During a hot summer, there’s no city sound that invokes more of a Pavlovian response than the Mister Softee jingle. But, as the New York Times reports, “melting profits” in the face of inflation are threatening the livelihoods of Mister Softee operators (and, perhaps, the omnipotence of that jingle). According to the publication, in addition to rising gas costs, vendors are spending double what they did last year on ingredients — one operator reported that he now pays $41 for the three gallons of vanilla ice cream, up from $27. Some trucks have been forced to increase prices to match the changing market, with reports that a soft serve cone now might cost a whopping $8, on par with fancier ice cream shops around the city, but remarkable for a soft serve option beloved for its affordability. Increasingly, Mister Softee truck owners are deciding whether it’s time to call it quits.
The new restaurant from Frenchette opens tonight
Le Rock, the Rockefeller Center debut from Frenchette owners Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr, has an opening date — and it’s tonight. The 4,000-square-foot restaurant at 45 Rockefeller Plaza, on the northern end of the development, is open for dinner to start with a menu that’s split between brasserie classics — steak au poivre, escargots, leeks vinaigrette — and more seasonal dishes, according to a spokesperson. Le Rock is open Tuesday to Saturday, 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. for now. Bar opens at 5 p.m.
A halal butchery opens in Astoria on August 6
The highly anticipated opening of the halal Prince Abou’s Butchery at 32-88 Steinway Street, at 34th Avenue, now has a date: Saturday, August 6th at 8 p.m. According to Patch, Abou Sow worked at his uncle’s halal butcher shop as a kid in Jamaica, Queens, and in 2020, started his own online business for his butchery. Via profiles of butchers around the country on the shop’s Instagram, Abou’s goal is to connect the consumer to the butcher.
Grazing and myth-making with Alec “Despot” Reinstein
Take a meander with Grub Street and rapper Alec “Despot” Reinstein, behind-the-scenes restaurateur for NYC hot spots and co-host of HBO’s Chillin Island. The nostalgia tale and reflection on myth-making with the “secret guy behind all the downtown shit” includes spots from Despot’s childhood in Queens’ Spaghetti Park, near where he grew up.