— A new Midtown location of the classic New York hot dog stand Gray’s Papaya is close to opening. Bedford and Bowery notes that the outpost at 612 Eighth Ave., near 40th St., may open as early as Thursday, serving its signature “Recession Specials” of two dogs and a drink. It’s a slow comeback for the Nicholas and Rachael Gray’s legendary restaurant chain, which has been in retraction mode, having closed many locations. For the last few years, the only outpost in the city was a flagship restaurant on the Upper West Side. Still, Rachael tells Bedford and Bowery that the company is doing well, and although they won’t be reopening further downtown anytime soon, it’s not out of the question.
— Elsewhere in Midtown, nightlife veterans Addison Hospitality Group have opened a new restaurant and rooftop lounge with Chinese Tuxedo partner, Jeff Lam. Magnolia Restaurant and Lovage Rooftop and Indoor Lounge are both at 350 West 40th St. The restaurant, serving American food, is on the ground floor and spans more than 6,000 square-feet, including an outdoor space. Chef Alan Wise, an alum of Rouge Tomate as well as Public, will run the kitchen. The rooftop lounge on the 37th floor of the building has floor-to-ceiling windows, a fireplace, a glass roof, and velvet chairs.
— Further north near Central Park, Bevy will soon open on the third floor of the Park Hyatt at 153 West 57th St. Slated for an April 3 debut, the 80-seat restaurant will offer dishes like crispy oyster mushrooms with pickled ramps, scallops with romesco and watercress, and roasted chicken for two.
Chef Chad Brauze, an alum of Per Se and Daniel, is executive chef. Brauze most recently led the kitchen at Upper East Side restaurant Rotisserie Georgette, earning two stars from the Times.
— Showtime’s Billions — a series about the NYC finance world — had some special appearances by local restaurants recently. David Chang even had a few lines set at Momofuku Ko. Eater tipster Mike Chau, aka Instagrammer Food Baby NY, watched the show and also spotted Ai Fiori and Mile End in Brooklyn, where Paul Giamatti aggressively ate a pastrami sandwich and poutine.
— East Village beer shop-restaurant Lions Beerstore has closed. EV Grieve notes that signage for a new restaurant called Wall 88 Restaurant has already gone up in its place.
— FAB, the hospitality conference for women, is popping up in Brooklyn next week with a session about the “Struggle to Success.” Extra Crispy editor Kat Kinsman, The White Moustache founder Homa Dashtaki, and chef and restaurateur Amorette Casaus will be speaking. Admission is free but limited. RSVP here.
— Fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race? Lots of bars are hosting viewing parties this Friday with appearances by people on the show.
— Congratulations to Jean-Georges Vongerichten and the team at his flagship restaurant Jean-Georges, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this month:
— The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership wants two more food stands in the neighborhood. They are asking for food vendors to apply to open in the area, with preference for people offering “unique” items.
— Finally, here’s how La Sirena makes chicharrones in its new tapas bar: