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Fancy Midtown Office Tower Swaps in Jean-Georges Restaurant After Booting Daniel Humm Over Vegan Focus

Plus, the team behind Mr. Fong’s is expanding their reach again — and more intel

A rendering depicting a fine dining restaurant interior with tables covered in white tablecloths and white lights strung overhead.
A rendering of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s upcoming restaurant at 425 Park Avenue.
Foster + Partners/425 Park Avenue

Hot off the heels of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s long-in-the-works Tin Building resurrection, the New York Post reports that the renowned chef and restaurateur will be taking over the sprawling, bi-level restaurant at the base of the new Midtown office tower at 425 Park Avenue, between East 55th and 56th streets. The space was originally supposed to be helmed by Eleven Madison Park chef Daniel Humm, but the real estate company behind the tower broke ties with Humm after the chef said he’d only build a vegan restaurant. Vongerichten’s restaurant at 425 Park Avenue — with soaring, 25-foot-high ceilings and a 1,000-square-foot show kitchen — is slated to open sometime in late 2023.

The Mr. Fong’s team is taking over the LES

Bowery Boogie reports that Mr. Fong’s co-owner Aisa Shelley is set to take over the former L’Estudio space at 61 Hester Street, near Essex Street, with his own all-day cafe, opening by the end of the year. But that isn’t the only project he has in the works: Shelley tells Eater he’s working on an undisclosed restaurant in the former East Broadway Mission Chinese space, slated to open in October. In addition, he’s expanding his coffee shop Oliver and adding a wine bar next door, at 5 Oliver Street, near St. James Place, targeting a 2023 opening. Meanwhile, it was previously reported that another Mr. Fong’s owner, Adam Moonves, is opening a Grand Street bowling alley bar called Two Snakes, which Shelley is not involved in.

New City Council bill pushes for sick leave for gig workers

Brooklyn council member Shahana Hanif has introduced a bill to City Council that would require businesses who work with independent contractors, including gig workers, to offer up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per year to those workers, Crain’s New York reports. Hanif’s office estimates that the bill would affect 140,000 people in the city, including food delivery workers. Local legislator Brad Lander previously tried to pass a similar bill in 2020 and 2021, but failed to receive a full council vote, according to Crain’s. Hanif’s current bill — which has gained the support of delivery worker advocate group Los Deliveristas Unidos — is set for a hearing in the fall.

It’s tomato time, y’all

The New York Botanical Garden is gearing up for Totally Tomatoes Weekend, a tomato fest complete with heirloom tomato samples, apron-decorating, education on the history of tomatoes, bruschetta-making sessions, and more. The event will be held on August 20 and 21, from 12 to 5 p.m. Entry is included with an all-garden pass.

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