There’s been raging responses at community board meetings. There’s been at least one lawsuit. Now, the vocal opposition to permanent outdoor dining is fueling an in-person march and rally called “Chuck the Sheds” this Saturday in downtown Manhattan, according to Bowery Boogie. Organized by the Coalition United for Equitable Urban Policy — a group of neighborhood associations fighting against permanent outdoor dining — the protest is meant to further amplify the group’s complaints with the program, including noise and sanitation concerns. “Now is the moment!” an email for the rally reads. “If we fail to act, the sheds will be outside our windows FOREVER!”
That is exactly the plan that the city has in mind, and Mayor Eric Adams has already underscored his support for the initiative. The Department of Transportation is in the process of conducting surveys and hosting town halls across the five boroughs to gather input on a proposed permanent outdoor dining plan, which could be implemented in 2023. The measure first started as an emergency response for restaurants during the city’s indoor dining ban in 2020 due to the pandemic. Since then, it has been extended multiple times by the city and state in light of its popularity with customers and restaurant owners. Over 12,000 restaurants currently participate in the program.
Park Slope icon Grand Prospect Hall may fall to condos
The future is not looking promising for historic Park Slope fixture Grand Prospect Hall. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports that the property’s new owner filed paperwork to develop a mixed-use building, likely for condos, in place of the embattled, century-old banquet hall. After the hall’s previous owner died from COVID-19 in 2020, the space — known for its opulent interiors and a particularly quotable television commercial once spoofed on Saturday Night Live — was sold to a real estate developer in a much-criticized deal that galvanized Brooklyn residents to try and landmark the destination to save it from demolition. Those efforts did not succeed, despite support from former NYC mayor Bill de Blasio.
Supply chain disruptions come for chicken wings
According to Crain’s New York, the cost of chickens is up by 26 percent nationwide compared to last year, in part due to staffing shortages sparking supply chain issues in the poultry industry. The price hike is forcing some city restaurants to scramble to still turn a profit over the Super Bowl weekend, one of the biggest chicken-wing-buying stretches of the year. Williamsburg sports bar TailGate hasn’t upped its wing prices for fear of losing customers, founder Jarrod Fox tells Crain’s, but the bar is trying to find other ways to make up the losses, including launching a new winter cocktail menu.
Korean-Cajun pop-up Kjun returns to Manhattan
Back from filming the latest season of Top Chef, chef Jae Jung of Kjun is preparing to unleash a fresh batch of new and updated Korean-Cajun dishes in a combo Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day menu, available for takeout and delivery at her four-day pop-up running from February 11 to 14, at 116 West Houston Street, near Sullivan Street, in Greenwich Village. Look out for an upgraded version of Jung’s jalapeno cornbread, a new shrimp or snow crab boil, and a dalgona king cake coated in yuzu cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with chunks of sweet dalgona on top. Pre-orders are available here.