New Jersey takes a hard stance in the cashless wars
Amid several initiatives around the country to curb the proliferation of cashless stores and restaurants — including legislation introduced by New York City councilmember Ritchie J. Torres that would ban them in the city — New Jersey’s governor Phil Murphy signed a new law that bars them from the state. It goes into effect immediately, and there’s a fine of up to $2,500 for businesses that continue to enforce a no-cash policy, a trend that many have decried as discriminatory. Some places, including airport vendors, are exempt. Legislation in NYC remains in the works. Many newer fast-casual restaurants go cashless, arguing that it’s safer for the business.
Openings and a Jersey City pizza popup
A new flagship brick-and-mortar location for Beijing street food mini-chain Mr Bing opened at 8 West 46th St. It’s the first location with its own seating, and there are some new menu items including rice bowls. Dual Specialty Store, a South Asian spices and dry goods shop, has expanded to Williamsburg. The store has been in East Village for almost three decades, and now it has a brand new Brooklyn location at 321 Broadway.
Daniele Uditi, the pizzaiolo at LA’s Pizzana, is teaming up with Dan Richer at Jersey City’s Razza for a one-night pop-up pizza event on April 3. Uditi will bring some of Pizzana’s most popular pies to 275 Grove Street in Jersey City, including a cacio e pepe version.
A party at Hudson Valley’s beloved tropical restaurant
Colorful Hudson Valley bar and restaurant Lil’ Deb’s Oasis is throwing its second annual gala. Called the Garden of Earthly Delights, it takes place on April 6 at Hudson Lodge at 601 Union St. in Hudson. The event will feature a cocktail hour, a seated dinner with natural wine pairings, performances, and a dance party. The tickets are $165 and can be purchased here.
Major Food Group restaurant near the High Line goes fully gluten-free
Santina, Major Food Group’s coastal Italian restaurant, has long offered gluten-free options, but it has decided to just go all the way in. Led by executive chef Ashley Eddie, the restaurant has transitioned all of its pasta, bread, pancake, cookies, etc. to gluten-free recipes.
Harlem food and culture festival announces lineup
For the fifth year, Harlem EatUp!, the food and music festival founded by chef Marcus Samuelsson and Herb Karlitz, returns to borough from May 13 to 19. Early bird tickets are now on sale, and the lineup has been released. It includes a dinner honoring Harlem fashion legend Lana Turner, and the menu will be done by Samuelsson as well as chef Mashama Bailey.
Celeb supercouple “J.Rod” dines out in NYC
The recently engaged Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez reportedly ate at Polo Bar — the American restaurant by designer Ralph Lauren — this week. J.Lo was wearing her nearly $2 million engagement ring and also carrying an Hermès Himalayan crocodile Birkin, a bag worth more than $100,000.