Displaying all articles tagged:

The Box

  1. NewsFeed
    The Box: The City’s Unhealthiest Restaurant?We still don’t know what was behind the August 24 shutdown of the Box. Was it partner-or-is-he-just-a-consultant Cordell Lochin going to trial for his involvement in a weed-dealing ring? (“Page Six”’s initial account of patrons being searched for drugs has been called into question.) Or was it the health inspection? That night’s evaluation yielded violations totaling a whopping 168 out of 175 points — the most out of all 23,126 restaurants in the Department of Health’s online database. Let’s put this in perspective, shall we? The infamous KFC–Taco Bell on Sixth Avenue received 62 points less. One of the violations: “Sewage disposal system in disrepair or not functioning properly.” Or were the toilets just backed up from dubious flushing? Related: Restaurant Inspection Information: The Box [DOH] Earlier: Serge Becker: Drug-Dealing “Consultant” Is Not a Co-Owner of the Box, La Esquina [NYM]
  2. NewsFeed
    Serge Becker: Drug-Dealing ‘Consultant’ Is Not a Co-Owner of theGuest of a Guest broke the story yesterday that Cordell Lochin — thought be a partner in Serge Becker’s joints La Esquina, 205, and the Box — will be sentenced on October 10 for importing more than 100 kilos of weed and dealing it in New York in 2004 and 2005. There’s been speculation that the August 24 raid of the Box and La Esquina was related to this, and we’ve heard rumors that Cordell was recently arrested again — but the Box’s publicist, Nadine Johnson, tells us neither of these things are correct (a check with NYPD turned up no recent arrests). She also describes Cordell as a consultant and not a partner in the Box, as reported in a recent Observer profile and other places: “We had taken the decision to call him a partner, but he isn’t a real partner or employee for the Box or La Esquina.” Serge Becker did not know about Cordell’s past until ten days ago, when his case went to trial, Johnson says. She also issued an emphatic statement to Grub Street on behalf of Becker further disavowing Cordell’s ownership stake.
  3. NewsFeed
    La Esquina Reopens, but Serge Becker’s Spots Still Not in the Clear La Esquina’s basement and the Box are open again, but Serge Becker’s woes may not be over. Alberto Armendarig, a reporter for Mexican newspaper La Reforma tells us that last Saturday at 205 (another joint Becker has his stamp on), he was choked by a bouncer and bodily ejected from the club in such a way that he tried to press assault charges (cops didn’t find any marks on him and told him to brush it off and call it a night). Sounds like any other Saturday to us, but Armendarig says he’s now on a quest to close the club down. As it turns out, he may not have to lift a finger. 205 to be Eighty-Sixed?
  4. The New York Diet
    Kristina Klebe of ‘Halloween’ Likes Her Yogurt With Pumpkin Seeds If you’re one of the many who saw Rob Zombie’s Halloween during its record-setting opening weekend, you last saw Kristina Klebe playing trash-talking cheerleader Lynda. You’ll probably next see her alongside Uma Thurman in Griffin Dunne’s comedy The Accidental Husband, in which she plays Isabelle Rossellini’s (fully dressed and much more conservative) daughter. In the meantime, she’s jetting between her hometown, New York (she used to bartend at Serafina), and her adopted city, L.A.“I love that I can walk back to a place after dinner,” she says of New York. “If you go out in L.A., you’re full and you just go out to your car and go home.” So where did she dine and dash during this week of auditions and director meetings?
  5. Mediavore
    Olives the Nightclub? Bring On an International BoxTodd English may want to get in on the hip parade surrounding La Esquina by opening his own Kenmare spot with nightlife guru Joe Vicari. [NYP] There’s a rumor that Simon Hammerstein wants to open an international Box and bring his gross anthems to London. [Down by the Hipster] Related: Narcissistic and Highly Intoxicated Box Patrons Want Totally Gross Anthems, Says Owner Could Kyotofu and its killer cupcake be expanding with a space downtown? [Eater] Related: Best Cupcake 2007 [NYM]
  6. Mediavore
    Chodorow and Valenti Scope UWS Hotel; Ramsay’s Culinary Reputation WaningJeffrey Chodorow and Ouest chef Tom Valenti may both open restaurants in the boutique hotel On the Ave at Broadway near 76th Street. [NYP] Has Gordon Ramsay spread himself too thin? Harden’s annual guide has dethroned Ramsey’s eponymous flagship as its pick for highest overall rating in food, service and ambience. [The Guardian] Lower East Side neighbors were duped by the Box — they believed it was to be a “cultural institution.” Well, sort of depends on your definition of “culture.” [NYDN]
  7. Neighborhood Watch
    LES Crackdown; Yogurt Wars Expand UWS FrontChelsea: Patricia Yeo is out at Sapa. [Eater] Lower East Side: Turns out La Esquina’s basement is illegal! [NYP] Midtown West: Get your Charlie Murphy fix at El Centro; it’s his favorite Mexican restaurant. [Gridskipper] Soho: Former 66 chef Josh Eden has taken over the kitchen at Goblin Market. [Strong Buzz] Upper West Side: Yogurt Wars update: Pinkberry takes over Excel Fine Art’s space on Columbus Avenue. [Eat for Victory/VV] West Village: Something’s fishy about the seafood sister restaurant to the Spotted Pig: Diners at the original heard staff chatting about the location opening soon as the 10 Spot. [Down by the Hipster]
  8. NewsFeed
