Frank Perkins, Owner of Legendary Bar Frank’s Cocktail Lounge, Dies at 88

Frank’s Cocktail Lounge may be one of the few outposts against gentrification. The reason? Its owner Frank Perkins. He passed on at the end of this past January, but left a rich legacy behind.

His Fort Greene bar has been a neighborhood hotspot since its founding, and is open seven nights a week. It has hosted performances from such legends as the late funk singer Sharon Jones and the saxophonist Lonnie Youngblood, who worked with Jimi Hendrix.

Besides live music, Frank’s Cocktail Lounge also became known for other events. The “Grown and Sexy Karaoke” night takes place each Wednesday. Birthday parties for Frank and his family were always publicly celebrated. They featured a catered buffet and, for Frank’s birthday, red velvet cake.

The bar itself has remain virtually unchanged over the years, even as apartment buildings have grown up around it. Its red awning and “dancing martini” logo are instantly recognizable. The inside has now acquired a vintage charm, with photos of pop legends and a jukebox always loaded with R&B hits. Frank had his own regular table, located by the window.

Frank was born in 1931 in South Carolina. He moved to the Bronx as a teenager in order to be with his family. Before opening the Lounge, Frank was involved in real estate. He worked at his father’s realty company on Kingston Avenue, and managed the Fulton Street joint Club 722. In 1974, Frank’s interests moved not much farther down the street to 660 Fulton. He purchased the building, opened Frank’s, and the rest is history.

His funeral was held at the Bethany Baptist Church. It was a lively affair, complete with preaching chords on the organ and praise hands from the audience. Reverend David A. Hampton delivered the eulogy. He said that “Frank’s is a place where you go to bond.”

Indeed, the neighborhood later celebrated Frank’s life with a “going home party” at the bar. Guests of all ages swayed to blues rhythms, talking and laughing – just like Frank would have wanted.

Fans Of Spicy Ramen Will Love The New Karakatta Restaurant In New York City

Ramen noodle dishes can be quite flavorful and fun to eat. In New York City, there are lots of ramen restaurants, and according to a recent Grub Street article, the city’s first spicy ramen-only eatery is now open for business.

Located at 230 Thompson Street near Washington Square Park, the all-new Karakatta is a small and charming restaurant that is operated by Takayuki Watanabe and Takatoshi Nagara. Mr. Nagara is the chef and Mr. Watanabe is the owner of the fittingly named Mr. Taka ramen restaurant on the Lower East Side.

Karakatta offers four basic types of ramen dishes. These include shoyu, classic-style butter-miso, spicy vegetable curry, and a ginger-infused option. Some dishes come with a choice of chicken or pork belly, and spice-levels in all of the dishes can be adjusted.

Teriyaki chicken or pork belly dinners that come with miso soup and different-colored Japanese pickles are available at Karakatta, as are appetizers such as Japanese-style fried chicken.

The different ramen bowls at Karakatta are loaded with healthy and delicious ingredients including scallions, zucchini, ground pork, bean sprouts, cabbage, and my favorite, leeks.

Karakatta sounds like a nice place to visit for a ramen meal. Being a fan of ramen, I would particularly like to try their spicy veggie curry.

Until I can get to Karakatta to try their food, I can still cook and eat the little packages of ramen noodle soup that I purchase for approximately $0.39 each. Even though they’re high in sodium, these noodles, when drained, can be a good side dish. It would be great if they made the noodles microwavable, however.

To me, the opening of Karakatta represents the sheer size of New York City and the incredible amount of diversity that is displayed in its population. A spicy ramen-themed restaurant is certainly a niche business, and according to the Grub Street article, crowds of hungry diners have been enjoying the delightful fare that this new restaurant has to offer.

Stephen Hanson’s New Henry Restaurant In NYC’s Life Hotel Is A Charming Eatery

After retiring from his successful B.R. Guest restaurant group in 2013, famed restaurateur Stephen Hanson recently celebrated his return to the hospitality business by opening a new Manhattan hotel eatery named Henry. In a recent Grub Street interview, Mr. Hanson explains why he feels it has become more difficult than ever before to open a new restaurant in NYC.

