The Ultimate CMJ Neighborhood Guide: Our Top Recommendations

Mapping out a schedule for the CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival is an overwhelming logistical nightmare. Over five days, bands and DJs all over Manhattan and Brooklyn perform for 20 to 60 minutes a pop, and the marathon keeps going. Un, deux, trois, bang, bang, bang. So if you are at a loss for where to begin, here’s a proverbial play-list that includes recommendations on what to see, and where to unwind, wind-up, and grab a bite between sets. We had to restrain ourselves a little, so check under Williamsburg, the East Village, and the Lower East Side for the best this weekend has to offer (starting tonight).

Lower East Side

Acts to Catch: Thursday: Sun Airway, 10:45 PM at Piano’s Light Pollution, 9:00 PM at Cake Shop The Feens, 10:00 PM at Crash Mansion Friday: K Flay, 9:00PM at Fat Baby Saturday: Neon Indian, 8:00 PM at Bowery Ballroom Miracles of Modern Science, 11:00 PM at Fat Baby BRAHMS, 12:00 AM at Piano’s

Where to Hide Between Sets: The Back Room Gallery Bar Painkiller

Where to Find Nourishment: Antibes Bistro Freeman’s Frankie’s Sputino Les Enfants Terribles Schiller’s Georgia’s East Side BBQ

If You Need to Trash a Hotel Room: The Hotel On Rivington Thompson LES


Tune-Age: Thursday: Two Door Cinema Club, 9:00 PM at Webster Hall Caveman, 10:15 PM at Lit Lounge Lawrence Arabia, 10:50 PM at Bowery Electric Friday: Hall of Justus, Kosha Dillz, Rebelmatics + special guests, 12:00 AM–3:00 AM at Bowery Poetry Club Designer Drugs, 1:30 AM at Webster Hall Saturday: Care Bears on Fire, 7PM at Bowery Poetry Club

Where to Sip: Heathers The Cabin Down Below Holiday Cocktail Lounge Where to Fill-Up: Artichoke Basille Pizza & Brewery The Bourgeois Pig Crif Dogs Hummus Place Whitmans Veselka

Where to Crash: Cooper Square Hotel


The Music: Thursday: Soft Black, 10:00 PM at Union Pool The Blow, 10:30 PM at Music Hall of Williamsburg Friday: Priestess, 10:30 PM at Union Pool Kids of 88, 11:00 PM at Trash Bar Everything Everything, 11:30PM at the Music Hall of Williamsburg Saturday: The Class Machine, 11:45 at Trash Bar

Grub: El Diablo Taco Truck Zenkichi Walter Foods Kenny’s Trattoria

A (Maybe) Low Key Drink: Hotel Delmano Royal Oak Fresh Kills Clem’s

Sleep it Off: Hotel Le Jolie

Industry Insiders: Gerard Maione and Seth Weisser, Karma and Clothing

The vintage retailer and wholesaler, What Goes Around Comes Around sprung from its founders love of highly curated vintage goods. Gerard Maione and Seth Weisser started the New York and Los Angeles locations of the retailer, plus an appointment-only vault under the Soho location and another in their warehouse in New Jersey. After stocking up around the world for a full decade, the duo now boasts an extensive and impressive collection of vintage wares to make even the most obsessive clotheshorse jealous. The vintage-inspired What Goes Around Comes Around Collection is also gaining quite a following as well, as Maione and Weisser pull inspiration from their inventory of treasures and incorporate modern elements. More on vintage secrets after the jump.

On vintage tees: Seth Weisser: Our shirts are really about hand feel, quality and wash treatments. We want a really simple body fit for our guys. We’ve done a lot of crossing over in men’s and women’s shirts. A lot of our line is about filling gaps that we feel are historically missed in vintage. A lot of vintage shirts just don’t have the feel or the fit for guys today. We have such a huge t-shirt business that you don’t need a new perspective, but a lot of customers want a branded aspect. We didn’t know we were that popular until we got a Facebook page. We have over half a million fans—a lot from the UK for some reason. I think we have the entire city of Liverpool.

