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Bourdain Tweaks ‘Fish on Mondays’ Rule, SCRATCHbread Plots a Comeback, and More Intel

Toro expands to Bangkok, plus more restaurant news and gossip from around NYC

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[The bar at Okiway in Bushwick]
[Daniel Krieger]

Anthony Bourdain offered a revised version of Kitchen Confidential’s famous "don’t order fish on Mondays" rule this week. At the Cannes Lions festival, the author/TV host remarked: "That was 1999. The world has changed now....Maybe if you’re eating in an Irish pub, don’t order the mussels on Monday on special, but in most places [the food is fresh]." Bourdain also quipped: "‘Don’t eat fish on Monday’ will unfortunately be on my headstone."

Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette are opening a location of their hit Spanish restaurant Toro in Bangkok, Thailand today. The kitchen will be helmed by Zack Watkins, who has been working for the duo for the last five years. At the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen last week, Oringer told Eater why they landed in Bangok: "There's not any city in the world right now that has more going on....There's an energy and they love food literally like no one else."

Matthew Tilden, the proprietor of the now-shuttered SCRATCHbread, has raised $9,500 on GoFundMe since March. Although the campaign was originally launched to fund a cookbook, now he says that if he pulls in enough cash, he plans to bring his Bed-Stuy bakery/restaurant back to life. In a newsletter to fans this week, Tilden notes: "The deal is, if we can finish this campaign and I can get back to Brooklyn before the end of summer in fighting shape, we're going to move forward in bringing SCRATCHbread back."

— Chef Dan Ross-Leutwyler says that several factors influenced his decision to close Fritzl’s Lunch Box, including the delivery boom: "I never imagined that at Fritzl's 20 to 30 percent of my business would be to-go. So I never built it to do that. For me, my ideal customer comes in, they have burgers, if I'm lucky they have a beer and maybe a little snack. But when you're doing Caviar, all that goes out the window. I lost the ability to sell the things that I can actually turn a profit on, and that's primarily alcohol and beer."

Union Square staple Blue Water Grill will close on July 10 for a major revamp. BR Guests’s 20-year-old restaurant will reopen in the fall with a new menu from Vaucluse veteran Chris Meenan.

The owners of Extra Fancy are operating a taqueria pop-up in the courtyard of San Damiano Mission church near McCarren Park this summer called Holy Smoke NYC. Some of the money earned from this weekend-only taco stand will go to the Greenpoint Community Organ Collective.

— On Thursday morning, the police raided a secret heroin and cocaine processing center inside the Gates Candy Shop in Bushwick. The drug plant was located behind a hollow wall inside the bodega. The cops confiscated around $100,000 worth of drugs.

— Los Angeles is getting an outpost of NYC-based upscale Italian chain Serafina.

— A ground floor beer hall is coming to the Long Island City office building at 21-09 Borden Ave.

— This week, the SLA denied a liquor license application at 2 Spring Street from the team behind The Stand comedy club. The owners probably won't open another comedy club in this space without a liquor license.

The L'Asso Gallery on Mott Street is now hosting an exhibit of photographs from Judi Jupiter, a waitress/photographer who worked at some of New York’s biggest clubs in the 1970s, including Studio 54. Jupiter tells Gothamist: "I experienced NYC to the fullest in the late '70s....It was much more fun—no rules or regulations. Drugs and sex were rampant. There were no computers, no cell phones, people actually communicated in person."

Jay McInerney’s new book Bright, Precious Days features The Odeon on the cover — just like the paperback edition of his breakthrough novel Bright Lights, Big City.

— And finally, here’s a look at Oda House’s mighty Khachapuri:

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