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Theater District

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Good News for Italian in the Suburbs

Plus: Mat Schaffer on Allston's international eats, and MC Slim JB finds Maria's Taqueria perfectly fine, all in our weekly restaurant review roundup.

René Pujol Closes, Victim of the Times (and Theater Strike)

File this under the It Was Bound to Happen Department if you must, but we still feel bad about it: Theater-district mainstay René Pujol, which served heavy French food to happy customers for more than 30 years, went out of business Sunday. “We needed a strong fall, and it was a little weaker than we hoped, and the Broadway strike really hurt us,” explains executive chef Vincent Purdy. “We were an established, mature business, but Sunday was our last night.” Purdy and René Pujol’s other employees ran the restaurant as a cooperative for three years, and such arrangements tend to ward off potential backers. We have lost yet another one of the formal, conservative, vaguely geriatric French restaurants that used to dominate midtown. Related: Marxist Meals Served at Co-op Eateries

Theater-District Restaurants Saved; Bobby Van, Tragic Steak Man, Dies

With the Broadway strike officially settled, area restaurants breathe a collective sigh of relief. [NYT] Related: Theater Strike Could Drop Curtain on Midtown Restaurants Bobby Van, “who had unhealthy appetite for booze and cocaine” and was forced out of his own steakhouse business years ago, died on Tuesday as an obscure taxi driver out in Long Island. [NYP] After a few paparazzi sneaked into Socialista to confront Penélope Cruz & Co., Armin Amiri confiscated their memory cards and returned them to the sultry star. [NYP]