Through the years, Stephen Hanson has owned a multitude of popular restaurants and several hotels. It has been 30 years since he opened his first restaurant, and the hospitality industry has experienced a host of changes since then.

A much broader spectrum of ingredients are now available and today’s chefs are doing some really good things. Years ago, it was a big thing for one of his restaurants to be importing anchovies from Italy. Now, those same anchovies can probably be acquired on Amazon.

Situated within the historic Life Hotel on W 31st Street, Henry restaurant seats roughly 80 people and offers full bar service. Among the menu items that are available there are baked clams, wood-fired pizza pies, a whole scorpion fish, beef tartare and inventive pasta dishes.

In Mr. Hanson’s opinion, New York City is doing very well in general, and the city is trying to make sure that restaurants there are clean and safe. By being stringent with its regulations, the city can make it difficult for builders, but in actuality, it helps to reduce potential liability.

Finding dedicated workers is an ongoing challenge that restaurant owners must deal with these days, says Stephen Hanson in the Grubstreet interview. There are more official procedures involved in the hiring process, and the risk of being sued is always high. Mr. Hanson also says that if a restaurant can hire staff members that possess a real sense of hospitality, great products can be produced.

Stephen Hanson believes that although chefs and consumers have become more sophisticated in the past decade, customers still want to find value for their money, and they want to be treated with respect.

Is A Margaritaville Finally Coming To New York City?

Fans of Jimmy Buffet and/or the Margaritaville restaurant chain may be able to enjoy their favorite dining spot in midtown Manhattan after all. According to a recent Grub Street article, two real estate companies have been in negotiations to open a branch of the famous chain in New York City.

A plan to open a Margaritaville restaurant in NYC’s Times Square was stopped in January 2017 when the building’s landlord rented part of the desired space to CVS.

The proposed site for the Margaritaville outpost is 560 Seventh Avenue, which would be convenient for Broadway theater patrons. Speaking of the entertainment district, the Grub Street article mentions the “Escape To Margaritaville” musical that will be making its Broadway debut in 2018. The musical premiered in May 2017 in California and also embarked on a short national tour.

The developers of the proposed Margaritaville want to bring more than just cocktails, quesadillas, burgers and shrimp to the Seventh Avenue property. Rumored to be more than 100,000 square feet in size, this facility will likely include a 29-story hotel. The whole facility is supposed to be dedicated to the lifestyle and the music of Jimmy Buffet.

The developers of the project are moving ahead with their plans, and have already secured a $180 million loan. With its interesting decorations, hip yet relaxed image and appealing menu, a new Margaritaville hotel and restaurant would probably be very popular with tourists and NYC residents alike.

Having enjoyed the Margaritaville experience more than once, I can say that I found the food offerings there to be consistently fresh, tasty and well-presented. The service is usually very good and the prices are what I would call average.

If you have the opportunity to eat at a Margaritaville restaurant anytime soon, please let me recommend their fish tacos, beach club sandwich, BBQ Ribs and their homemade cole slaw. They also feature an absolutely scrumptious key lime pie that is made from scratch every day.

New York City’s First Carl’s Jr. Restaurant Will Be Opening Soon In Coney Island

Although hungry diners regularly patronize Carl’s Jr. restaurants in other parts of the U.S., fans of fast food in New York City have not yet had the opportunity to partake of the chain’s tasty offerings. That is about to change soon, however.


A recent Grub Street article explains how the California-based Carl’s Jr. chain is planning to open its first New York store in Coney Island in the near future. The storefront and signage for the restaurant are already in place, and one of the paper-covered windows features a sign stating that the restaurant will be opening soon.


Known for its charbroiled burgers, shakes, hot dogs and chicken sandwiches, Carl’s Jr. was founded in 1941 and operates more than 1,100 restaurants. The corporation that actually owns Carl’s Jr. restaurants also owns the Hardee’s restaurant chain.


According to the Grub Street article, an IHOP restaurant is situated across the street from the Coney Island Carl’s Jr. store on Surf Avenue, and an Applebee’s eatery is located nearby. Burger-lovers can rejoice in the fact that between the three chains a broad spectrum of burger variations will soon be available.


