Fast-casual chain rebrands ahead of expansion
New York-based fast-casual bowl chain Dig Inn has become, simply, Dig. Founder Adam Eskin wrote about the decision here, calling it “bittersweet” and also highlighting the brand’s previously announced expansion plans which includes having 35 locations in three cities by the end of the year. The brand’s Instagram account also dramatically wiped all of its posts, replaced with a six-image grid of the new logo. In an email announcing the change, a spokesperson for the chain obtusely explained: “Why? In an ideal world, they’d answer that question by pulling a carrot out of the ground at their farm, handing it over, and letting it do the talking.”
Fast-casual restaurants are still booming
According to a new report from commercial real estate firm CBRE, fast-casual restaurants make up 35 percent of all food and beverage-related leases in Manhattan since 2016, up from 15 percent in 2010. The report also notes that people in New York spend 130 percent more money on consuming food away from home than people everywhere else in the country, which is an unsurprising statistic given the prevalence of dining out in day-to-day culture here.
Madcap Cafe in Carroll Gardens is no more — and more closings
Chef-owner Heather Fuller shuttered her popular Carroll Gardens restaurant Madcap Cafe after just over a year in business. It was a standout neighborhood restaurant, gaining a reputation as a laid-back spot for dishes like a coconut-turmeric chicken wraps and shrimp scampi. It also hosted all-you-can-eat crab boils in the summer and a popular weekend brunch. Fuller told Grub Street that “we have done all we can and the well is dry” but was not specific about the circumstances that led to the closure.
East Village dive bar Lucy’s is on summer break, which it takes every year so its proprietor can visit family in Poland, and will reopen later in the season.
The Financial District has a new lunch
Crown Shy, the new restaurant in the Financial District from NoMad chef James Kent that nabbed a two-star review in the Times, is now open for lunch. The lunch menu is an abridged version of the dinner menu plus a few dishes exclusive to daytime. It offers three courses pre-fixe for $45 and is designed to take about 45 minutes to cater to the neighborhoods working crowd. The lunch-exclusive dishes include a roasted short rib sandwich and a soft shell crab roll. Dessert is served to go and includes three choices of ice cream.
A new uni tasting in town
Sushi Zauo, the omakase in Chelsea’s Japanese fishing restaurant Zauo, will debut a new uni tasting course to its omakase menu. Each night, multiple types of uni sushi will be served as part of the course with selections changing nightly. Some of the types of sea urchin served will be Murasaki uni, which is pale yellow and has light flavors, and Bafun uni, which is more orange and richer and creamier. The sushi omakase at Zauo runs for $150 and is available Tuesday through Sunday with seatings at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.