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NYC Restaurants Lost Jobs for the First Time in 10 Years

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Plus, Jimmy Fallon made meatballs at Rao’s — and more intel

Photo via Lido [Official]

Full-service restaurant jobs are in decline in NYC

According to a new report, the restaurant industry in NYC saw a loss of 6,000 jobs last year. This was the first time in over a decade that jobs declined for restaurants in the city, and full-service restaurants were affected the most. Critics of the governor’s plan to eliminate the tipped minimum claim it will lead to more job losses, while proponents claim the benefits for workers counter those losses. While jobs have decreased, the number of restaurants has actually increased by more than 2,000 establishments. Susannah Koteen, owner of Lido in Harlem, spoke on the data, noting that as a way to cut costs at the minimum wage rises in the city, she has eliminated some positions at the restaurant by requiring servers to bus their own tables. Other restaurant owners have also told Eater that they are slimming down on staff this year.

Jimmy Fallon got into Rao’s

Harlem’s notoriously impossible-to-get-into red sauce Italian icon Rao’s brought in Jimmy Fallon to film a segment for The Tonight Show. Fallon was, as usual, very enthusiastic, marveling at the intimacy of the 10-table space. He sat down with owner Frank Pellegrino Jr., who shared the memory of Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, Jim Carrey, and Robin Williams coming in to the restaurant and singing “My Girl” with his father, the original owner Frank Pellegrino Sr. After their sit-down, Pellegrino Jr. taught Fallon how to make the restaurant’s meatballs.

A new brunch option in East Village

Violet, the grilled pizza and seafood restaurant from Emmy Squared’s Matt Hyland, brings a new brunch option to East Village starting this weekend. It kicks off Saturday, March 30 at 11:30 a.m., and brunch dishes include an everything bagel-spiced grilled pizza with hollandaise, smoked salmon, and a poached egg, as well as grilled chorizo with a cheese curds Johnny cake, mornay scrambled eggs, and grilled cherry tomatoes.

A look at a new LES dhaba

Open since December, the Chai Spot offers a lowkey hang with classic masala chai and other hot tea options on Mott Street. It’s owned by Khalida Brohi, a Pakistani women’s-rights advocate, and her husband, and half of the proceeds at the Chai Spot benefit her gender justice initiatives.

Celebrity sightings around town

Martha Stewart was spotted having dinner at Majorelle on the Upper East Side, and Hugh Grant was also at the bar. Meanwhile, musician Pharrell Williams dined at Public Kitchen, and Gigi Hadid hit up Hudson Yards, dropping by Thomas Keller’s TAK Room.