On the Great Recession: SW: We made a lot of shifts—we moved our Tribeca hub to Jersey City so it took the whole year to get back on our feet. It was challenging, but puts us in a better position to go forward. All the markets are changing. We have a lot of great wholesale accounts, but nobody is adding more to their budgets. So in that sense, wholesalers aren’t as loyal. Even if you out-sale one season, they may not pick you up the next because their aesthetic has changed. It’s a challenging reality, that’s why we want to direct as much as we can through our own retail. Our process has been a lot different from most—most people start off with a line and get a store later. So that’s contributed to our success and brand name. People are a little more sensitive to price, but that doesn’t change when something is great. If people see something great, they buy it. We’re luck to have a strong international following in places like Japan because they weren’t as hard hit as we were. It’s been a good balance for us in terms of how we move forward.

On joining forces: Gerard Maione: We both went to Syracuse in the ‘90s, but we met after graduating through mutual friends in the city. We were young and going out five nights a week. At the time, I was working at Ralph Lauren in retail. We were always out vintage shopping without much money and we were always getting a lot of compliments on our stuff. At that time vintage was still pretty thrifty—like Andy’s Cheapies and Cheap Jacks, but I was learning the opposite end of the spectrum with merchandizing and customer service at Ralph Lauren. We talked about how vintage needed a whole different spotlight—it needed the elements of Ralph Lauren. So we were going to do an appointment-only structure, and we found this space. It was a bit of a reach, but SoHo was a way different place at that time. So we took it. We started with a very interesting point of view and we kept our store open until 12 or 1 in the morning, because people we out at the bars. We were young and we were having fun. It took off well, but we were just able to have a good time. At that point we started doing a lot of wholesale to Japan. That’s when everything hit, around ’95.

How they hunt for vintage: GM: At this point we’ve procured, after 17 years, some of the best sources and they’re dear friends. We’ve worked with a lot of them for a long time. There’s a more systematic form now than the early days when I was just going out shopping and traveling. Now we’re really honed in, we have our systems. There’s always fresh people and items and categories. We weren’t always guying ‘80s and ‘90s stuff. That’s so recent. We started off with Victorian pieces. SW: When we opened, ‘60s was our cutoff. Now that we’ve been in the business for so long, what started out as current has now become vintage.

Best places to find it: GM: There are always different aspects and cities, but the flea markets are the best because of the age that could be there. New York is kind of pathetic in terms of that. LA has a ton of vintage, but it’s a question of sourcing it out. It’s more price-sensitive out there because there’s so much available. You can go to the five story markets and go through the whole thing.

On what customers want: GM: Surprisingly, a lot of people want basics. Good staples. Cool tees and cool leathers. SW: In terms of women’s, Alaia is always in huge demand for us. His style is so amazing in terms of his design and contemporary relevance. In terms of our higher end stuff, people are always looking for Chanel. Our platform is so different though, that we always have different pulls and pushes in terms of what people are asking for. It depends on who’s asking.

On their first sale, ever: SW: The first winter we were open was the worse than this winter. It was dead here. We were trying to scrape up some business, but we found a collection of four Salvador Dali ties from the 1940’s. Our client from Canada bought them for $1,900 which was like, half our month’s business. It was that critical. It was funny at that time because our friends and girlfriends would come to our apartments which would be seeded with all this great stuff and they would be like, “When is this for sale?” It was a little out of control.

On changing with the times: SW: When we opened, the social scene in New York was really about fashion. The parties and places that we were going out to was only about style and the right people as opposed to today’s bottle service and Wall Street cold factor. Back then it mattered more if you had style and if you were hip. When we opened the store, we had a great outpouring of all the people who loved style and loved our style. We try to create the collection and the brand to take the essence and quality of vintage and bring it through and translate it. It’s been hard because what we see is at such a high level, we have to take a step back and see what the market wants and find the right balance. We don’t want to be a designer brand because we don’t want it to be inaccessible. Our idea was to fill that middle ground, the $100-$300 price range.

