Danny Meyer says he now knows about more misconduct in USHG restaurants
At a recent Times Talk panel, Union Square Hospitality Group head honcho Danny Meyer said in response to a question about sexual misconduct that the #MeToo movement has brought to light “bad things” happening in the company. “I can promise you that as human beings, bad things have happened in our organization,” he says. “I guarantee you things have happened. I’m aware of things now that I wasn’t aware of until this movement. We’re spending a lot of time in our restaurants learning about what has been going on.” The restaurateur owns popular places like Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern. It’s “painful,” he says, but ultimately, it’s “a good moment.”
Pondicheri owner talks about changing environment in her kitchen
Chef-owner Anita Jaisinghani — who has locations of Pondicheri in Houston and NYC — writes about her own behavior in the kitchen, saying when she used to be “an absolute terror” to work for because of her yelling and screaming. But after some personal life issues, she started looking hard at what kind of example she was setting for her children and made efforts to change. “Yes, food is emotional and all that, but isn’t it time we evolved from the European old guard ‘Oui, chef!’ culture?” she writes.
New feminist bookstore-slash-cafe opens in Crown Heights — and other openings
Crown Heights now has a cafe and feminist bookstore in one with Cafe Con Libros, which has more than 200 books on women’s rights in addition to Irving Farm coffee. Owner Kalima Desuze picks all the books and says she wants to be inclusive and diverse. Expect readings, book clubs, and artist events. Over in Manhattan, a Ben & Jerry’s has opened on St. Mark’s Place, and thorn in the NIMBY’s side Epstein’s Bar has reopened in LES’s Hell Square after a two year hiatus.
A conversation with two restaurant critics
In honor of Restaurant Week, the Times does a little Q&A with its critic Pete Wells and new New Yorker critic Hannah Goldfield, with questions about what they like about a meal. Goldfield hates “preciousness,” and Wells likes when the food’s deliciousness matters more than the chef’s ego. Wells currently is digging tarts and savory pies, while Goldfield’s current favorite food is “really good bread and butter.”
Mexican mom-and-pop will close in March due to rent doubling — and other closings
Longtime Houston Street restaurant El Maguey Y La Tuna will likely close at the end of March due to a rent hike. The classic Mexican mom-and-pop allegedly faces a rent increase that would double their commitment, from $7,000 to $14,000 per month. The Street Vendor Project is trying to save it. Elsewhere, East Village Japanese restaurant Robataya has closed, and the LES outpost of Sweet Chick has temporarily shuttered due to an electrical issue, though the Brooklyn outposts remain open. For a look at a different fried chicken, see how Pies and Thighs does it: