crusts with cornmeal — is coming to the space on the northwest corner of Third Avenue and East 12th Street. EV Grieve notes that this storefront housed at least three different pizzerias over the years, although its last tenant was a shortly-lived fro-yo shop called Funkiberry.

Mick Jagger had a drink at Brooklyn Safehouse in Greenpoint earlier this month. A few nights before Mick’s visit, Steve Buscemi also stopped by the low-key neighborhood bar and sat at the same booth.

Village gay bar owners say that they’ve seen an uptick in business since the tragic shooting in Orlando this month. Many members of the local hospitality scene have donated money to organizations supporting families of the victims, and more fundraising plans are in the works for later this month. Charles Rice, the owner of Monster Bar, tells Crain’s: "Our business has seen an increase. We are directly in front of Stonewall at the epicenter. There’s a vortex of energy around the park — everybody has been congregating there since the Orlando shootings." He’s raising money for the Anti-Violence Project, a local organization that aims to protect minority communities from anti-LGBT violence.

And speaking of gay bars: The Times talks to Andy Cohen, Patricia Field, Jane Lynch, Rachel Maddow, Rosie O’Donnell, and other famous people about their first gay bar experiences. Anderson Cooper remarks: "I can’t tell you how many bars and clubs I’ve been to over the years....Every gay man in America remembers the first time they went to a gay bar and how they felt."

— Hot rumor: Shake Shack is planning to expand to the northern reaches of Tribeca.

A street cart operator named Mohamed Awad was charged with felony assault and weapons possession after slashing a rival vendor with a razor on the corner of 10th Avenue and 30th Street on Tuesday. The two men got into an argument over who should get to set up shop on the corner that day. The victim, Eissa Naser, got five stitches and a friend says he will probably return to his post in a few weeks.

Hungry City critic Ligaya Mishan visits Crabby Shack, a two-year-old seafood restaurant in Crown Heights: "After the brightness of fresh crab, I was resistant to crab immured in a grilled cheese stippled with chives, or in an otherwise respectable mac and cheese. But the crab roll is lovely, shredded crab and lengths of merus meat from the fattest part of the leg, christened in garlic butter, then tucked into a Martin’s potato bun, as God intended."

— Lower East Side coffee shop Round K Cafe is now selling a wasabi-infused latte. It costs $4.50.

— Here’s a hot take from the Post’s Hailey Eber: rooftop bars are the actual worst.

— And finally, take a look at how the Red Hook Lobster Pound makes its lobster rolls:

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