Go-to places: GM: I have a dear friend who has a wonderful a German bar and restaurant in Carrol Gardens called Frankies Spuntino. They actually have a location on Clinton Street as well. He’s such a foodie. It’s so good. SW: We were in Tokyo for the first time in September and that was amazing. We stayed at the Park Hyatt. It was an amazing experience. We found a great vintage store called Chantiques that was one of the most impressive stores that we’ve encountered in our careers.

Alessandro Nivola Is Hotter than Audrey Tautou

Not outshone by his blinding-bright icon of a co-star, Alessandro Nivola’s diverting attention as Chanel’s smart, mustachioed, polo-player paramour in Coco Before Chanel. In person, and minus the mustache, Nivola’s just as charming, but happily married, unfortunately for fans. Easy-going and well-spoken, this Brooklyn resident opened up about his biggest role yet. More importantly, on faking his way through an English degree, on getting confused for Freddy Mercury, and finally, on how he prepares himself to play someone who’s very, very hungover.

In Coco Before Chanel you have a dark moustache and a mass of combed-back black hair, so it’s funny to see you today looking so different. It’s really funny. When I was in my costumes, the look kind of made some sort of sense, but I was living in the Marais in Paris while we were filming, which is a pretty gay neighborhood. I would come home in my own clothes–like my jeans and my leather jacket–and I had this slicked back black hair, and literally guys walking by were like, [sexily] “Allo Freddie Mehrcury….” [laughs]

“Je vous Adore!” ….. I heard you had to learn French to play the role of Arthur Capel? Wel,l I had high school French, and I have a good ear for languages. My Dad’s Italian, and I speak Italian decently, but once I arrived on the set, I wasn’t really prepared. I was sitting around, waiting to have lunch with the other actors, and I remember in the first few weeks of filming, people telling jokes, and I was laughing along, pretending I understood and then just praying they weren’t going to ask me, “So what did I just say?”

“Why was that joke funny?” Yeah, [laughs] but I knew going into it that I’d be able to do something completely unlike anything I’ve ever done, and I had no idea what to expect and that I would just hope for the best—but it was pretty shit scary.

Well, you know… France, Audrey Tautou…! [Laughs] Well yes, that was the thing, on the one hand I was having this incredibly glamorous life—I was living in Paris in this really cool flat near Place des Vosges, and I was hanging out at cafes and smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee and red wine and going to this movie set that was in this incredible chateau west of Versailles that hadn’t been touched since the 17th century, and yet, just going onto the set everyday was like throwing myself in a freezing cold ocean and trying not to scream. I felt completely out of control.

So surreal… Although in your past roles, you’ve played fictional characters, and for Coco Before Chanel you were representing a historical figure. Well that was actually one of the nicest things about it I guess. Although Audrey had, I think, a lot of pressure on her because everyone knows a lot about Chanel and knows what she looked like, and there’s an allure surrounding her. For Audrey to step into those shoes, I think there’s a lot of expectation, but people don’t know that much about my character. No one’s going to go [in a pinched, nerdy voice] “wait a minute, he wasn’t like that!” [laughs]

You never know!  I’m sure there’s someone saying that. [laughs] But on the other hand, there was some research material I could draw on to give me an idea of what he looked like and some descriptions about him, so I had a jumping off point to work with on that character, because there’s material about him. But it didn’t feel like I had to do an impersonation of someone that had been on TV, or something that everyone was familiar with.

So beyond Coco Before Chanel, I read that you were playing Luther Nichols, the San Francisco Chronicle Book Editor and the main defense in the Ginsberg obscenity trials, in the upcoming biopic Howl, but I also read that Paul Rudd was to play this role. What’s going on? Well, there’s a series of cameos for the witnesses, me, Jeff DanielsMary-Louise Parker, and Treat Williams, and some others; we worked a couple of days on it. The film is in three parts. There is the re-creation of Ginsberg’s early life, which James Franco does. He does Ginsberg as a young man, which I’m sure Ginsberg would be endlessly flattered. Although, Ginsberg was not nearly as attractive as James Franco. [Laughs] And then there are these semi-pornographic psychedellic cartoons, animations that play over in sections with Ginsberg’s voice is reading the poem, and then there’s the trial, which has Bob Balaban as judge and Jon Hamm as Defense Attorney and David Strathairn as defense attorney, and then there were like five of us who came in to do these witnesses. It was just a fun couple of days. 

My next big role is the movie I’m doing now, a movie called Janie Jones. It’s the story of a rock singer in a band that was at one point quite popular and now is a little bit on the wane. He’s sort of a mess, an alcoholic, a little bit out of control, and one night before one of his concerts, a woman shows up and tells him that they have a twelve-year-old daughter together, and she leaves the kid at the concert, and the movie becomes a road movie with me and her where I have to take her on this tour, and it’s this strange thing where I’m this narcissistic self-involved person having to grapple with the responsibility of looking after this kid, who turns out to be this extraordinary girl, played by Abigail Breslin. I’m in the middle of that now. I’m going to finish that in a few weeks. That’s why I have all these fake tatoos all over me [points to a large, Celtic looking- circle on his arm that had initially had this reporter fooled]. I had a big one on my neck here, which I managed to rub off before my TV interview this morning! We’re filming in Demoines, I flew in today, and I’m leaving at five in the morning tomorrow to go back to the set, but luckily I’m always hungover in the movie so….[laughs].

I was just going to say, it must be a challenge for hair and makeup to make you look like you’re ‘over the hill’ in this movie, I was wondering if you were going to have to go out and stay up really late to try to make yourself look extra haggard. Yeah, [sarcastically] rock and roll is a young man’s game, and after 25, you’re over!

So… you have a very creative background. I have an expat background and a schizophrenic parentage; my mom is a wasp, which is why I’m fair, and my dad is from Sardinia—he has dark features. His father was a sculptor, Costantino Nivola, who came over here in the late 1940s and was part of the abstract expressionist group of painters and sculptors that moved out to the Springs. Those were some amazing times, the 1950s and 60s out there just sound like where it was at.

The Hamptons are a little different now! It must be great to have a creative background, and I’m sure your family encouraged you to pursue theater and acting. Well, actually, my dad was kind of the rebel of his family and became an intellectual.

Wait; that’s considered rebellious? I guess there are different levels of rebellion. He became a professor and now works at Brookings in D.C. His main plan for me was my education and that I go to good schools. As far as me being an actor, he wasn’t trying to thwart my progress, he was happy with me doing plays, as long as I got my degree, and I was at one point tempted to leave college when I started getting work professionally. I was so restless and anxious to get started and everything, but he wouldn’t let me. I’m glad he didn’t. But it wasn’t like ‘stage parents’ trying to send me to auditions for TV commercials all the time. At the same time, it wasn’t a shock to them to have someone in the family to take on sort of freelance creative work because they’d been around that, but it’s always hard I think for parents to have their children take on a job that isn’t steady.

Did you major in theater? No, I studied English.

Well, that’s practical. I bullshat my way through college anyways.

That’s what college is all about. I worked much harder in high school. Then, it was so much easier in college. There was so much pressure there. I was living in fear the whole time that I was going to get kicked out. 

Was there a two-strike system? Yeah, and there was a student judiciary, and I think a third of my freshman class was kicked out by the time we were seniors.

“I saw the best minds of my generation…” What’s next. Five Dollars a Day, this movie I play with Chris Walken, where we play father and son, a road comedy.  It was an amazing experience. I asked Chris ‘How do you get into a role?’ and he told me that he says all of his lines as if he were a German sub commander…. Unless, of course, he’s playing a German sub commander.  

I feel like that little bit of knowledge right there, I should be paying you for that. And then, another one called Turning Green. It’s a little Irish movie I did with Colm Meaney and Timothy Hutton. I think that comes out in the end of October. Howl is playing at the New York Film Festival. 

You live in Brooklyn [Boerum Hill]. What do you like best about it? Can you give us a couple of great places to eat and drink in the neighborhood? Brooklyn is I guess the only bohemian part of New York left. Really, where you live [Bushwick] is where the more cool cats live. I live in a more bougie part, but it doesn’t have any pretensions, it’s a real mix of people of all backgrounds. It’s kind of like, “be who you are.” It’s not particularly trendy, but it doesn’t have that Manhattan vibe either. I like it for that reason. The places in my neighborhood that I like, there’s this restaurant called Building on Bond. It’s really cool you can go in the middle of the day, it doubles as a cafe and then at night it turns into a restaurant and bar. It’s got great food and its really cheap. Then, there’s this Irish pub down Smith Street called Ceol that feels like you’re in Dublin. They’ve got sorta bad pub food—and every kind of Guinness—hot, cold, in-between. I like to go in the middle of the day when there are just a few people in there and it’s really dark; it feels like being in Ireland. Then, let’s see. Frankie’s, but the one in Carroll Gardens, it’s well discovered there….There are so many other great places. 

Trader Joes. That’s what weaned us off Fresh Direct…Well actually my younger brother [artist Adrian Nivola] recently took me to a bunch of places in Bushwick that were incredible. I can’t remember the name. There’s a brick pizza oven there.

Roberta’s? Yeah, that must be it. It reminds me Echo Park when I used to live out there years ago. It’s a really exciting place to be.

Industry Insiders: Mathieu Palombino, Original Famous Pizza Prince

Mathieu Palombino is one of New York’s most unlikely chefs: Belgian-born and French-trained, he worked at a fine dining restaurant — BLT Fish — earning their kitchen three stars. So where do you go from there? For Palombino, it was three stops into Williamsburg. And when he found the spot he wanted, he opened up Motorino, his shrine to pan-sized Neapolitan-style pizzas, topped with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Naturally, it took off and earned the accolades of New York’s food scene quickly. Now Palombino’s set to become the Neapolitan pizza game in town, as he takes over tatted-up NYC pizza legend Anthony Mangieri’s Una Pizza Napoletana’s oven and space. We interviewed Mathieu back in June, clumsily lost the transcript, and finally found it in time for the opening of his new East Village space. Here, we get him to dish on his family’s favorite eats, Brooklyn’s history, Brooklyn’s hipsters, and his love of the pizza business.

So: you told me the old locals in your part of Williamsburg aren’t exactly taking to Motorino? It’s funny, because they’re from Napoli, but they don’t relate to that product, because the people that really love that pizza and crave it and have bright eyes looking at the oven, they appreciate it. They’re from another generation, it’s a different world, they don’t really care for it.

But a lot of people do. Food critics. “Foodies.” Yeah, they’re 25, 45, 55, but people that know what’s up. This is my clientele, and also, even if they’re people that are, you know, kids from Brooklyn, they come. The youngest Italian generation — the children of the older folks in my neighborhood — they come and the like it. And a lot of Manhattan people, a lot of those, I don’t know if the word “hipster” is a bad word or not …

No! You can definitely use that word here. I don’t know, I feel like I am one. Anyway: the young American coming to Brooklyn to experience the Brooklyn lifestyle, all these kids, the people I work with, with all the tattoos and stuff — these are my people, these are the people that gravitate to Motorino.

And the press. The press has been amazing. What was that experience like? It was good, well Slice and Adam Kuban, that was the biggest moment for me.

When Slice New York put their … You know, there was nobody else doing what I’m doing. It was just Pizza Napoletana, to do the Pizza Napoletana, he was the only guy, he opened years ago. So one day, we opened with a different attitude, because we’re more rock n roll, less authentic in the way the restaurant is. We have a little more variety in terms of appetizers, we have different things on the menu (besides pizza). So I wasn’t too sure of our chances with the press. When Slice came, it was opening day, and I was so busy I wasn’t even thinking about it. The manager downstairs called me and said: “You need to look at Slice.” I loved it.

