Several City Councilmembers have teamed up to put forth several new bills this week to end the cap on street vendor permits in New York, as reported by Gothamist. An additional bill in the package seeks to decriminalize street vending in New York. In 2021, new legislation was passed to increase street vendor permits to 400 per year in New York, but critics of the measure said that it was still far too limited, and beyond that, the backlog for permits could be years-long (there are more than 10,000 on the waitlist, according to Gothamist). In the meantime, the cap reportedly opened the door to a black market for permits and left street vendors vulnerable to harassment and fines from the city.
Former Nom Wah owner Wilson Tang has a new bar
Wilson Tang, a former co-owner of Nom Wah Tea Parlor, left the historic Chinatown restaurant he helped shape following a family “blood feud” over the business. This summer, Tang announced that he would be opening Nomad Tea Parlour. Now, Tang is also adding a bar to his credentials. Romeo’s opens on Friday, December 8, at 118 St. Marks Place, between Avenue A and First Avenue. The bar’s menu is led by Evan Hawkins (alum of Mother’s Ruin, Loverboy, and Broken Shaker), who joins Tang, Reed Adelson (Virginia’s), and Randy Pechin (behind Atlanta bars) as co-owners.
An after-hours pop-up in Chinatown
Leland Yu launched his Chinese American pop-up Mr. Lee’s at Good Fork Pub during the pandemic. Now, Yu — who worked in the kitchens of Good Fork and Insa, and currently runs the kitchen at seafood purveyor Mermaid’s Garden — is resurrecting the pop-up. Last weekend, he took over the kitchen of Cha Kee, launching an after-hours restaurant in its dining room. Mr. Lee’s at Cha Kee returns on December 15 and 16, walk-in and cash-only, from 10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Expect various rice plates (roasted chicken leg, pork ribs, salt-cured mackerel) as well as snacks like double-fried chicken wings with Sichuan honey sauce.
Here’s what’s replacing Quality Eats on the UES
The last outpost of the steakhouse Quality Eats closed uptown this fall. Now local blog Upper East Site reports that the storefront is in the hands of Massimo Lusardi, behind neighborhood spots Uva, Uva Next Door, and speakeasy Keys & Heels. Lusardi plans to open a restaurant called Corner Joint at 1496 Second Avenue, on the corner of East 78th Street, in a space serving what he calls “American food.”