Good morning on this sunny Friday. It’s currently in the 40s out there, so don’t rush out the door thinking that the sun’s got warm yet!
Yesterday was spent in conversation with local business owners. The only thing different from normal conversations is that the “have you had your second vaccination” preamble is followed by similar cross-questioning around PPP applications/forgiveness, the RESTAURANT Act and Shuttered Venue Grants.
I sat with Vlada Von Shats at the Russian Samovar and chatted about the slow return of business. The restaurant is filled with three generations of New York history. Baryshnikov dated SJP in “Sex and the City” there. Forbes says that it “is as much a nostalgia trip as a fine Russian restaurant.” They are getting busier. Her daughter Sasha is innovating with a “ghost” kitchen venture — McPutins — offering bite-size chicken kievs. There’s a GoFundMe. I’m sure they will stay around and I am looking forward to going back to tell the story of their pandemic survival.
I dropped in to see Clark Chung at November 19. It’s his last day on W49th Street (between 9/10th Ave) today. He’d had to close up early — those dreaded second vaccination feelings — but I’ll catch him today before he closes. I first photographed Clark in October 2018 for the magazine. Please pop by to see him before he heads to his new LES location.
Some businesses are dropping back into hibernation. Cafe Un Deux Trois has decided to temporarily close again and wait it out until Broadway is back. I spoke to Brian Keyser at Casellula and although they’d considered opening next month, they’ve decided to come back in the fall.
Chef Paul Denamiel has reopened Le Rivage on Restaurant Row. Paul is featured in a video by Alan Goldsher. Alan has been heading to New York restaurants and creating free videos to help their marketing. If you know a neighborhood restaurant that needs a free video, hit Alan up with a DM on Instagram.
We’ll see more reopenings in early May. Expect to see Suzy Darling’s Pocket Bars and Pat Hughes’s Scruffy Duffy’s return to the neighborhood. Let’s hope Pat can still find time to create his cartoon videos when he’s got two bars open on 10th Avenue.
What we’ve been reading
New York Philharmonic breaks its silence by performing Caroline Shaw’s music at The Shed. (Vulture)
Who owns those empty storefronts? It’s proving tricky to find out… (Gothamist)
Big Bird is over the moon on the Met Museum rooftop. (TimeOut)
What should you do (and not do) with your vaccination card? (NBC)
Did you stay or did you go? New Yorkers are calling out the difference. (New York Times)
It’s always good to look up! Thanks to Tom Zuback for his perspective on Hell’s Kitchen this morning.