— Is the East Village location of Box Kite coffee shop coming back from the dead? The cafe closed without warning last week, and the management wrote a smug farewell note on a chalkboard. But now that message has been replaced by another dispatch that reads: "Help wanted experienced manager to reopen." File under...developing.
— Vegan fugitive restaurateur Sarma Melngailis divorced her husband/partner in crime Anthony Strangis this week. The duo allegedly stole around $2 million from her restaurant, Pure Food & Wine. Dining room staff and investors were shorted around $1 million. Strangis and Melngailis went on the lam last year but were busted in Tennessee after he ordered a Domino’s pizza. Melngailis posted $350,000 bail earlier this summer, but he’s still in jail.
— Vinyl, the new bar/restaurant/record store in the old Nevada Smith’s space, will serve "candied-bacon quinoa sushi."
— Mathieu Camion — a veteran of Le Bernardin, Bouley, and Atera — is the new general manager at Frankies 570 Spuntino. Camion will run the door and manage service in the dining room of Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo’s popular West Village Italian restaurant.
— Shake Shack won’t be rolling out breakfast to more locations in the near future. The rapidly expanding burger chain serves eggs sandwiches at six transit hubs, but during a second quarter earnings call yesterday, CEO Randy Garutti explained: "There may come a day [when Shake Shack expands breakfast], but it's not something we're focused on today....We're focused on the heart of our business, which is lunch and dinner."
— After 35 years in business, Rocco’s Calamari in Dyker Heights recently closed for good. The restaurant went on a previously announced vacation at the end of July, but then the management posted a message on Facebook this week explaining that Rocco’s was actually closed for good.
— Kotobuki is back in action on Third Avenue between East 10th and East 11th streets. The restaurant closed almost two years ago, and a different sushi restaurant, Saki, opened in its place. Saki recently bit the dust, and Kotobuki moved back in.
— As expected, Amuse wine bar at 121 Ludlow Street shuttered this week. A new restaurant called River Coyote is moving in.
—The owners of Schnitzel House in Bay Ridge recently removed a signed photo of Donald Trump from their restaurant because customers were complaining about it on Yelp. But this week, Fred and Amber Urban changed their minds and decided to put the photo back on the wall. Amber tells the Brooklyn Paper: "I got into an argument with one man from Texas over the phone — it’s just insane....I’m very done with all this nonsense."
— Two of Rob Shamlian’s LES restaurants, Spitzer’s Corner and Los Feliz, are changing hands. Bowery Boogie notes that Artisanal restaurateur Sarid Drory purchased the assets. At a CB3 meeting, Drory previously expressed his plans to turn Spitzer’s Corner into a "high-end" restaurant.
— And finally, here’s a peek inside Tortilleria Chinantla in East Williamsburg: