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The Met’s ‘Hot Dog King’ Returns This Weekend After Months-Long Shutdown

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Plus, Welcome to Chinatown organizes a mid-September Chinatown food crawl — and more intel

Two hot dog food carts set up in front of the stairs leading up to the Met museum entrance
Dan Rossi’s carts in front of the Met
Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Top hot dog vendor returns to the steps of the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is reopening for visitors starting tomorrow, which is very good news for Dan Rossi, a street vendor known as the “hot dog king” of the museum. The New York Times reports that Rossi will be back at the steps selling his $3 hot dogs on Saturday, after remaining closed for months during the shutdown.

Rossi has sold hot dogs at the Met for the past 13 years, the Times reports. Over that time, Rossi has weathered intense turf wars with other vendors and a myriad of attempts by the city to oust his two carts, including racking up over 100 tickets during a period of time in which the city charged vendors to sell in front of the Met. For the past seven years, Rossi has often slept inside one of his carts to prevent anyone from trying to move the carts overnight.

Before the pandemic, Rossi says that he would typically generate $2,000 in sales on a good day. While he’s happy to see the museum reopen tomorrow, the expectations are different: There will be no throngs of summer tourists, crowds are now discouraged, and Rossi predicts a tough road ahead.

In other news

— Welcome to Chinatown is organizing a Manhattan Chinatown food crawl taking place on Sunday, September 13. Tickets are $40 apiece, and the self-guided tour includes food from hit Chinatown spots including Jing Fong and Taiwan Bear House. Proceeds go to support the participating restaurants.

— Gramercy Park Indian hotspot GupShup is partnering with ice cream shop Caffe Panna and Ten to One Rum for an outdoor barbecue in front of the restaurant this Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., according to a spokesperson. Proceeds benefit food relief nonprofit World Central Kitchen.

— NYC pizza shops have had to rethink their business models during the COVID-19 crisis — including temporarily taking signature slices off the menu.

— Michelin-starred the River Cafe is making ends meet thanks to a swell rent deal from the city, which also happens to be its landlord.

— Neighboring Midtown restaurants Tempura Matsui and Sushi Ryusei are partnering up to reach more customers during the pandemic, according to a spokesperson. Diners can order off a collaboration Japanese menu at either restaurant that will be available from Wednesday to Sunday, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

— Tribeca spot Da Claudio has temporarily shut down while city inspectors argue over whether or not the restaurant’s outdoor dining setup follows the right guidelines.

— Dominique Ansel’s new cronut flavor for September: pumpkin and rice pudding.

— How Li-Lac Chocolates is drumming up sales amid a loss of tourist business during the pandemic.

— Welcome to Friday:

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