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The Developers Behind Hudson Yards Now Own Magnolia Bakery

Plus, Alamo Drafthouse is opening a movie theater in the Financial District this fall — and more intel

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY VERONIQUE DUPONT STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images

A venture capital firm with ties to Hudson Yards has purchased Magnolia Bakery

Famed cupcake and banana pudding maker Magnolia Bakery has a new owner. RSE Ventures, a venture capital group co-founded by billionaire investor and Hudson Yards developer Stephen Ross, purchased the company for an undisclosed amount as part of a deal that closed earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Magnolia has continued to grow during the coronavirus pandemic, most recently opening at Columbus Circle in Manhattan, with another location planned for Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station in June. Online sales at the bakery chain tripled in 2020, owner Steve Abrams tells the WSJ, but it apparently wasn’t enough to justify the company’s massive, nationwide expansion plans in recent years. Abrams, who took over the Sex and the City famous bakery from co-founder Allysa Torey in 2007, says he decided to sell the company partly due to challenges with raising the necessary capital to continue expanding, according to the WSJ.

RSE, a venture capital firm known for turning New York brands into national ones, could change that. The billionaire-backed firm has previously sunk millions into expanding restaurants like Milk Bar, Momofuku, Bluestone Lane, and &Pizza.

In other news

— The Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant, Public Kitchen, at the Public hotel is out, making way for a series of new restaurant concepts from chef Diego Muñoz of Peru and chef John Fraser. On June 12, the duo will open Popular, a Peruvian restaurant; Cantina and Pisco Bar, a ceviche and pisco cocktail bar; and Louis, a ground-floor cafe.

— Dine-in movie theater chain Alamo Drafthouse is scheduled to open its long-in-the-works Manhattan location this fall, according to a spokesperson with the company. The 14-screen theater, which has a location in downtown Brooklyn, will be located at 28 Liberty Street, at William Street, in the Financial District.

— 787 Coffee continues its East Village expansion plans. The Manhattan coffee shop is planning to open its fourth location in the neighborhood at 159 Second Avenue, at 10th Street, according to EV Grieve.

— International restaurant chain Operation: Falafel makes its U.S. debut today at 232 Seventh Avenue, between West 23rd and 24th streets, in Chelsea.

— ROAR, a pandemic-born organization advocating for independent restaurant owners, has appointed former attorney and food writer Andrea Strong as its first executive director.

— Despite the mall-like decor at Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport, Gothamist finds that the griddled burgers at the newly opened Mister Dips are “better than ever.”

— We don’t make the rules:

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