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Lynch's (open) secret, Leventhal's (secret) project, and more...
Family Meal - Friday, April 21st, 2023
Just an exposé and a product launch today, but Tuesday’s paid version is copy / pasted below as usual too.
Let’s get to it…
The Open Secret – Headline in the NYT: “Barbara Lynch, a Leading Boston Restaurateur, Is Accused of Workplace Abuse.” Details via (who else?) Julia Moskin are what you’d expect, summed up as: “Her alcohol abuse and verbal and physical aggressions inside the restaurants have been an open secret among hospitality workers.” Sexual harassment also plays a key part.
Blind item in the comments section: “Back around 2010, I attended Ms. Lynch's cookbook signing at a high-end housewares store in town. Coincidentally, another one of Boston's successful female restaurateur/celebrities with her own lower-end empire in another niche entirely came in to do some shopping. The two looked at each other icily and never spoke. I always wondered about what the story was behind that.”
Someone told me it was obvious…. Boston readers?
The Loyalty Bird – Expedite’s Kristen Hawley reported on this a few weeks ago, and now Eater’s Luke Fortney is on it too: Resy and Eater founder Ben Leventhal is finally launching his Web3 Project X — codename (actual name): Blackbird. It’s a loyalty program that uses NFTs but doesn’t want to talk about the NFT part too much. And… we shall see! So far it’s operating at one restaurant (Gertie in Brooklyn), and details on how it’s going are non-existent.
The Gertie logo is a white bird. Coincidence?
NB: Even if Blackbird doesn’t go well, rest assured Leventhal will be doing OK. In an article about pricey real estate, Curbed’s Kim Velsey casually notes he bought Liv Tyler’s house there “for $17.45 million; she’d paid $2.53 million in 2001.”
And that’s it for today! Except of course for Tuesday’s paid version, which is copy / pasted below as usual.
I’ll see paying subscribers here Tuesday, and everyone else on Friday for next Family Meal.
And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and send tips and/or her own lower-end empire in another niche to email@example.com. If you like Family Meal and want to keep it going, please chip in here. If you got this as a forward, sign up for yourself!
Here begins the Family Meal that went out to paying subscribers on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023:
Gas wins, NFTs lose, Wells ranks, and more...
No time for an intro!
Let’s get to it…
Feds love gas – You know all those local bans on gas stove hookups in new developments and rehabs? They may be in violation of federal law. Per Maya Earls and Samantha Hawkins in Bloomberg: “A California city’s ordinance banning natural gas hookups in new buildings was toppled Monday by the Ninth Circuit, which said that the ordinance is preempted by federal law.
“The panel’s decision was a win for the California Restaurant Association, which argued the Berkeley, Calif., ordinance was preempted by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. The city said the ordinance would help control emissions and ‘eliminate obsolete natural gas infrastructure.’ But it effectively amounted to a ban on natural gas appliances, the CRA told the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.”
Hence the old saying: Holding back gas is the height of human hubris.
The funge – Headline question in Restaurant Hospitality: “Were NFT membership restaurants just a passing fad?”
Included mid-mortems on:
SHŌ in SF (since a groundbreaking ceremony in Aug 2022, no building has been done, no permits issued, and the CEO “revealed [in an interview] that only 100 NFTs were sold during the initial private sale, and that the promised wider public sale of the initially promised 3,275 NFTs had not yet happened.”)
Brooklyn Chop House’s NFT try : “The project has been scrapped.”
Virtual restaurant company Dragonfly Brands: “the project had been abandoned early on in the development process as it had ‘not quite worked out,’”
Firefly Club: Paraphrasing… “We raised so much money at the height of the craze that we’re probably OK for now.”
And more. Good luck, all!
And last but not least: The big list – After lamenting his editors’ pushing him to return the star system, Pete Wells has ranked the Top 100 restaurants in NYC! Full list here.
And that’s it for today.
I’ll see you all back here Friday for next Family Meal.
And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and send tips and/or the initially promised 3,275 NFTs to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you like Family Meal and want to keep it going, please chip in here. If you got this as a forward, sign up for yourself!