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Five Ways Nicoletta Can Respond to Those Not-So-Hot Reviews

photo(304)Melvin Felix Nicoletta got handed lemons and is
making lemonade.

Michael White has yet to respond to the harsh reviews of Nicoletta that have been the talk of the food world (and the cat world) for the past 24 hours. The star chef was unavailable for comment when we tried him yesterday, though he has now retweeted a few messages from supporters, including this one: “@pete_wells A bitter note seeped into your review. Ambitious owners? Long lines? Well-designed tables? Thick crust? Fine by me.”  

It remains to be seen what, if anything, Mr. White will say for himself. But looking at how East Village restaurateurs have responded to criticism in the past, it’s clear he has some options.

1. Respond in the comments
In March, Tompkins Square Bagels owner Christopher Pugliese replied to a none-too-positive assessment of his “bagel burger” special by saying the joke was on the reviewer, Josh Ozersky: “I probably put more thought into what color chalk to use on the special board than to that burger,” he wrote in the comments. During the ensuing exchange with Mr. Ozersky, the bagelsmith conceded, “I should not have responded so strongly because this fellow Josh was just doing his job,” going on to explain, “I am very passionate about my bagels. To call them light, airy confections and poke fun at my clientele, got me riled up.” Read more…

Making It | Zoe Hansen of Manitoba’s

For every East Village business that’s opening or closing, dozens are quietly — or not so quietly — making it. Here’s one of them: Manitoba’s.

Zoe Hansen of Manitoba'sShira Levine Zoe Hansen

Since shutting down her two brothels in 2002, Zoe Hansen has refocused her hustle, using her entrepreneurial skills to bring some semblance of order to the punk rock bar Manitoba’s on Avenue B. Her husband, Richard “Handsome Dick” Manitoba, may be the public face of the dive (he recently told The Local, “I’ve got to keep it going if just for one thing: I can’t let another Subway move in here”) but the husband and wife are very much a team. So much so that they’re shopping a reality show about their life in the East Village. We spoke with Ms. Hansen about sex, drugs, rock and roll, and… management?


You used to be a sex worker and ran a brothel. How did that prepare you for tending and running a bar?


I ran and owned a brothel on Park Avenue and 23rd Street and another on Second Avenue and 22nd Street. It’s all good material for me now that I am a writer. It’s just business, so it wasn’t any different. It was about being there all the time to make sure things are happening and flowing. It was really an office environment. We had to keep up, creatively, with advertising and marketing. Read more…

Excited About St. Patty’s? Please Don’t Go to These Bars

Coal Yard bar, East VillageSuzanne Rozdeba Coal Yard and International Bar owner Molly Fitch is prepared to lay down the law on any drunken St. Patty’s Day revelers.

Anxious about the hordes of St. Patrick’s Day revelers ready to stumble their way through the neighborhood tomorrow? The Local is here to help. We called dives around the neighborhood to find out which ones would rather you not show up in a green top hat with shamrocks painted on your face. Here are your shelters from the drunken storm.

International Bar, 120 First Avenue, 212-777-1643
“I celebrate drinking at two in the afternoon every day. St. Patrick’s is a day where, all of a sudden, drinking in the afternoon is fun, and it ruins it for us,” owner Molly Fitch said. “I do not want a St. Patrick’s day pub crawl in my bar in any shape or form.”

Blue & Gold, 79 East Seventh Street, 212-777-1006
“This place is going to the anti-anti-anti haven. We’re not an Irish bar; we’re a Ukrainian bar. People will pack in here to get away,” said bartender Mike Roscishewsky. “We are absolutely not doing anything.”
Read more…