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Former Employees Have Beef With Vegan Eleven Madison Park

Plus, the family of longtime Chinatown fruit vendors set up a GoFundMe — and more intel

Daniel Humm in white coat with raised hands.
Eleven Madison Park’s vegan restaurant has become a ‘shit show,’ former employees allege.
Rachel Blumenthal/Eater

Last year, Eleven Madison Park announced that it would convert to an entirely vegan menu — a move that hasn’t exactly been a resounding success for the world-famous restaurant. But, apparently, a secret meat room, negative reviews, and tanked expansion plans aren’t the only controversies surrounding chef Daniel Humm’s fine dining empire. In a new report by Business Insider, employees say that the restaurant has become a “shit show” since Humm relaunched it in June 2021, allegedly marked by low wages, 80-hour weeks, and understaffing issues taking on a toll on the staff’s mental health. Of course, these are issues endemic across the industry, but the poor treatment is especially irksome from one of the world’s most expensive — and visible — restaurants.

Employees also allege to Business Insider that sourcing produce from delivery companies, rather than farms directly, became the norm. One employee referred to the restaurant’s style as “farm to trash,” in reference to the amount of food wasted. Out of the estimated 45 employees that were hired onto the reopening kitchen team last June, “less than a handful” remain at the restaurant, according to the report.

A fundraiser for longtime Chinatown fruit stand owners

A GoFundMe has been set up for by the family of two mainstay Chinatown fruit vendors, who had their home burglarized and lost funds to pay for rent and other business-related necessities. The family added in the GoFundMe that they’re encouraging people to stop by and support the fruit stand located on Canal Street, across from East West Bank.

Nightclub Rash mounts comeback after arson attack

In April, a Brooklyn man was charged for setting fire to Rash, a nightclub frequented by queer New Yorkers. Now, according to Djmag.com, the venue says it’s set to reopen this fall. Their crowd-funding campaign is still open to donations to help support the staff and restore the space.

Virginia’s is returning to the East Village

Burger favorite Virginia’s closed in December 2021, and vowed to return. Now a representative tells Eater that the team has signed a new lease in the East Village at 200 East Third Street, at Avenue B, in the former home of southern staple Root & Bone.

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