    No Celebrities Were Harmed in Weekend Closing of the Box When we last heard about the Box, owner Simon Hammerstein was telling a whistle-blowing auditioner that his patrons are “narcissistic and highly intoxicated. They don’t listen to words.” We can only assume, then, that the cops used sign language when they raided the place on Sunday morning and shut it down after searching random narcissists for drugs (Jay-Z and Cameron Diaz got away safe, perhaps by using the controversial Freeman Alley exit). What kind of substances would be consumed at a place that Hammerstein has insisted is not a nightclub? (A Box rep told “Page Six” the raid was due to a clerical error.) Well, the last time we were there, MC Raven O was doing a rendition of “Cocaine” and dumping white powder all over everyone. So, yeah, there’s that. Cops Raid Downtown Hot Spot [NYP] Related: Narcissistic and Highly Intoxicated Box Patrons Want Totally Gross Anthems, Says Owner
  9. NewsFeed
    When Chefs Play Dress-up The September issue of Esquire is the gift that keeps on giving: Last week it introduced us to the foppish Thomas Crowley of Bar Veloce and his hilarious MySpace page; today it brings us “Angry Young Men,” a “new generation of mavericks” selected to wear $1,500 suits and glower for the camera. Two of our favorite mavericks made the cut: nightlife impresario Simon Hammerstein, looking tough with a burned-down cig and a stripy fall suit, and culinary “It” boy David Chang, mad as hell in classic houndstooth. We can see how running the Box would wear a guy out, but what got in D.C.’s craw? He looks like somebody just told him he had to use Boar’s Head bacon at Ssäm Bar. That said, he does look sharp. Related: Bar Veloce GM Moonlights as Raffish Fop What’s in the Box? [NYM]
  10. NewsFeed
    Narcissistic and Highly Intoxicated Box Patrons Want Totally Gross Anthems, Says Starting July 14, the Box will host early dinner shows at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Besides a three-course meal of Jewish comfort food and the chance to spot Scar-Jo, what exactly can one expect for the $125 price of admission? Server Mike Harr, whom we recently interviewed for Ask a Waiter, would say only that the show was “mysterious, very mysterious,” but we have another inside source: Belgian pop sensation Von Von Von, best known for wowing the Apollo, who recently auditioned before owner Simon Hammerstein. We’ll let Von tell this in his own words:
  11. Ask a Waiter
    Michael Harr of the Box Serves Scarlett Johansson, Experiences a ‘Brush of When Michael Harr applied for a job at the Box, his only previous waiting experience was at a summer camp — he figures he was hired mostly for his look, cultivated in part because he’s a musician in the Scallywag Sideshow. “They had a woman doing costumes,” he remembers. “While [the other employees] were on line getting measured, she came up to me and said, ‘You can just wear whatever is in your wardrobe.’” We asked Michael about the inner workings of the city’s most popular yet enigmatic dinner cabaret — not surprisingly, he kept his answers very close to his vintage vest.
  12. Restroom Report
    Hanging in the Box’s S&M RestroomsDuring the year and a half Simon Hammerstein spent converting a former abattoir (and later, sign factory) into his dinner theater the Box, he hauled in an imposing set of doors from an insane asylum using his pimpmobile. We suspected the restroom décor would be similarly eccentric, and sure enough, the door to the wheelchair-accessible ground-floor WC comes from an old public schoolhouse. Then again, we’ve seen that before. The real action lay on the other side of the portals found down a narrow staircase, and at the end of the same sconce-lit hallway that leads to dressing rooms intended for circus freaks, S&M performers, and acrobats — whenever the place finally opens, that is.
  13. In the Magazine
    Pay Attention to the Man Behind the Box If you’d rather wait to experience it in person (assuming you can score an invite to the next launch party), you’ll want to avert your eyes from the centerfold-worthy interior shot of the Box in this week’s magazine. William Van Meter’s profile of its primary owner Simon Hammerstein is also plenty revealing: Turns out the Rogers & Hammerstein progeny is a reformed raver. There won’t be any glow sticks at his dinner theater — just a twenty-inch-tall woman named Firefly, a G-stringed Russian gymnast, and (why not?) the “Hammerstein Beauties.” —Daniel Maurer What’s in the Box? [NYM] Related: Simon Hammerstein’s Personal Pimpmobile?
  14. NewsFeed
    Simon Hammerstein’s Personal Pimpmobile?Last night 205 and neighbor the Box, which opens in a couple of weeks, had a veritable door-off: A 205 list keeper unsympathetically turned away skater types who came to celebrate Vice’s “Girls” issue while a doorman at the Box iced down uptowners trying to huff and puff their way into the Me magazine party (sample bluster: “My sister was a model in this week’s magazine. She must be on the list”). Passing both scenes on our way to admire the taxidermy collection at Home Sweet Home, we snapped a pic of the Boxcar (“The Box, 189 Chrystie St.” a decal on the door reads). Is this the personal pimpmobile of Simon Hammerstein, enfant terrible of the theater-owning Hammerstein family and proprietor of the Box? And is that tear in the side fallout from the Freemans–Box showdown? We’ll say this much: If you pull up in front of the place in this hooptie, at least you’re getting in. —Daniel Maurer