Motorino was really the first thing to happen to Graham’s dining scene. It’s gotten better since you opened. Do you think you led the charge? I hope. There are a couple of kids opening restaurants, and I’m looking forward to going there and spending money because I really want to support them, and I’m all about, ya know, as much as I can help these guys, I’ll help them, because I know what it’s like to be starting out. It’s tough.

Do you feel like you’re living the dream? Yeah, I love my life, man. I really love it. I do what I’ve always done, what I’ve always enjoyed doing, which is: I put out as much as the best of my ability, of what I can do, and it pays back. People keep answering it. At first it was paying for the people I had working for the restaurant, and now it’s paying for myself. But yeah, I’m loving it. I love this pizza business.

Do you see anything besides Motorino in your future? Like maybe a different restaurant? Yeah.

Yeah? It’s far in the future and it’s nothing I can possibly … you know?

Of course. No jinxing. So when you go out, where do you like to go? What are your favorite bars and restaurants in the city? In Manhattan?

Yeah in Manhattan, in Brooklyn, whatever. Peter Luger. I love it, because it’s a full-blooded business.

Literally. Yeah, literally. I like restaurants that have a focus on something. I like Fette Sau a lot. In this city, I like BLT Steak, not even because I went there and I opened the space, but because it’s such an amazing restaurant. I love all BLT restaurants, basically. Oh, and then there’s this guy, owns a restaurant. Doesn’t talk about dowers. Doesn’t talk about money. He talks about food. He’s Frankie Castronovo.

From Frankies and Frankies Spuntino. Yeah, I had the meal of the year over there. I had the pork bracciola, I mean it was ridiculously good. It was like so good man, so good.

Any bars? I like Blue and Gold ,,, Lots of bars, I just like to go there, no nonsense, just go, get your drink, play pool, the jukebox is good.

Is there a favorite restaurant that you and your wife have when you take your son out? The thing is, he’s very difficult; it’s very difficult to go and eat with him.

If you could take him to a restaurant, if there were a kind of food you would raise him on, what kind of food would it be? For him to eat? You know what, I like all Mario Batali restaurants. I would go to Otto. You go there, it’s set up for kids. They come, you don’t have to ask for the high chair, the high chair’s coming in. There is an increasing number of restaurants where they don’t have baby chairs, and it’s driving me nuts. I see that, I turn around and I leave.

So I’m guessing you have a decent stock in your restaurant. Of course! You know, I’m an old dude. I have a son. And when I go to a place and I have my son, and I say, “Hi, can I have a baby chair? And the guy looks at me and says “we don’t have.” And its like, is it not cool enough or something? When you’re reaching and you say, let’s not have baby chairs, it’s going to look even more cool? Then I’m not there. I’m not there anymore.

Industry Insiders: Chris Santos, Stanton Street Star

Chris Santos of the Stanton Social on his love of dives, Apothéke owner Heather Tierney, and why thinking too much detracts from dining.

Where do you go out? Well, I’m kind of a dive bar kinda guy both in drinking and for eating. I mean, I obviously enjoy a good Jean Georges or Per Se as much as the next guy, but I like sort of the hole in the wall-y kind of places. One I really love a lot is in Brooklyn. It’s called Franny’s. It’s on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. A really simple rustic Italian, you know, wood-coal pizza and great appetizers and a beautiful garden in the back. On the outskirts of Park Slope basically, near the Manhattan Bridge. I’m a big fan of Back Forty, which is a small little bistro on 12th Street and Avenue B that does just a really outrageous burger and great roast chicken, and you know, simple crispy nuggets and simple, simple rustic comfort food. I’m a sucker for Strip House on 12th and University. It’s like my favorite steakhouse in the city. There’s a lot of crushed red velvet, bordello-y kind of vibe. And they’ve got great wine, and their steaks are, bam! They do a great job with their steak sauce. I go there monthly.

What do you do at Stanton Social? My title is executive chef and owner. My day-to-day life is hectic right now … in addition to this we are trying to get another restaurant together. I am working on the Stanton Social Cookbook. I am consulting for a restaurant group that’s going national. They’re rolling out 50 restaurants nationwide, and I am rewriting all their menus for them. I was in Las Vegas all summer helping my partner open the restaurant in club Lavo. I have two partners: Peter Kane, who in addition to this he owns Happy Ending bar, and he was the guy who opened Double Happiness, which closed just recently. And my other partner is Richard Wolf, who owns Tao, Tao Las Vegas, Lavo, Rue 57.

You rave about the vibe and loyalty in your kitchen at Stanton Social. Where have you worked that had a stressful vibe? I opened Rue 57, which is a French rotisserie on 57th Street. I was the sous chef, and Sam Hazem was the chef. He was the head chef at Tao for a really long time, and now he’s working to partner with Todd English. But that was just constant stress and drama, and you know it was a really teeny tiny kitchen, putting out enormous numbers.

It seems like if you’re doing more like the low-key, under the radar places; how come your restaurant’s high profile? I’m just lucky I guess. It’s really just upscale versions of street food and comfort foods. We’re not doing anything esoteric here. We’re not really challenging diners. I mean, I like to be challenged, but mostly I don’t. I want to go somewhere and be taken care of, and I want to be able to look at the menu and just kind of understand everything.

Name two people that you particularly admire in the industry. Would it be corny to say my partners? I really admire Josh Capon, who’s the chef at Lure Fishbar. He’s kind of an under-the-radar guy. And that’s kind of an under-the-radar place. He’s a fantastic cook. He was born to be the guy coming out of the kitchen in the white coat, just charming a table. I have a lot of admiration for Heather Tierney. She used to be a food writer at Time Out. She now owns a cocktail bar — Apothéke. She owns Burger Shoppe down on Wall Street, which is like a burger restaurant. She has her own dining concierge service where you’re basically a member, and she gets you reservations in hard to get places. She’s really young — she’s in her twenties, and she’s really passionate about food — and we’ll go out to dinner and just talk about, “Have you been here, have you been there?” We’ll talk about the industry. She’s just super motivated.

Name one positive trend or aspect you see in the restaurant industry. Affordable dining. I see a lot of restaurants opening (in Brooklyn especially) a lot of neighborhood restaurants that are serving really quality food. There’s this place called Buttermilk Channel in Carroll Gardens that just opened. That’s really amazing. Frankies. When I went to Europe — which was like ten years ago — I came back with the feeling that the big restaurants, the name restaurants, the three-star restaurants, Michelin-rated restaurants … I felt they were no better than anything that you could find in New York City. In other words, the top New York City restaurants were better than the top restaurants that I could find in Europe. But I also thought that where they had it on us, all over the place, was the little, tiny neighborhood restaurants and pubs. The food there was so awesome, and you didn’t have that in New York. That is a positive trend. You go down any little street in the Village now and walk into a 40- or 50-seat little Italian trattoria where the food is solid.

What’s changed as far as the restaurant industry goes in New York in the past year? How it’s affecting me directly? You know, we’ve had very ambitious plans to run a restaurant that’s twice the size of this. And we have this space, and we have a lease, and a year ago when were ready to pull the trigger, it would have been a couple of phone calls and a couple of dinners to raise all the money that we needed because you know our track record, not just at Stanton Social, but with my other partners as well. Basically everything any of us have ever done is successful, and everyone’s gotten their money back, and everybody’s making money. You know the investors here are doing very well, and we got the space back in record time. The difference is people now are hesitant to part with the money they have in the bank, with everything that’s been going on. Even though we have a great location, and we have a great track record, and when we open the next place it’s going to do very well. There are people that are so shell-shocked about what’s happened on Wall Street that they just aren’t necessarily willing to keep investing, so that’s something I think that’s really changed. I think you’re going to see the growth of the industry and openings and whatnot coming to a halt.

Do you think people are going to stop going out to dinner? People are going to stop going out to dinner Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I think you’ll still get your Thursday, Friday, Saturday night diners. You’ll still get your Sunday bruncher. And Monday night you’ll get your after-work crowd.