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Restaurants Have a Diversity Problem, Times Critic Says

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Plus, an Upper West Side restaurant flips

The dining room at Minton’s Playhouse, a Harlem restaurant whose model Pete Wells appreciates
John S./Yelp

East Village cheap wing destination closes today

Avenue B bar and restaurant Croxley Ales says goodbye on Wednesday after nearly 15 years in the neighborhood. The owner of the bar, known for its craft beer and wings, says the Williamsburg location was splitting the customer base. That outpost, which is bigger and located at 63 Grand Street, will remain open.

Times critic wants a more diversity in restaurants

Pete Wells filed a wish list of what he wants to see for the busy fall opening season, and it can be boiled down to one thing — more diversity. Too many of the big openings come from major restaurant groups, he writes, and too few of the investors funneling money into restaurants choose ambitious female or minority chefs, he adds. Existing restaurants could also add more diverse staff, and perhaps find ways to open more affordable (and accessible) places. “What I see more and more is the way power accrues to chefs who are already powerful, while independent restaurants struggle to get going,” he says.

NIMBY-reviled LES bar location still trying to reopen

Some new owners behind Epstein’s Bar at 82 Stanton Street are still trying to get a liquor license from the state, although locals at the Community Board have repeatedly rejected the request. The bar closed in 2015 and was a part of what Bowery Boogie calls “Hell Square.” It had a slew of Department of Building violations at the time. Josh Acheatal and Rick Aurigemma of 310 Bowery bar recently came on as owners and said they were trying to fix legality issues, but the community board was unconvinced.

E.A.K. Ramen dry tsukemen sits in a black bowl next to a white bowl of dipping browth
E.A.K. Ramen tsukemen, available in September
E.A.K. Ramen

Dipping ramen at E.A.K.

Japanese import E.A.K. Ramen is introducing tsukemen to the menu for September. The West Village ramen shop with thicker noodles will offer its version of the dipping noodle without a soup broth for the month only. Their version has bonito, a marinated soft-boiled egg, pork chashu, bamboo shoots, and seaweed.

Upper West Side restaurant flip

Restaurateur Vincent Chirico — an alum of Daniel and Jean-Georges — has flipped his UWS restaurant Vai into Spuntino Bar. The new version of the restaurant at 429 Amsterdam Avenue offers dishes like a hamachi with avocado and cucumber, rabbit with cauliflower, and branzino with brown butter and lemon. Expect tableside garnishes and al fresco dining when it opens next week.

Bulleit auction as an LGBT fundraiser

Bushwick bar The Cobra Club is auctioning off all of its Bulleit whiskey tonight in light of the allegations of homophobia. The bar is no longer going to offer the brand. Drag queen Ragamuffin will host the auction, and people who purchase bottles will instead receive Little Wolf Whiskey to take home. (All the Bulleit will be destroyed.) Proceeds go toward a non-profit helping LGBTQ youth.

Epstein’s Bar

82 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002 (212) 473-2010 Visit Website

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