The Campbell In-Progress: The bar that had been The Campbell Apartment in Grand Central, will reopen in May, reports Bloomberg. Scott Gerber of the Gerber Group — which includes Whiskey Blue at 541 Lexington and Kingside at 124 W. 57th St. — holds the lease on the space, which is allegedly $1.1 million a year.
A spokesperson from Gerber Group said it will be dropping Apartment from the name simply calling it The Campbell, and confirmed the May opening. “The Campbell will feature an expansive collection of spirits, wines, and locally brewed craft beers,” she said. “Gerber Group’s selections of classic and modern cocktails that highlight fresh ingredients are complemented by a menu of elevated bar fare.”
Back in late-July, Mark Grossich lost the lease after running the bar since 1999, having spent $2 million renovating the room. As he was negotiating with the MTA to sign a new lease, he was outbid by Gerber, and lost the court battle when he tried to sue the MTA.
The Bloomberg mention is part of a video on the secrets of Grand Central Terminal. The space that had been business tycoon/railroad exec John Campbell’s office eventually housed a police station in the 80s; those who were arrested were held in what had been the wine room.
Dole Whip, an 80s Cult Dessert at Chikarashi: People have been freaking out about Dole Whip at Chikarashi (227 Canal St.), a bright yellow, usually tropical-fruit flavored, vegan soft-serve. The dessert has a cult status, reports Bedford + Bowery, as a mid-80s invention of the Dole Food Company that first appeared at Disneyland, “where devotees continue to queue up for it at Adventureland’s Enchanted Tiki Room.” Part of the reason it’s so rarely found outside Disney resorts is that it has to be served from a Dole’s specialty soft-serve machines.
Next-door fire to Jacob’s Pickles: No one was injured in the weekend fire, but it has led owners to divert all reservations to Maison Pickle (2315 Broadway at 84th St.) a block away. Offering the menus from both Jacob’s Pickles and Maison Pickle, the latter allegedly served 600 people a day over the weekend with the overflow. A spokesperson says that due to water damage and other factors, Jacob’s Pickles will be shuttered at least a week.
A Chair-Throwing Brawl at a City Island Restaurant: Following the viral video of a chair-throwing brawl the occurred last week at Seafood City on City Island, the restaurant “has agreed to close the bar at 6 p.m., hire private security, and participate in the NYPD's paid detail program.” The 45th Precinct will provide additional patrols on City Island.
Chef Shuffles: Susan Kim started making banchan at the ambitious Korean restaurant, Insa in Gowanus two weeks ago, working under chef and co-owner, Sohui Kim. Kim came to New York from Chez Panisse for four years and had moved to the East Coast a little over a year ago to help open Claus Meyer’s Agern.
“How I handle product, how I taste is ingrained in me,” said Kim. “I’ve always loved that first intro in how a restaurant makes a ‘hello’.” Kim grew up with a Korean mother in Southern California, but it’s her first time working in a Korean restaurant. Starting with her mother’s cooking, she has developed a palate for it. “When you start to embrace everything you were ashamed of as a kid, it feels really good,” she said.
Kim decided to leave Chez Panisse a little over a year ago, after reaching out to Meyer following his visit to the restaurant. She said she was looking to cook abroad, perhaps in Denmark. “He said, ‘How about this New York project?’” and told her about Agern.
The idea of heading to New York appealed to her. “I wanted to cook through the seasons in the East,” she said. “And to experience the day to day living in New York. The energy is incomparable.” She said of working under Gunnar Gíslason at Agern — who just landed Iceland’s first Michelin star for his restaurant Dill in Reykjavík— had been “an amazing way for me to learn.”
— Last up for your Monday, how to make these doughnuts at home: