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East Village Loses Another Chain? or Three?

Pudgie'sDaniel Maurer

First Subway closed on Second Avenue (its replacement, Good Guys, is now open) and now a sign on the papered-over door of the three-in-one joint that houses Pudgie’s, Nathan’s Famous, and Arthur Treacher’s is asking customers to “pardon our appearance during renovation.”

Though it only opened this summer, there’s reason to believe the threesome at 57 First Avenue might’ve dunked its last bird: back in November, we noticed a listing indicating the business was for sale because the “owner is relocating.” The Local was unable to reach the owner or agent back then and the agent didn’t respond to another request for comment yesterday.

We’ll let you know if we find out more.

Fried Chicken, With The Spice of Scandal

The neighborhood is getting a new fried chicken joint, and this one has a colorful past that goes far beyond secret recipes. Pudgie’s Famous Chicken, which EV Grieve noted is replacing the shuttered King Gyro on First Avenue between Third and Fourth Streets, was once run by a former chairman of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce who was accused of embezzlement. The New York Post reported in August of last year that Jeffrey Bernstein abruptly resigned his post at the Chamber after he was accused of embezzling more than $2.3 million from the non-profit Albert Ellis Institute while serving as its president. In an article from 2003 in Chain Leader, a magazine for restaurant executives, Mr. Bernstein was described as a “turnaround artist” who bought the troubled Pudgie’s chain and made it profitable.