PPP Spy, SF pause, Locol Lazarus, Alinea derivative, and more...
Family Meal - Friday, July 10th, 2020
Got my first press release for (vegan, gluten-free) mooncakes yesterday, which means October 1st and the Mid-Autumn Festival are right around the corner. So… vaccine in no time?
Let’s get to it…
But but but: You’ll need to know more than the name on the door to get good results. Jeremy Repanich of Robb Report found some notable restaurants listed (logically) under the titles they use in Delaware District Court: “French Laundry Partners LP, Le Bernardin, Inc and Quince Pacific Avenue (which owns three-star Quince, Cotogna, Tusk Events and the wine bar Verjus) appear to be the largest three-star beneficiaries, with each taking up to $5 million from the SBA program… Eleven Madison Park (operating under the legal name Birth of the Cool LLC) does not appear to have received PPP funds… Alinea Restaurant LLC and The Inn at LW, LLC (The Inn and Little Washington) each took up to $2 million. And 431 Food Market Corp (Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare), Atelier 123 Restaurant (Atelier Crenn), Barca Partners, LLC (Manresa), Masa NY LLC and ST Hospitality Group, LLC (SingleThread) each received up to $1 million. Corey Lee of Benu in San Francisco has said he was boosted by PPP funds, but his loan did not appear in the disclosed data.”
P.S. – Take what you do find with a grain of salt. Per Elazar Sontag in Eater, “Several businesses listed as receiving stimulus loans claim to have never even applied.” No restaurants noted in that piece, but a good headline for plausible deniability if you’re feeling guilty! Though, for the record, I think anyone directing anger at individual businesses for taking free government money is missing their true target by many, many miles.
The UnOpening – Hard truth came for San Francisco this week: “At a press conference Tuesday morning, Mayor London Breed announced that reopening for the city’s bars and restaurants is on hold, and the planned July 13 reopening for dining rooms and outdoor drinking is officially canceled.” Text of the mayor’s full announcement included in Eve Batey’s Eater SF write-up.
The Undead – In LA, a concept I thought was done-for long ago is… not: “Food from Roy Choi’s game-changing project Locol is now available for delivery to all of [LA], thanks to a new app called ChewBox… The concept’s biggest investor, Stephen DeBerry, is a venture capitalist who puts money into marginalized neighborhoods. He was still committed to Watts after Locol closed, and ChewBox came to life after DeBerry connected Choi with serial entrepreneur Kim Gaston, who had gone to high school behind the Nickerson Gardens housing project in Watts before getting into Stanford at age 16. Gaston is co-founder and CEO of ChewBox, and DeBerry is ChewBox’s first investor.” Andy Wang has the rest of the story in Food & Wine.
The Discourse – FYI, the James Beard Foundation is hosting a couple of webinars worth knowing about next week. On Monday, July 13 at 6:30PM EST the topic is “Gatekeeping in the Hospitality Industry” featuring JJ Johnson and Will Guidara. And on Wednesday, July 15th at 6PM EST it’s “Representation in Food Media” with Pati Jinich, Marc Fennell, and Amanda Kludt. Registration links are on the JBF virtual events page here. And if you’re up for more casual, one-on-one conversations about some of these topics, I highly recommend jumping into the Black Food Folks chats on Instagram, the latest of which is between Gramercy Tavern sous chef Aretah Ettarh and Yardy founder DeVonn Francis.
The Profile Treatment – This Brett Anderson NYT profile of Mateo Mackbee and Erin Lucas is worth a read for several reasons, but I especially liked that after starting off by noting that the protagonist’s restaurant is “a tribute to” his mother, Anderson… actually spends several paragraphs discussing said mother’s real life, including quotes from — and commissioned photos of — Mary Mackbee herself. Maybe a simple product of her being in the restaurant at time of interview, but nice to have a totem that talks for a change.
For Design Fans – Here’s Barry Brechceisen’s photo spread for Mama Delia in Eater Chicago. Not entirely sold on the potted palm fronds(?), but in a world of monochrome minimalism and mid-century modern atomic chandeliers, I greatly appreciate both the general busy-ness of the space and all the little lampshades dangling above the sherry bar. (Odds on how long those rugs last?)
And last and least – Headline from Kelly Bauer in Book Club Chicago: “Alinea Made A Coronavirus-Themed Dish. It’s Not Going Over Well.” Feeling slightly pained to even have to include this as news, but nowhere near as pained as Nick Kokonas is going to feel a few days from now when he re-reads some of his Instagram comments defending the “precedent” of “controversial art” in times of “war, famine, or social change.” Oof. As the Washington Post’s Emily Heil points out, if this is interesting art, give credit to the probably thousands of people who did it before Achatz…
And that’s it for today. Off to drink a martini from a syringe, because the question isn’t what is art, but what isn’t.
I’ll see you here Tuesday for next Family Meal.
And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and send tips and/or a venture capitalist who puts money into marginalized neighborhoods 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