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La Central in Chelsea Is Turning Into NYC’s Hottest Celeb Hangout

Plus, actor Jussie Smollett was spotted at Lafayette — and more intel

La Central La Central [Official Photo]

Celebs spotted eating around NYC

Over in Chelsea, Oscar winner Rami Malek had a solo meal at Hotel Americano restaurant La Central — which is turning into a celeb magnet, with Jennifer Lawrence dining there recently, too. Plus, Conde Nast bigwig Anna Wintour chowed down on chili during intermission of Broadway musical Oklahoma! The chili, served to all showgoers, has also been eaten by Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, and Marisa Tomei.

Actor Jussie Smollett — recently a national sensation for an alleged attack in Chicago that he was accused of orchestrating, though charges were dropped — had lunch Wednesday with his former boss. The actor and an Empire showrunner dined at Noho French brasserie Lafayette as a Page Six writer unsuccessfully bugged Smollett for comment. Smollett’s Empire coworkers have started a petition to get him to return to the show after he was fired following the scandal.

Three openings

Now open in Soho at 341 Broome St. is Casa Bocado, which marks the return of chef Ivy Stark, the longtime chef at Dos Caminos who briefly helmed El Toro Blanco last year. The 2,500-square-foot restaurant from James Choung serves regional Mexican cuisine such as various tacos, tostadas, and enchiladas. There are also more than 80 types of tequila available. Plus, ice cream chain Van Leeuwen opens today in Prospect Heights at 550 Vanderbilt Ave, and a bubble tea shop called Tsaôcaa & Bào has opened on the Lower East Side at 109 Ludlow St.

Three coming attractions

Headed to Jamaica, Queens is Billy’s Café Deli & Pub, a global sandwich shop — jerk chicken sandwich, Italian sub, Cuban sandwich — that will open later this month at 95-39 Sutphin Blvd. Greenwich Gourmet Market, a new grocery store from a Brooklyn supermarket chain, will open in Greenwich Village at 378 Sixth Ave., and burgeoning breakfast taco brand King David Tacos is adding a weekday cart in Madison Square Park in May, at the corner of 26th Street and Fifth Avenue.

Several alcohol-free bars are opening in NYC

Booze-free bars are on the rise, and not just for sober people, the Post reports. The homegrown tabloid spoke with several millennials who are preferring to party sans alcohol. New places are popping up to target this audience, including mocktail bar Getaway in Greenpoint, pop-up party Listen Bar, and Bushwick’s Ambrosia Elixirs, which will open a Williamsburg outpost in May. Plus, soon-to-open Lower East Side karaoke bar Juicebox Heroes and Mini Rex will have sober and non-sober sections.

A cocktail party to benefit homeless New Yorkers

Some of NYC’s top bartenders from Barbuto, Frankie’s 570 Spuntino, and more are organizing a cocktail party to benefit homeless New Yorkers. Serving Up Home happens on May 8 this year at Prince George Ballroom, with drinks and food from Thomas Preti Events, , a DJ, and a live auction for $125 per person. Proceeds go to Breaking Ground, a nonprofit housing provider dedicated to finding shelter for the homeless. Tickets are on sale here.

La Central

518 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001 Visit Website

King David Tacos

611 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11238 (929) 367-8226 Visit Website

Van Leeuwen

152 West 10th Street, New York, NY