Roberta’s owners in bitter fight – try to have one partner arrested

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Our friends over at Roberta’s aren’t playing nice. The restaurant, which has a net worth in the millions, is looking to expand and one of its three partners Chris Parachini isn’t happy. With a “pending deal” in Asia and plans to open a restaurant on the premises of a new Ace Hotel on the Lower East Side,  partners Brandon Hoy and Carlo Mirarchi tried to buy Parachini out last year over financial disagreements. It didn’t go well:

The food fight started in December when partners Brandon Hoy and Carlo Mirarchi fired the co-founder of the Bushwick pizza mecca, Chris Parachini, over disagreements about expansion that led to buyout negotiations.

The talks broke down when Parachini turned his nose up at a $2 million offer to purchase his 25 percent share in the company. Parachini’s counter-offer was $2.9 million for Roberta’s and its spinoffs including a restaurant in the Rockaways and another $2.5 million for intellectual property. [Read more...]

Pete Wells gives Williamsburg’s Semilla a rave

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Semilla, credit NY Times

In this week’s review of the “vegetable forward” cooking at Semilla, Wells was pretty glowing, though he conceded that the newish Williamsburg establishment could be a tad niche:

“The crowd reminded me of the audiences, small but intense, who showed up to hear underground bands in the ’80s and ’90s, when that was one of the few ways to hear music that didn’t get played on the radio.”

Here are some other highlights:

Semilla had taken two cabbage leaves, then flattened and dried them until they were as crisp as a cracker. This was the bread. In between were a bundle of unusually delicious coleslaw and some grains of buckwheat groats….The flavors woke up old memories of the Polish and Ukrainian restaurants that are mostly gone from the East Village… [Read more...]

Williamsburg’s oldest bar, Teddy’s, sold to new owner

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If you lived in Williamsburg in the 90s, you likely have warm memories about Teddy’s bar. Before other, more-trendy establishments took over it was the place to get a drink in the neighborhood – a welcoming home to artists and locals alike. The owners were evidently choosy about who purchased the bar, wanting someone who would keep the “classic vibe intact.” Fingers crossed that the buyer doesn’t turn Teddy’s into another generic drinking hole that pays no tribute to its history.

The three owners of Teddy’s Bar and Grill sold it last week, ending their nearly-three-decade claim on the more-than-a-century-old watering hole. In shopping it around, they made a point of picking a buyer who pledged to keep the classic vibe intact, they said.

“We were very eager to find an owner-operator who would cherish what was happening here and not turn it into a luxury steakhouse or an obnoxious chain,” Felice Kirby said. “We had some crazy offers from people, but we did not think those would be a smart move…” [Read more...]

New Sun Kil Moon record takes a snarky dig at Williamsburg

Sun Kil Moon; credit: The Quietus

Sun Kil Moon; credit: The Quietus

The king of snark Mark Kozelek has apparently moved on from poking fun at War on Drugs. He’s got a new record coming out in June, Universal Themes, which contains a track hilariously titled “Cry Me A River Williamsburg Sleeve Tattoo Blues.” From Stereogum:

The Benji follow-up was recorded over this year and last in San Francisco and Hoboken, and features percussion from Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth. The album will contain last year’s one-off “The Possum,” and its B-side “Cry Me A River Williamsburg Sleeve Tattoo Blues.” And the tracklist also contains some more Kozelek gems like “With A Sort Of Grace I Walked To The Bathroom To Cry” and “This Is My First Day And I’m Indian And I Work At A Gas Station.” Thankfully, no War On Drugs diss tracks made the cut. The album artwork appears to be of a payphone in the middle of nowhere.

Here’s the first track, “The Possum:” [Read more...]

There was a fashion show on the L train

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In honor of Fashion Week Kim Mesches, a Brooklyn-based fashion designer, staged a guerrilla fashion show on the L train. Check it out below: [Read more...]

Overhyped, overpriced kitchen for the nouveau riche will close Sunday

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Celebrity chef Paul Liebrandt’s much-hyped Williamsburg restaurant, The Elm is calling it quits:

It’s official: Two-and-a-half-year-old the Elm, inside the King & Grove Williamsburg hotel, will halt operations on Sunday.

Back in August 2013, just a month after the restaurant opened, chef Paul Liebrandt called the project a “gateway,” saying he wanted to “do a restaurant that would reach a clientele that would never, ever have come to Corton.” [Read more...]

Health dept says air is safe, Stephen Levin sees CitiStorage fire as opportunity to get started on park

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The Health Department conceded last night that they could have responded more quickly to concerns about dangerous fumes from the CitiStorage fire. They reassured the community that, though the CitiStorage site could be toxic for weeks, the air quality in Williamsburg has not been compromised:

At a town hall meeting last night, the health department admitted it took too long to issue warnings in the wake of the massive Williamsburg warehouse fire; meanwhile, the fire department said it might take as long as a month to return the site to safety.

Daniel Kass, the health department’s Deputy Commissioner of Environmental Health, acknowledged that the agency could have warned neighbors about elevated levels of air pollution sooner than it did, late in the day of the early-morning fire. [Read more...]

Death + Co alum opening bar in Bushwick

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1237 Flushing Avenue, via Eater

It’s slotted to open in September:

After a year and a half as a bartender at Death + Company, award-winning mixologist Al Sotack is getting ready to strike out on his own. He and Maks Pazuniak, former head bartender at New Orleans’s acclaimed Cure, plan to open a cocktail bar late this summer in an old check-cashing facility on Flushing Avenue in Bushwick…

If you’ve ever tried the Double Dragon, one of the most popular drinks on the menu at Death + Co., you’ve tasted Sotack’s handiwork. It’s his own invention, made of Japanese whiskey, mezcal, Porte syrup and Moroccan bitters. Sotack wants to bring that creativity to his new bar, but he doesn’t plan on it being a seated-only, speakeasy-style joint. “It will be a little bit more of a lounge aesthetic with sound design and good music,” he said. [Read more...]