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Fire Breaks Out at P.J. Clarke’s Original Midtown East Restaurant

Plus, booze delivery gets a boost in New Jersey — and more intel

A red brick building with P.J. Clarke’s emblazoned in white lettering on the site.
P.J. Clarke’s original restaurant.
Via Google Maps
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

ABC7 reports that a fire broke out Sunday night at the original location of Manhattan institution P.J. Clarke’s, home of one of NYC’s finest burgers. The fire was reported at the restaurant’s legacy Midtown East spot just after 9 p.m., and it was under control by 10 p.m.

A spokesperson for the restaurant tells Eater that the incident was an electrical fire and caused “very little damage” and no injuries. “Our electricians are repairing the system, making sure it’s safe,” the spokesperson said in an email. The team is aiming to reopen the bar tonight and the dining room later this week, and will be running with a shortened menu in the meantime, according to a post on Instagram.

New Jersey to allow booze deliveries from third-party services

Customers will soon be able to order liquor from third-party delivery apps like DoorDash and Instacart in New Jersey, according to Bloomberg. However, there are some caveats: The new regulation is only for restaurants, bars, and liquor stores — craft breweries and distilleries aren’t allowed — and alcohol can’t be served to those who look underage or intoxicated, or delivered to college addresses. The permitting process for booze delivery starts on October 1.

An Upper West Side Italian stalwart says goodbye

After nearly two decades, Bettola is closing its doors on August 31, according to neighborhood website I Love the Upper West Side. Giga Leszay and Vlado Kolenic, who became owners of the restaurant in 2016 and 2018, respectively, say that the rising cost of goods, plus high rent payments, have made it “impossible” to keep the restaurant going.

Is this the city’s biggest outdoor dining setup?

Japanese restaurant Fushimi in Williamsburg has a 110-foot outdoor dining structure — nearly half a block long — that hasn’t been used in nearly a year, according to the New York Post. The restaurant’s structure has 13 cease-and-desist orders logged against it from the city, including blocking a parking sign and not being ADA-compliant. The setup is one of many that may be in danger of demolition as the city starts to make good on recent promises to enforce outdoor dining regulations. Fushimi did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Post on its outdoor dining setup.

Update: August 29, 2022, 1:30 p.m.: This article was updated to include comments from a P.J. Clarke’s spokesperson and Instagram post from the restuarant.