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BlackTail to Open This Summer, Ando’s New Vegetarian Sandwich, and More Intel

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Empanada mama plots its triumphant return to Hell's Kitchen, plus more news and gossip from around NYC

[The dining room at Birds & Bubbles on the Lower East Side]
[The dining room at Birds & Bubbles on the Lower East Side]
Daniel Krieger

The Dead Rabbit team is gearing up to open BlackTail, a sprawling bar on the second floor of Pier A, this Friday (Update: the team is now shooting for an opening later this summer). The theme is "Cuba during prohibition." Expect riffs on the the El Presidente and Cuba Libre, plus many more rum-based cocktails. Co-owner Jack McGarry tells Robert Simonson: "The key focus for us was that the integrity of the classic drinks would be preserved...but we also added other ingredients to bring them into the 21st century." The menu will have around 40 cocktails, all priced at $16.

— In addition to expanding service to anyone and everyone (in Midtown East) this week, David Chang’s delivery-only Momofuku restaurant Ando also introduced a new vegetarian sandwich and a meat-less side:

More Ando newness: The beans & rice combo that comes with the fried chicken bucket is now available as an individual side dish for $4, and the beverage list now has *Poland Springs water* in addition to orange soda.

— Back in January, the Hell’s Kitchen location of Empanada Mama was destroyed by a fire. Now the owners are planning to reopen the restaurant in the space next door, which is currently home to a bar called The Cannery. The new restaurant will be bigger than the last one, and the team hopes to secure a liquor license. The Cannery is expected to close within the next few weeks.

A new restaurant called Sons & Daughters is opening in the tricky space next to Del Posto that previously housed the original John Dory Oyster Bar and Willow Road. John Bignelli, formerly of Alder, is the chef. It’s slated to open next week.

Jeremiah Moss notes that the Baccarat Hotel serves a $375 cocktail. You need to order it in advance so that the bar can make a custom glass for you to drink it out of (which you do not get to keep).

Andrew Carmellini chimes in on Pokemon Go mania:

Stephan Brezinsky closed his Park Slope Vietnamese cafe Soothsayer in the spring, but now he’s reopening it as a pop-up restaurant for the rest of the summer. After September 2, he will look for another location for the restaurant.

Ward III in Tribeca is currently closed. A Facebook message from the operators explains: "Ward III has been asked by our landlord to temporarily close and vacate the building while it undergoes repairs mandated by the NYC Department of Buildings. We have been working closely with the landlord and have extended our lease as we are all committed to re-opening in what we hope will be a short few months."

Acme, the company that supplies New York City with most of its smoked fish, now has a 100,000 square-foot plant in North Carolina, which will help the family-run business expand into new markets. Co-owner Adam Caslow tells Crain’s: "My sister’s dream for us was to become the Boar’s Head of smoked salmon....That dream is still very much alive." On Friday mornings, starting at 8 a.m., Acme’s Greenpoint factory sells fish directly to customers.

Bica, the take-out window at George Mendes's Lupulo, is now serving an off-the-menu spicy piri piri chicken sandwich with smoked mayo and housemade pickles for $8 during lunch.

After talking to a group of angry neighbors, the owners of Alfie’s in Hell’s Kitchen agreed to remove outdoor speakers at his restaurant. Owner Sean Hayden tells DNAinfo: "We feel personally… that we’re getting nit-picked by two or three people all the time....Hundreds of people frequent our restaurants and we don’t have any issue with anybody." Only one noise complaint has actually been filed with 311 over the last year.

— And finally, here’s a video of Robert Sietsema and Lucas Peterson sampling bull penis at Kenka on St. Mark’s Place:

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