Upfronts continue! Today ABC unveiled their fall schedule which fit into the general trends of the year: investing in comedies on Tuesday and opening up Fridays for scripted fare. Even though ABC has some big shows, with legit hits Modern Family and Once Upon A Time, the buzzy Revenge, and the still strong Grey's Anatomy, they have a lot of holes to fill and are trotting out seven new shows either in the fall or a little later. Which will be winners? Which will suck worse than Work It? Let's take a gander.
There's a new playa on the club scene, have you heard? When he recently blazed past the velvet rope at Avenue, one naive young partygoer wondered aloud, "Is it P. Diddy?" No, it wasn't Diddy. It was someone even better! It was Taek Jho Low, the man making it rain at clubs all over town! Sure, he may not look like a baller—he's a doughy, bespectacled, 20-something Malaysian and Wharton graduate—but don't be fooled. Jho Low is taking bottle service to an entirely new level, and bankers who drop a mere $5,000 per night could do well to take some lessons from this guy.
• Not everyone was sad to hear the news that Café des Artistes was closing. Lonnie Barnett, a former general manager of the restaurant says working there was "possibly the most hellish restaurant experience ever." [P6]
• Did Irving Mill close for summer vacation or is it a sign of trouble? [GS]
• Laurent Tourondel's BLT Grill, which is slated to open at the new W Hotel in the financial district, has been greenlighted by the community board. [Eater]
• Buddha Bar was forced to change its name after it lost a trademark lawsuit. Now it's come up with one: Ajna Bar. It also reports that it has a new chef, Hung Huynh, the winner of season three of Top Chef. [Eater]
• Champagne producers have agreed to pick 32% fewer grapes this year, which will leave "billions of grapes to rot on the ground." Why? Because you're not going out and buying as much champagne as you used to. [WSJ]
• Interesting in some sushi or a selection of cheeses the next time you fly coach? You may get the chance—provided you're willing to pay for it. [WSJ]
• The toughest reservations in town are at Frank Pellegrino's Rao's in Harlem and David Chang's Momofuku Ko, in case you're keeping track. [GS]
• Big clubs and bottle service are out and cheap, dingy dive bars are in, according to the Times, pointing out that Marquee's revenues are down 22 percent so far this year. Possible evidence to the contrary: "table service" at Marquee's new sister spot, Avenue, will run you a minimum of $350. [NYT]
• Related: Marquee appears to be NYC's "most fined" nightspot. It's handed over $100,000 to the State Liquor Authority over the past year alone. [NYP]
• New York's Eat Cheap issue is out. A highlight: Robin Raisfeld and Rob Patronite's "handbook" to the Neapolitan pizza "revolution." [NYM, NYM]
• Restaurants that recently opened, or will be opening soon. [Eater]
• A roundup of New York's "82 most notable burgers." [GS]
• The Canadian donut chain Tim Hortons landed in Manhattan today. [AMNY]
Wass Stevens, New York's most prominent club doorman, was arrested yesterday after he (allegedly!) beat a college kid with the metal end of a velvet rope after he tried to get into Avenue, but became "belligerent" when Stevens denied him entry. It looks like Stevens' crime wave continues. A friend of Cityfile just sent us this photo of the nightlife fixture sitting on his motorcycle and chatting on his cell on the corner of Broadway and Astor. "I'm pretty sure it's a traffic violation to park on the sidewalk like that," she writes. "He's right in front of a police van, too." If you had doubts that Wass had balls of steel, well, consider the matter settled. Further evidence of his criminal tendencies below.
• Public Fare, Danny Meyer's concession stand at the Delacorte Theater, will be open for the debut of Shakespeare in the Park on June 10. [Zagat]
• Shea Gallante, the chef at Cru, will be leaving at the end of the month. [NYT]
• Daniel Boulud's DBGB is accepting walk-ins prior to its 6/8 opening. [GS]
• Flex Mussels on the UES gets a single star in the Times today. [NYT]
• Noah Tepperberg's Avenue opened last night. Wass Stevens and the Beatrice Inn's Angelo and Todd manned the door, Paul Sevigny provided the music, sister Chloë was in the house, and a jack and coke costed $19.20. [GS]
• A peek inside Avenue, the new "gastrolounge" by Noah Tepperberg. [GS]
• Brooklyn is not getting a Shake Shack for the time being, alas. [Gothamist]
• Nightlife impresario Mike Satsky on Lily Pond: "My waitresses are hands-down the most beautiful waitress staff in the Hamptons." [NYO]
• Terrance Brennan's Bar Artisanal is now serving lunch. [TONY]
• Tim Zagat lists his favorite restaurants in NYC. [Urbanite]
• The husband and wife behind Sfoglia open Civetta in Nolita next week. [NYM]
• Park Avenue Spring is now Park Avenue Summer. [GS]
• End times! Wine consumption in France was down 10% last year. [AP]
Kim Brittingham is New York writer who is fat. (Self-described. She once, as a stunt, made a fake book cover titled "Fat is Contagious: How Sitting Next To a Fat Person Can Make YOU Fat," and rode around on buses reading it. Heh). Anyhow, she reports that she had a meeting set up with a PR firm (5WPR, natch) to discuss her being a spokesperson for Avenue , a "plus-size" women's clothing retailer. But, at the last minute, she couldn't get her foot in the door, so to speak. Take it away, Kim:
We've been scouring the city in search of an Avenue for weeks now just so we could find the cover story on Page Six capo Richard Johnson. Apart from phenomenal photography like the portrait at right (a picture we're captioning, "Richard is once again forced to hear a story about what Page Sixer Paula Froelich's dog Karl did that weekend"), you get a polite and friendly profile of New York's most powerful gossipeur*. In fact, it goes to great lengths to show you what a mensch the man is.