Russ & Daughters settles allegations of design ripoff with Netflix star chef
A few weeks after NYC institution Russ & Daughters alleged via social media that celebrity chef Nick Liberato copied the appetizing shop’s design for his Jewish deli, the two parties have “come to an amicable agreement.” The previous Instagram missive has been deleted and a new post last week wished Liberato, the host of Netflix’s Restaurants on the Edge, “all the best” with his restaurant the Borscht Belt, which is slated to open next week in Stockton, New Jersey.
The original allegations claimed Liberato’s ode to the Jewish delicatessen stole from Russ & Daughters’s “iconic design and message.” Now both parties say the changes have been made to more closely align with the Borscht Belt region. The previous use of light boxes with a similar font to Russ & Daughters, among other decorative touches, was work outsourced to another design party, says Mike Dalewitz, the co-founder and chairman of 618 Hospitality, which runs the Borscht Belt with Liberato.
Lost in the controversy, which flooded the comments section of Russ & Daughters’s IG post, is the fact that Liberato’s restaurant is a nod to the Borscht Belt’s history in the Catskills region, Dalewitz says. “I think this is an important part of Jewish American culture,” he tells Eater. “It’s a nuanced view of what’s out there.”
In other news
— The virtual reality-driven “Immersive Van Gogh Experience” at Pier 36, at 299 South Street, could be getting an on-site absinthe bar, reports Bowery Boogie.
— Hunger Free America, a national nonprofit fighting food insecurity, finally reopened its NYC office last week in the Bronx.
— EV Grieve comes in with two openings tips: 7th Street Burger (a quick-serve spot that took over the former Caracas Arepa Bar space at 91 East Seventh Street debuted last week) and the fourth East Village location of 787 Coffee (slated to open later this summer at 159 Second Avenue).
— The New York Times published an obit honoring Ganga Stone, the founder of God’s Love We Deliver, a nonprofit which started in 1985 to deliver meals to people living with HIV/AIDS.
— Longtime West Village restaurateur Giovanni Mosconi of Monte’s Trattoria and Villa Mosconi died on June 1, the New York Post reports.
— Still waiting:
when will my husband* return** from war***— maya kosoff (@mekosoff) June 4, 2021
*the highly praised queens-based fried chicken delivery operation i put myself on a waiting list for two months ago
**take me off the waiting list
***so i can eat their sichuan fried chicken