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Fire Breaks Out at Mas (Farmhouse), Aska 2.0 to Open Tomorrow, and More Intel

The Tribeca location of Almond closes, plus more news and gossip from around NYC

[The dining room at The Smith Midtown East]
[The dining room at The Smith Midtown East]
Daniel Krieger

— A fire broke out in the kitchen of Mas (Farmhouse) on Downing Street in the early morning on Saturday, when the restaurant was closed and completely empty. The FDNY put out the blaze, and no one was hurt. Chef/owner Galen Zamarra sends word that his restaurant is temporarily closed while they make repairs and investigate the cause of the fire. Zamarra tells Eater: "Thankfully no one was on premises and there are no injuries. Our neighborhood fire department is around the corner, they responded immediately and were able to control it instantly. "

— Media gossip: Word on the street is that Bloomberg is getting ready to announce Tejal Rao’s replacement. Expect a big name food writer who’s spent years at a major publication, although the job may no longer be specifically geared toward restaurant criticism.

— Fredrik Berselius’s hotly anticipated revival of Aska is now slated to open in Williamsburg tomorrow. Stay tuned for more details on the space and the menu later this week.

After a year and a half in business, the Tribeca outpost of Almond closed over the weekend. The proprietors also operate locations of Almond in the Flatiron and Bridgehampton, and they also run L & W Oyster Co. near Madison Square Park.

On Friday morning, a customer waiting in the Cronut line outside Dominique Ansel Bakery noticed a dead body on a bench in the park on the corner of Spring and Thompson streets. The customer alerted a bakery staffer, who called the police. The cops relocated the line to investigate the scene. The dead man was identified as a 47-year-old neighbor, and the Post notes that his "death did not appear suspicious."

A drunk customer at El Rey de Copas Restaurant in the Allerton neighborhood of The Bronx shot the owner twice after he was cut off on Friday night. The restaurateur was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent two surgeries. The cops are still looking for the suspect.

Four decade-old Gravesend greasy spoon Del Rio Diner closed this morning at 7 a.m. Owner Larry Georgeton told the Post: "The minimum-wage law was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We’d need to raise the burger to $9 from $6.45. I don’t want to do that to my customers. They’ve been good to me."

A dishwasher at Prime in Huntington, Long Island was arrested for unlawful surveillance after he was busted for trying to film customers in the restaurant’s bathroom with his phone.

A flower shop is replacing the East Fourth Street space that previously housed Korean fried chicken parlor Mono + Mono. A fire ripped through the space back in 2013. Although the owners initially planned to reopen the restaurant, now it’s turning into a shop called Le Bouquet NY.

After a comedy show at UCB theater, Keegan-Michael Key and Mike Birbiglia hit up Co. in Chelsea for veal meatball pizzas. In the "Night Out" profile, Birbiglia shares his pizza philosophy: "It’s an inexpensive food, but if you have high-quality versions of it, it makes people wildly happy."

Shake Shack opened in Seoul, South Korea last Friday. People started lining up around 5 a.m.

Tables for Two critic Becky Cooper visits Al Di Meglio’s Williamsburg hot spot Barano: "Instead of the bucatini with rabbit, an Ischian specialty, opt for the lamb tacconi, thin sheets of homemade ravioli flecked with mint leaves. Or, even better, have the ricotta tortellini, jewelled with peas that burst like only those that are freshly shelled can. The whole fish is worth it, if you can stomach a grumpy fish face staring at you, but the real stunners are the vegetable sides."

— And finally, here’s a look at the breakfast spread at Two Hands Cafe:


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