Ess-A-Bagel, pictured here in 2016 before they opened in Stuy Town, is still offering pick-up and delivery. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an executive order on Tuesday limiting restaurants, bars and cafes to take-out and delivery orders only as a precaution against coronavirus, also ordering nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses and concert venues to close.
“Our lives are all changing in ways that were unimaginable just a week ago,” the mayor said. “We are taking a series of actions that we never would have taken otherwise in an effort to save the lives of loved ones and our neighbors. Now it is time to take yet another drastic step. The virus can spread rapidly through the close interactions New Yorkers have in restaurants, bars and places where we sit close together. We have to break that cycle.”
While many non-food related businesses have temporarily closed, some restaurants have also opted to close while the city fights the pandemic.
The Union Square Hospitality Group announced on Friday that all of their restaurants would be closing temporarily. The list includes Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, Union Square Cafe, Daily Provisions and others, although Shake Shack locations will remain open and will shift to a “to-go” only operating model. The company said on Tuesday that they would be setting up an employee relief fund to support the team members affected. Through March 24, when patrons purchase a gift card, 100% of the sales will go towards the employee relief fund. The gift card purchases can be redeemed at any of the restaurants, bars and cafes in New York or Washington DC.
The New York City Dyke March takes place this Saturday evening. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Easily the most well-known gay pride event in New York City is the parade that happens at the end of every June, this year scheduled for this Sunday, but a number of other events are planned for this weekend in addition to the march. Read on for a list of local gatherings aimed at celebrating LGBTQ pride.
Shake Shack will be hosting a free quiet dance party to on Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. in the original Madison Square Park location at East 23rd Street. The event will be hosted by Quiet Events, a company that loans out wireless headphones for quiet dance parties throughout the city, and there will be three live DJs playing top 40 dance hits, throwbacks and hip-hop, reggae and soca. Entrance is free but a credit card is required to check in and receive the wireless headphones. The event is all ages and rainbow colors are encouraged for the dress code. Shake Shake food and drinks will be available for purchase. RSVP is available online.
While the New York City Dyke March is usually a raucous good time, the organizers technically bill the event as a protest rather than a party. The march, held on the Saturday before the parade, is mostly lesbian-led and those who don’t identify as “dykes” are encouraged to stand on the sidewalk and cheer on the participants. The organizers usually don’t seek a permit for the march, further emphasizing the political aspects of the event. Participants will step off from Bryant Park at 5 p.m. on June 23 and walk down Fifth Avenue, ending at Washington Square Park.
T&V is on a quest to find the best hamburger in the neighborhood but for this installment, we wanted to check out the options available to vegetarians. Any self-respecting meat lover knows that vegetarian alternatives often pale in comparison to the real thing, but sometimes if the healthier option doesn’t try too hard in its imitation, the result can be moderately satisfying. We tried two meat-free offerings at local lunch spots this week.
By Chloe’s Guac Burger (Photos by Maria Rocha-Buschel)
By Chloe, Guac Burger ($10)
Anyone looking for a sandwich with the texture, consistency and taste of a juicy beef burger, be warned: this is not it. But the black beans make the sandwich a filling meal, even without a side of fries, and the spices blend together well for a tasty lunch. By Chloe specializes in vegan fare and this sandwich is no exception. The whole wheat bun that comes standard with the guac burger can be swapped out for a gluten free bun for an additional $2.50.
The burger itself is made of black beans and sweet potato and it’s topped with a corn salsa, tortilla strips, avocado, tomato and red onion.
The chipotle aioli has a nice kick that is tampered down a bit by the cooling avocado. The veggies in the burger all tasted fresh and the corn in the salsa also offered a nice balance to the spiciness of the sauce, with a sweetness and a bit of crunch.
The line before 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Madison Square Park (Photo by Sabina Mollot)
By Sabina Mollot
On Tuesday, Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack empire offered free ShackBurgers to customers at the restaurant’s various locations in celebration of the opening of the 100th Shack at the Boston Seaport. However customers were warned to come early as only the first 100 burgers would be free.
So, by 9:55 a.m., at the original Shake Shack at Madison Square Park, the line had already snaked around the park’s south end to over 50 people long, each individual clutching a flier advertising the promotion. The shack wouldn’t open until 10:30. Meanwhile by 12:45 p.m., the line was still about as long, which is a typical lunchtime line the shack, the promotion having ended.
The Shake Shack, which is now a publicly traded company, started as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park to support the park’s first art installation, “I (Heart) Taxi.” It officially became the shack in 2004 when the Union Square Hospitality Group won a bid to open a permanent kiosk in the park.
The company has since opened locations in 15 states and the District of Columbia as well as overseas, including in London, Tokyo, Moscow and Dubai.