A special menu feature at Carl’s Jr. restaurants is the $5 All-Star Meal option. With this popular option, customers can choose from several different combo meals. Double-cheeseburgers, spicy chicken sandwiches, natural-cut fries, onion rings, hot dogs, chocolate chip cookies and 20-ounce sodas are among the combo choices that are available.


Located near Luna Park, the neighborhood where the new Carl’s Jr. restaurant will be opening was also home to a Wahlburgers restaurant. Co-owned by actor Mark Wahlberg, that burger spot recently closed its doors for “restructuring.”


Soon, residents and visitors at Coney Island will have the opportunity to eat items such as the Western bacon cheeseburger and the charbroiled chicken salad. Also, a nice breakfast menu, wonderful milkshakes, and an assortment of Mexican dishes will be available at the upcoming Carl’s Jr. restaurant in Coney Island.

New Restaurant In New York From Famous Chef Anne Burrell

New Restaurant In New York From Famous Chef Anne Burrell

New Yorkers love to eat. From pizza to Chinese food to Indian takeout, they know food and they love those who adore it as much as they do. So it comes as no surprise that this city has continued to attract world class chefs determined to make their mark here. Now, another chef has decided to make this city her own. Anne Burrell is known for many things. As one of Food Network’s rising stars, she’s been involved in many food battles online. She’s also hosted her own Food iNetwork show where she took some America’s worst cooks and taught them how to create gourmet meals. Her other ventures include a series of well received cookbooks.


A Brooklyn Location


While all of New York is a foodie haven, in recent years a vibrant food community has developed in Brooklyn. Anne Burrell has decided to make Smith Street on Brooklyn the home of her new restaurant. Called Phil and Anne’s Good Time Lounge, the restaurant is a partnership between her and indie food voice Phil Casaceli. The two have a point of view that is very much about bringing delicious food with unique dishes to the world. She’s a creative force who likes to play around with classic Italian favorites that she grew up with and make them more about modern, cleaner tastes.


An Innovative Menu


The thirteen hundred square food space offers a lot of space to experiment and plenty of room for guests to relax and explore the entire world of food. Diners can choose from varied kinds of menu items that range from snacks to more filling dishes. Choices like roasted baby beet and carrot salad are all about keeping as healthy as possible while not letting go of flavor. For those with heartier appetites items like meatballs with ricotta and diced dill pickles or a seared cod with clams and shrimp help people fill up on a cold winter day.


Elegant Japanese Cuisine Comes To The Upper East Side

The Japanese have developed an entirely unique cuisine. With a focus on fresh fish and bright colors, people all over the world have come to love what it offers. New Yorkers are no exception. As in so many other world class cities, New Yorkers adore this varied style of preparing food. Today, diners can pick from all kinds of Japanese restaurants in New York from small sushi joints to places that serve intense and upscale plates. A style of Japanese food known as omakase has become particularly popular. From a Japanese phrase that means allowing the chef to choose the meal, this kind of Japanese dining is all about the use of quality ingredients and letting a chef use their skills to create something that entirely special. Several Japanese omakase restaurants have opened up in New York City, much to the delight of residents pleased at the chance to enjoy a style that can be hard to find outside of Japan.


The New Restaurant


Residents of the Upper East Side can head to 74th street to try omakase at Sushi Ishikawa. This new venture offers quality at a reduced price. This way, many diners can sample one of the most luxurious styles of Japanese food. There are twenty-three seats so there’s expected to be enough room for everyone who wants to be here without a wait. The chef plans to offer two menus for diners to pick from. Each diner can expect to enjoy a wide variety of fish and seafood as well as other kinds of Japanese ingredients all via the guidance of a skilled chef who cares about creating a truly memorable meal each night. A typical meal may start with mushroom soup topped with abalone and then include other, very special ingredients such as hairy crab, Japanese grunt and octopus. Special emphasis is placed on the use of accompaniments such as bonito flakes and a salt that is mixed with green tea.


