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David Chang Launches Major Media Company

Plus, two longtime NYC restaurants hit with wage theft lawsuits — and more intel

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David Chang
David Chang
Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Netflix

David Chang is back in the media business

On the heels of magazine Lucky Peach’s closure, Momofuku maestro and Netflix star David Chang has announced a new media endeavor, and it’s a big one. Called Majordomo Media (the name of his new Los Angeles restaurant), it will encompass a podcast, television shows, and an “editorial platform.” Chang tapped some big media names, including the former editor-in-chiefs of Wired and Los Angeles magazine, a Conde Nast exec, and a few former Lucky Peach editors. One of his fellow founders says it “will be rollicking, occasionally profound, and frequently profane,” which conjures up Vice-like images. Notably absent from this endeavor is Chang’s longtime friend and usual media partner Peter Meehan.

Roberto’s and Heidelberg hit with wage theft lawsuits

In two separate lawsuits, servers at both Roberto’s in the Bronx and Heidelberg on the Upper East Side have sued the restaurants for failure to pay correct minimum and overtime wages, as well as wrongly applying tip credits to pay. Both suits — in full below — detail work done outside the boundaries of serving that would constitute receiving the full minimum wage versus the tipped one. Plaintiffs are seeking their alleged docked pay plus attorney fees.

Coyote Ugly Saloon celebrates 25 years

Coyote Ugly, the female-run bar in the East Village memorialized in a 2000 movie of the same name, hit 25 years in January, and the Times tagged along to cover the anniversary. The profile of the bar and its owner Liliana Lovell tells the story of a place created as a safe space for women to celebrate their sexuality without worrying about harassment from men. Though one former employee likened the bar today to Disneyland, other former and current bartenders praised it as still accomplishing that mission.

A review rolls in for Danny Meyer-backed fast casual restaurant

New York magazine critics Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld — AKA the Robs — review two newish fast-casual restaurants, Risbo in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens and Tender Greens in Flatiron. Both get three out of five stars, Risbo for its cool vibes and standout rotisserie, and Tender Greens for its “overtly friendly” service and homestyle fare.

Nightlife mayor already criticized

NYC mayor Bill de Blasio was on WNYC radio when a caller criticized his choice for NYC’s new “nightlife mayor” Ariel Palitz. Palitz was hired to act as the go-between for bars and the city, but the caller claimed Palitz had voted in favor of restaurants receiving liquor licenses “at least 75 percent of the time” when she sat on Community Board 3. De Blasio deflected by calling Palitz a “person who can find a fair approach.”

Openings, closings, and coming attractions

Opening today on the Lower East Side is GrandLo Cafe, a coffee shop that employs 16- to 24-year-olds for job training, at 178 Broome St. Nearby, Spitzer’s Corner on Rivington Street flipped to Grunhaus, a German beer hall. Over in Brooklyn, mini burger chain Black Iron Burger opened at 234 Flatbush Ave.; cafe and juice bar Good Day Play Cafe debuted at 591 Fifth Ave.; a New Orleans-inspired restaurant called Lowerline is now open at 794 Washington Ave.; and French spot Tambour opened at 652 Fifth Ave. Meanwhile, 15-year-old Lower East Side Mexican restaurant El Maguey y La Tuna closed due to a rent hike.

In coming attraction news, the Park Slope Food Co-op is considering a second location; Queens pho shop Zen Yai Pho Shop is opening at 518 East Sixth St. in the East Village; Juice Generation will add its 19th location at 4 Astor Place this month, as well as an uptown greenhouse; and seafood restaurant Seamore’s is quickly approaching chain status with a fifth location in Dumbo to open this month at 66 Water St., as well as an upcoming opening in Battery Park’s Brookfield Place.

Bobbi Brown’s perfect Manhattan weekend

Beauty doyenne Bobbi Brown describes her perfect NYC weekend, which includes stops at Soho Indian restaurant Bombay Bread Bar, Chelsea Market for some fresh lemon juice, and omakase at Sushi Nakazawa in the West Village. Here’s what a meal at Nakazawa looks like: