Beyond Sushi scores Shark Tank money
After an appearance on investment show Shark Tank, Beyond Sushi walked away with a cool $1.5 million. Shark Lori Greiner and guest shark Matt Higgins — of private investment firm RSE Ventures, which also owns parts of Momofuku, Bluestone Lane, and more — teamed up to invest in the vegan sushi company, which had its start in New York City. Higgins and Greiner now share 30 percent of the West Coast business and 15 percent of East Coast operations. The company projects $5.6 million in sales for 2018.
Food media calls for the Spotted Pig to close
With the flurry of interviews out last week from April Bloomfield, Gabrielle Hamilton, and Ashley Merriman, food media is renewing its calls for disgraced restaurant the Spotted Pig to close. Grub Street’s Chris Crowley writes that the restaurant can’t shake off its owner Ken Friedman: “Even if he were to remove himself from the place entirely and no longer benefit financially, you cannot save a ‘rape room.’” The Post’s Steve Cuozzo says that building owner Jay Z “should start looking for a new tenant” to avoid the restaurant’s “the toxic stench.” The Spotted Pig came under fire a little under a year ago when explosive accusations of sexual misconduct came out against owner Friedman. Former business partner Bloomfield split from the restaurant, while Hamilton and Merriman tried and failed to partner with Friedman for a revival.
The massive downside of the new Public hotel
A stunning story in the Times tells the heartbreak for neighbors of the opening of famed hotelier Ian Schrager’s the Public on the Lower East Side. It turns out that in order for the Public to open, a community garden for the low-income Thelma Burdick apartment building next door had to close. Landlords promised the tenants renovations to the building, some of which they are still waiting for six years later. Schrager declined to comment for the story, but a quote of his from the hotel’s opening press offers a stark contrast between his vision and the neighbors’ reality: “It’s based upon a simple but very important, revolutionary idea: luxury for all. Just think about it. It means that everybody is entitled to participate in a luxury experience, giving them everything they need and everything they want.”
Openings, closings, and coming attractions
West Village Mexican party spot Tortilla Flats will soon close. The 35-year-old restaurant and bar’s last day is October 27, after owners could not reach an agreement with the landlord. But across town, a new Mexican restaurant called Savor Por Favor will open at 157 Second Ave. Nearby at 19-23 St. Mark’s Pl., bubble and cheese tea shop from China Mi Tea is now open. As is Pado, a sushi restaurant at 199 Second Ave.
Small businesses may get a boost today from the city
Today the NY City Council is holding a hearing on the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, which would give existing commercial tenants rights such as the right to renew a lease with a minimum 10-year extension and access to an arbitrator to negotiate a fair rent. The passing of the bill would be a massive win for small restaurants, many of which shutter based on unsustainable rent hikes. Here’s how to air an opinion on the matter.
A critical first look at Zauo
A very tired-seeming Adam Platt checked out Zauo, the Japanese restaurant making waves for having diners fish for their own dinner. The New York magazine critic brought his daughter, who eschewed the fish in favor of rice. Platt, too, wasn’t thrilled by the fish, which he deemed “tough” after taking “a few queasy, hesitant bites” of salmon sashimi. He recommends asking the restaurant to serve the fish without the head, “so that your kids won’t have to stare down in quiet horror at the just-killed seafood while its dead eyes stare back in such a creepy, recriminating way.” But Zauo’s owners say that’s the whole point of the restaurant: to teach children and people where their food comes from.