clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UWS Community Fridge Shuts Down After Residents File ‘Hostile’ Complaints

Plus, Fishs Eddy opens a vintage restaurant tableware museum to the public — and more intel

Community Food Organization Aides New Yorkers Struggling During COVID-19 Pandemic
Community fridges have been helping to address food insecurity in NYC
Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

UWS community fridge shuts down after nine months

A community fridge on the Upper West Side has been forced to close after nine months following “increasingly hostile” complaints that were made to local host West End Church, according to a post published to the West End Fridge’s Instagram account in mid-June. Reverend William Critzman, a senior minister at the church, told West Side Rag that “a small, but very vocal contingent of our immediate neighbors…made explicit demands” to shutter the fridge and the church’s free coffee program. “Complaints about marijuana usage were among the concerns our neighbors expressed,” Critzman told the website.

After the shutdown was announced, commenters flooded the post with messages of support and shock. “Our neighbors are hungry and food goes wasted,” one commenter wrote. “This fridge feeds all of us.”

Community fridges have popped up across the city during the pandemic as a way to address local food insecurity in neighborhoods throughout NYC. The popular fridges operate on a donation-based system, where people can drop off and take food as needed. But the fridges have sparked community disputes and some have struggled to maintain their spots in their neighborhoods. A fridge in Mott Haven was nearly shut down in December after new business owners and the landlord at the host site said they no longer wanted the fridge on their property. Fridges in Far Rockaway and Elmhurst were trashed and vandalized earlier this year, with the former spurring accusations of classism and racism in the community. On the Upper West Side, the organizers for the West End Fridge currently remain in search of a new host for the community fridge.

In other news

— The McKittrick Hotel — site of interactive theater production Sleep No More — has reopened its lush rooftop bar and restaurant Gallow Green this week. Find cocktails, frozé on tap, lobster rolls, and burgers from Wednesday through Sunday, 5 to 11 p.m.

— The team behind California’s three Michelin-starred The Restaurant At Meadowood, which was destroyed in last year’s Glass Fire, has launched a series of pop-ups with restaurants across the country over the next few months while they build the next version of the establishment. First up, they’ll be collaborating with NYC’s Atomix for “The Restaurant at... Atomix,” a one-night-only dinner on July 3 that’s already sold out.

— Former Greenwich Village party spot Fat Cat underwent restorations during the pandemic and will now be reopening to the public as Cellar Dog, according to a spokesperson for parent company Backal Hospitality Group. The popular live music and games venue will be open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 2 p.m. to 4 a.m., starting next week.

— Chef Hong Thaimee of Thaimee Love is hosting acclaimed Philadelphia spot Kalaya from chef Nok Suntaranon on Wednesday, June 30 for a one-night-only, five-course Thai dinner featuring dishes like kang ghai khao mun, a southern-style chicken curry with coconut rice, and nua pad look pak chee, a stir-fried beef with coriander seeds. Tickets are $120 per person, plus tip and tax.

— Time Out New York goes inside Somewhere Nowhere, a swanky new rooftop club in Chelsea that claims to be highest hotel rooftop with a pool in the city.

— In the last of Edy’s Grocer’s ongoing series of Pride Month pop-ups, owner Edy Massih is hosting pasta maker Dan Pelosi, also known as @grossypelosi, this weekend for an Italian and Lebanese collaboration of pesto tahini pasta salads.

— Legendary restaurant dishware shop Fishs Eddy opened a free, upstairs museum in early June that showcases thousands of not-for-sale pieces of vintage restaurant tableware.

— Always remember:

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater New York newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world