The wage theft lawsuit against Felidia has been settled
A wage theft lawsuit from earlier this year at Lidia Bastianich’s Midtown Italian restaurant Felidia has now been settled for $10,000. In the suit, the workers claimed they spent over 20 percent of their shifts performing non-tipped duties and yet were still paid at tipped wage levels. They also alleged they worked more than 40 hours a week without overtime pay and had to pay for family meals that they didn’t consume.
Two coming attractions in the East Village — and more happenings around town
A new location of Californian-Mexican chain Calexico is underway in the East Village, where renovations are ongoing at 99 Second Ave., adding to its already-existing spaces in Park Slope, Red Hook, Greenpoint, the Upper East Side, as well as a cart in Soho and a location inside Barclays Center. An opening date has not been set for the new spot. At 136 Second Ave., signage had gone up for Brasserie Saint Marc, and upcoming restaurant from Greg and Jerry Lebedowicz, who previously ran Nitedreams in Greenpoint from 2003 to 2008. It’s set to serve French, American, and Ukrainian fare.
On the Upper West Side, a new location of Greek rotisserie chicken chain Chirping Chicken is opening at Columbus and 105th Street. A French bistro called Le Petit Rooster recently opened in the neighborhood at 491 Columbus Ave., serving bistro classics by chef Alex Tobar, who has previous experience working with José Andrés in Miami. But UWS Indian restaurant Sapphire Indian Cuisine at 1845 Broadway has closed ahead of its building being demolished. It was open for over two decades, and the owner is seeking a new space.
Meanwhile, Tribeca sibling restaurants the Greek and Greca are both for sale. Owner Tom Galis is moving to Greece to open an inn and restaurant. He opened taverna the Greek in 2013 and the counter-service Greca after that. For now, both remain open. Over on the Lower East Side, the Cup & Saucer reboot known as Greek Shack has been renamed as Two Bridge’s Diner.
Fast food crimes
Federal authorities in Brooklyn have announced that the hit on Sylvester “Sally Daz” Zottola — an alleged member of the Bonanno crime family who was killed at a McDonald’s drive-thru in the Bronx last year — was placed by his son Anthony Zottola Sr., the Post reports. He potentially faces a death sentence for his involvement in the McDonald’s murder, for which he allegedly paid $200,000. In other fast-food crime news, a drug dealer based in Manhattan has apparently been selling heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine at fast food chains like McDonald’s, Chipotle, Au Bon Pain, and Dunkin. The dealer was arrested by undercover cops on May 9.
Critic claims a supposedly veggie-forward restaurant isn’t all that veggie-forward after all
The Post’s Steve Cuozzo calls Alain Verzeroli’s Le Jardinier “the best new restaurant East Midtown has seen in a long, long time” in his latest review, but he also refutes the restaurant’s messaging about being a vegetable-driven haven. According to Cuozzo, there are only a few vegetarian dishes available and no vegan ones. He writes: “In fact, Le Jardinier’s French-influenced menu is a strapping, anything-but-light ticket to gut-busting bliss — cloaked in ‘green’ hype.” Cuozzo also calls Verzeroli’s grilled bavette with fiddlehead ferns his favorite beef dish of the year.
More Stonewall visits for Pride
After Taylor Swift dropped in on historical gay bar the Stonewall Inn, Joe Biden also made the journey to one of the most important places in NYC’s LGBTQ history. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the uprising set at Stonewall that galvanized the modern gay rights movement. At the bar, Biden briefly spoke about this history and also posed for pictures.