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A Beloved Brooklyn Bodega Cat Has Been Abducted

Plus, a Chelsea Basque restaurant returns — and more intel

A red brick building with a corner bodega with a sign that reads Green Olives Deli & Grocery.
The exterior of Green Olives Deli & Grocery in Park Slope where bodega cat Boka has gone missing.
Via Google Maps

A Brooklyn bodega cat with a local social media following has allegedly been abducted. Abdulmajeed Albahri, an owner of Green Olives Deli & Grocery in Park Slope, tells Eater that on Friday, July 29 he noticed that his beloved Boka, a gray cat he adopted from a friend back in January, had gone missing from his storefront located at 309 Seventh Avenue, at Eighth Street. During the weekend, he had hoped the cat would return, since Boka sometimes wanders off, but by Monday, he says that he checked the security cameras and found footage of a person seemingly waiting outside the bodega for Boka this past Friday around 4:34 p.m., and then stealing the cat. Albahri tells Eater he filed a police report on Monday as well.

Meanwhile, a video with over 100,000 views is circulating on TikTok with footage of the catnapping. One commenter on the video wrote on Tuesday that “someone on Brooklyn subreddit knows the thief and apparently Boka is being returned tomorrow.” However, in a follow-up phone call with Albahri this morning, he said he was unaware of this and is just praying for Boka’s return.

Basque restaurant Txikito reopens after a pandemic hiatus

Grub Street has the scoop on the relaunch of Txikito, a Chelsea Basque favorite from Eder Montero and Alex Raij, also behind Saint Julivert and La Vara in Cobble Hill. Back in 2017, Eater critic Ryan Sutton wrote that Txikito “might just be the city’s top Basque spot” led by “masters of tapas.” The restaurant has been closed for the past 28 months and a new menu with modern Basque touches has been added.

A free Persian cooking class

Persian pop-up Nasrin’s Kitchen will host a free cooking class via Zoom on Thursday, August 11 from 7 to 9 p.m., according to its Instagram post. Sign up here.

A new study on Chinatown’s economic inequities

Yesterday, local organization Welcome to Chinatown released a study tracing the state of small businesses and two decades of economic inequities in the area dating back to 9/11, the 2002 SARS panic, Hurricane Sandy, and, of course, COVID-19. According to the study, between 2019 to 2021, Chinatown lost 57 percent of food service jobs compared to 45 percent citywide. The Welcome to Chinatown study also reveals that as of late 2021, visitation to Chinatown was still down 50 percent, when compared to December 2019 figures.