New Chinese Restaurant Concept For New Yorkers Near Columbia University

New Yorkers, like everyone else, love Chinese food. Chinese food is often made from fresh ingredients and full of flavors like soy sauce, ginger and garlic that are commonly used in many cultures. Many New Yorkers are familiar with the varied elements of Chinese culture. A new restaurant concept seeks to translate their familiar flavors into the fast casual concept. Like other fast casual restaurants, this one will offer the chance to customize a meal from all kinds of specific components to creates something that is entirely unique for each diner. Junzi Kitchen is slated to open near Columbia University on June 21st. The first Junzi Kitchen began in 2015 as a way to turn around the standard Chinese restaurant in America into something that is hopefully more modern, faster and ideally easier for the average American to navigate on their lunch hour with friends.


Their First New York Location


This new restaurant will have seating for thirty-five in an eight hundred foot square space. Diners can come here from 11 in the morning to 10 at night to create their own special plate. They are allowed to pick out a base such as noodles. After that, it’s on to their choice of toppings and protein. They can pick from varied kinds of meats depending on what they want on any given day. Additional choices include vegetables that have been quickly fried and a choice of varied kinds of sauces. A diner might decide to go for wide knife noodles. Then they could add in meat options that include chicken and pork. Vegetarians can pick from mushrooms and tofu. Garnishes include scallions and bean threads while roasted sesame and sweet soy as well as tomato egg and called jaja. Each location has something special that is designed to cater to specific tastes that may be more locally common. The New York space will offer choices like shrimp salt with a tang and chive ash.


Blue Hill Offers New Cheese For New Yorkers To Taste

New Yorkers love cheese. Each year, they consume many pounds of this dairy foodstuff. One of the best things about living in New York is often the chance to try a new kind of cheese. Cheese delights the the taste buds with flavors that have many notes and lots varied texture. One restaurant understands just how much New Yorkers love cheese and wants to offer them yet another choice. That place is Blue Hill. Located just outside of New York City, Blue Hill has been popular with critics and those who appreciate fine foods that are locally sourced and turned into gourmet meals. While New Yorkers have to leave the city in order to dine at Blue Hill, they can now enjoy the cheese made here right in Manhattan. Their Bone Char Pearl cheese is being sold by an Essex Street cheese monger. Saxelby Cheese Mongers will now sell the cheese at sixteen dollars a pound for all who appreciate cheese that is made with incredible care.


A Very Special Product


Made from a combination of goat and cow’s milk, the new Bone Char is coated in a light ash that is a special technique that has been developed at Blue Hill. Then, the cheese is aged for three weeks in accordance with a method that has been used for centuries to produce a superior product. The aim of Blue Hill is not waste anything that might be useful. Each slice of this cheese has been to create something that is all about the earth and all about being in touch with it. New Yorkers can head down to Delancey Street to try this new product. No need to hope it will be on the menu when at Blue Hill. The cheese stores easily and works with a wide variety of flavors. Pair it with other kinds of cheese here or try it with a drink of wine and some local chocolates.


New Yorkers Get Chance To Try New Kind Of Ramen Noodles

Ramen noodles have become one of the hottest food items in recent years. This former dried kitchen staple has gone upscale. No longer the plain, easy to cook snack so beloved of late nigh workers everywhere, the new ramen is all about freshness and flavor. New Yorkers everywhere are about to get a taste of ramen many people have not tried before unless they’ve been to New York. In the last few years, many places have opened up where diners can slurp to their heart’s content. Those places have been content to serve up a dense style of ramen laced with pork flavor with a creamy mouth feel. While this style of ramen is highly popular both in Japan and the United States, it’s not the only kind of ramen available. For those in search of other kinds of authentic ramen that has more variety, one restaurant has an idea it knows that New Yorkers will love. The Japanese have developed many styles of ramen they want to share with this city.


E.A.K Is Opening


Downtown New York will be the site of a new restaurant called E.A.K. They specialize in a style known as Yokohama’s iekei ramen. Yokohama is one of the largest cities in Japan and one known for good eats. Their plan is to offer ramen that has thicker noodles and a broth with many flavor notes including clear broth with lots of umami. The new restaurant also plans to serve many other kinds of ramen including a variety known as the zebra with lots of butter and hints of garlic in the broth. There’s also plans to serve a ramen choice that combines ground chicken with a miso that has lots of spice. Vegetarians can find a ramen to their taste. In addition, there’s also lots of appetizers for those diners who are not content with just soup or have a crowd of people and want to share dishes.