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Food Network Host Plans Astoria Restaurant With Bathroom ‘Selfie Mirror’

Plus, Smorgasburg’s Soho market has its final weekend this season

Willie Degel
Willie Degel is opening a new restaurant in Astoria
Photo via Food Network

Another location of Uncle Jack’s

TV restaurateur Willie Degel is opening a fifth restaurant under the name Uncle Jack’s, this time an Astoria restaurant called Uncle Jack’s Meat House. The new restaurant at 36-16 Ditmars Boulevard will be a bar and grill with a 1920s-inspired speakeasy that has a selfie mirror in the bathroom. It will be “in an environment that showcases Degel’s flair for drama,” according to a statement, and will debut on November 28. Degel is host of a Food Network show called Restaurant Stakeout and also owns Uncle Jack’s Steakhouse in Bayside.

Smorgasburg Soho’s final weekend, and a move back to Brooklyn

It’s the final seasonal weekend for the Smorgasburg’s outdoor market in Soho’s Smorg Square. The 76 Varick Street outpost has about 20 vendors like Goa Taco and Lumpia Shack and is open from 11 a.m. to dark from Friday to Sunday. But starting next weekend, the team will bringing Brooklyn Flea and 10 Smorgasburg vendors back to Industry City in Sunset Park. It will be at 241 37th Street on the second floor every weekend until March 2018.

Now New York has an avocado rat, maybe

The latest rat to join the food-loving New York City animal crew is an avocado rat, a rodent that dragged a slice through the tracks in Greenpoint. It’s being called the Brooklyn version of the famed pizza rat, versions of which continue to be spotted all over the city. Insert joke about how the rat probably can’t buy a house here.

Even the rats in #nyc are on trend. Hope he finds some toast. #avocadorat #

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A new tea bar in the East Village

Grub Street takes a look at 29B Teahouse, a tiny new East Village tea bar that serves a matcha-infused beer. It offers tons of specialty teas, but instead of a daytime focus, 29B pitches itself as a nighttime place too, with a closing time of 11 p.m. or midnight. Beer, wine, sake, and snacks are offered in addition to the Korean and Indian teas, and the teas can be bought by the pot or via guided tastings. Food includes pickles, sashimi, and Korean dumplings.

Fake Umberto’s Clam House

Umberto’s Clam House gets the Scorsese treatment

Little Italy Stalwart Umberto’s Clam House looked like it opened another location at the corner of Broome and Orchard, but turns out, it was just for a movie. Martin Scorsese is filming The Irishman, a mafia movie starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, and recreated parts of Little Italy. The team at Umberto’s had no idea they would be playing a cameo in the Netflix-funded movie, and several people asked them about a second location. “We had no idea at all,” an employee at the restaurant says.

A look at how McClure’s makes all those pickles