A new Chinatown emerges in Forest Hills
East Village has become a destination for new, hip Chinese restaurants, and now another NYC neighborhood is growing its Chinese dining scene. Forest Hills, Queens has seen a recent increase in Chinese food establishments, with pioneers like soup dumpling maestro Xueling Zhang opening new restaurants in the area. His family opened Memories of Shanghai, which joins noodle shop Xin Taste Hand Pulled Noodle, a cafe serving bubble teas and Beijing-style pancakes called Pink Forest, and Taiwanese shaved ice chain Snowdays in the neighborhood. They’ve opened in the past years in an area previously known for old pizza parlors and Jewish delis. Ocean’s 8 actor Awkwafina, who grew up in the area, told the Times that her family usually traveled to Flushing or Elmhurst for Chinese food back in the day. But now the neighborhood has become a Chinese food destination of its own.
Cashless cafes and fast-casual joints might get banned in NYC
New York City councilmember Ritchie J. Torres has introduced legislation that would ban cashless businesses from the city. Torres asserts that cash-free establishments are discriminatory. In an interview with Grub Street, he noted that a policy that can appear neutral in theory can be racially exclusionary in practice. “Therein lies the problem with card-only policies,” he said. “I see it as a way to gentrify the marketplace. Paper money is a universal currency. We all use it at some point in our lives, and delegitimizing paper money with a card-only policy should be unlawful.” Danny Meyer has implemented cash-free policies at his more casual restaurants, including Martina, Daily Provisions, Caffe Marchio, Vini e Fritti, and Tacocina. In the face of criticism, Meyer says that if a customer only has cash, restaurants will allow them to still dine on a “case-by-case basis.”
A sushi pop-up hits Marlow & Sons
A limited dinner series at Marlow & Sons will feature sushi chef Hitoshi Yoshimoto, a renowned Japanese chef who opened his restaurant Yoshitomi Zushi in Fukuoka in 1978. The pop-up will take place on five nights: December 4-6, December 9, and December 10. Each night will have two seatings of 10 seats, and the omakase menu will include two appetizers and 15 pieces of sushi. The dinner costs $145 per person, which includes tip but not drinks. Tickets can be purchased here.
Closings and coming attractions
The plant-based and organic food store Integral Yoga Natural Foods will close next month after 45 years in East Village. Meanwhile, Van Leeuwen’s location on Ludlow Street hasn’t been open since the day after Thanksgiving, when the DOH ordered the ice cream shop closed for 43 violation points after an inspection.
Australian cafe chain Bluestone Lane will open a new location in Little Italy in the former De Maria space. And taco chain Otto’s Tacos has signed a lease for its first Brooklyn location, located in Brooklyn Heights at 128 Montague St. at Henry Street.