Pokémon Go craze hit another level with restaurants this week as chef and TV personality Lidia Bastianich’s old school Upper East Side Italian restaurant Felidia entered the fray. The restaurant in a brownstone, which is designated the "Felidia Dancing Maidens" gym in the game for its Shefts brothers carved glass window, started offering a Pokémon-inspired cocktail for "adult gamers" this week. "The Dancing Maiden" is made with gin, Japanese yuzu wine, Cremè de Violette, Luxardo maraschino, and lime. Even without the encouragement, people are already playing the game in the 35-year-old restaurant. Bastianich, mother to Joe and an NYC Italian food empire, says in a statement: "How fun to be a part of the Pokémon Go craze, and at such an elite level."
Of course, Felidia is just one of several restaurants aiming to capitalize on the trend. Since Monday, even more places have hopped on board Pokémon Go as a money making tool. New York-based chopped salad chain Just Salad claims it is "first chain to use augmented reality to lure customers" — aka, paying to use the game’s "lure" function to attract players looking to catch more Pokémon. It’s only doing it in Manhattan locations and is announcing locations on its Twitter and Instagram. People who post pictures of what they catch on social media also have the chance to win prizes like gift cards.
Celebrity chef Angelo Sosa’s Hell’s Kitchen and Tribeca Mexican restaurant Añejo has been buying not just lures but "Incense" in the game to attract Pokémon and Pokémon Go players. The incense function attracts Pokémon to players, rather than just a general location. Paying for both has attracted "droves" of Pokémon to the restaurant’s two locations, officials with the restaurant say.
And bakery Doughnut Plant combined the internet’s love for novelty baked goods with the novelty mobile game by creating little "Pecha berry" Pokéseed doughnuts, shaped and colored to look like Pokéballs. (Pecha berry is not a real berry. It is a fruit in the game that cures poison.) Its Queens and Chelsea locations are PokéStops, which are landmarks in the game, and the original Lower East side location is a gym, where players can hang out and battle each other’s Pokémon.
Judging by comments on the bakery’s Instagram, people are going nuts over this viral-meets-viral baby:
No worries, xnoexcusesx: As of Thursday, Doughnut Plant’s Pokéseeds — and Pokémania — are still going strong.