— Bun-Ker is opening in its new location at 99 Scott Ave. on Jan. 5. Moving from its punk rock, just over 20-seat spot in Ridgewood to a much larger space in Bushwick/East Williamsburg has been a transition-in-the-works for over a year. The move allows chef/owner Jimmy Tu to offer way more seating and an expanded menu that will include pork sausage, more spring rolls, oxtail in pho, and pan-fried turmeric catfish, among other things. Also look for a small retail space with wares like housemade hot sauce and skateboarding gear.
— A new location for Xi’an Famous Foods is in the works at 38 E. 23rd St. that is on track to open in February. “As per tradition,” wrote founder Jason Wang in an email, “folks should stay tuned to our social media in order to benefit from the free food for followers promotion on Grand Opening Day.”
— Turns out, there’s an exact day where we abandon new year’s resolutions to hit the gym and we “put down the barbells and pick up the cheeseburger,” reports Dan Pashman on WNYC’s “The Sporkful.” According to the Freaknomics folks —Stephen J. Dubner and Co. of the “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know,” podcast — that date is the first Thursday in February which, this year, is Feb. 2., “when the downturn in visits to gyms and the upswing in trips to fast-food restaurants intersect.” But wait, there’s more: The second Friday in February —which this year is Feb. 10 —is the most popular day for fast-food eating, which they’ve dubbed, “The Fatty Solstice.”
— Restaurant owners: New York State officials have assembled a new, 200-person task force to ensure employers comply with the new minimum wage. “The Minimum Wage Enforcement and Outreach Unit will have members from the Labor Department and three other state agencies,” Daily News reports, “and its job will be to both educate businesses about the new wage and crack down on violators.”
— Photographer and author of “My Last Supper: 50 Great Chefs and Their Final Meals” (Bloomsbury 2007), Melanie Dunea is hosting a performance-art sleepover tomorrow night from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. —her birthday— at Morganstern’s Finest Ice Cream, with guest appearances from Mario Batali and Gail Simmons. Expect prank calling, nail painting, and an evening-inspired ice cream flavor, Under the Cherry Moon, with profits from those sales donated to Edible Schoolyard NYC.
— And last, in the spirit of new years’ resolutions, killer vegetable dishes from April Bloomfield: