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Crown Heights Mainstay Gloria’s Shutters, Ordered to Pay $50M in Bizarre Legal Battle

Plus, Tao Group is selling $5,500 virtual holiday parties — and more intel

A bright green restaurant facade with Gloria’s spelled out on the awning in bright orange and yellow letters
Gloria’s in Crown Heights
Via Google Maps
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

Gloria’s in Crown Heights forced to close while family is fined $50 million in bizarre property ownership battle

The longstanding Crown Heights location of Caribbean restaurant Gloria’s, founded by Trinidadian immigrant Gloria Wilson, permanently closed last week, Gothamist reports. The shutdown was not prompted by the pandemic, however, but because of the outcome of a convoluted, decades-long legal battle over ownership of the property.

Earlier this year, Brooklyn Supreme Court judge Bruce Balter decided that Nicole Cumberbatch, Wilson’s oldest daughter and a steward of the restaurant, had been illegally occupying the building where the restaurant stands, at 764 Nostrand Avenue. The penalty was enormous: Balter ordered Cumberbatch to pay $50 million in damages and to vacate the premises.

Cumberbatch’s family maintains that they legally owned the building, to the best of their knowledge, while a Long Island mortgage lender says that he actually obtained the deed to the property in an earlier transaction and the subsequent sale of 764 Nostrand Avenue to Cumberbatch’s family was not valid.

The staggering fines that the family has been saddled with is generally unheard of in these types of cases, Gothamist reports. Cumberbatch has since been hospitalized due to depression brought on from the case.

In other news

— City Winery founder Michael Dorf has been lobbying the governor’s office to allow live music in a non-theater setting amid the pandemic. The actions come as Dorf opens the latest gigantic City Winery spot, originally conceived as a live music hub, mid-pandemic at 25 percent capacity. City Winery also plans to install rapid COVID-19 testing capabilities at its Pier 57 location as an increased safety measure during the pandemic.

— Tao Group is selling virtual holiday parties complete with an online private chef for $5,500.

— Tompkins Square Bagels in the East Village is struggling to remain open after ConEd shut off the restaurant’s gas over a week ago due to a ventilation problem that has since been fixed. The gas has yet to be turned back on, and the restaurant has been running on electricity ever since.

— Delivery and pickup-only dumpling shop City Dumpling has added an Impossible meat dumpling to the menu, according to a restaurant spokesperson. The new dumpling can be ordered from the shop’s Flatiron, UWS, and Soho locations.

— Ice cream shop OddFellows has partnered up with crowd-favorite NYC baker Lani Halliday on a new cookie dough ice cream flavor — featuring Halliday’s popular miso chocolate chip cookies — in celebration of her online bakeshop relaunch. OddFellows also now has a vegan capsule collection that includes flavors like hazelnut praline and lemon blueberry oat, according to a company spokesperson.

— A boiling hot take: