Batali Restaurant Planned For Park Street
by Gilad Edelman | Mar 12, 2014 10:28 am
Posted to: Arts & Culture, Dining
A storefront that has been vacant for seven years may soon house the latest outpost of Mario Batali’s restaurant empire.
The Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group intends to open a Tarry Lodge restaurant at 278 Park St., according to Lauren Zucker, Yale’s director of New Haven affairs. Yale holds a long-term lease on the property, which is owned by St. Thomas More.
Speaking at a Board of Zoning Appeals meeting Tuesday night at 200 Orange St., Zucker said the restaurant group hopes to open the “family friendly” pizzeria, which has locations in Westport and in Port Chester, N.Y, as quickly as possible once it’s approved. Joshua Cohen, the lawyer representing the proposal, asked the board to grant special exceptions for a liquor license, which he said would be used only for restaurant service, and to allow the restaurant to add no new parking.
The board sent the proposal to the City Plan Commission for review, and plans to vote on it next month.
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Yale Properties seems to be doing their research well. Batali will fit right in with Gourmet Heaven…
The waiters at Babbo pull down about 74K annually. This is higher than the median household income in East Rock which everybody in New Haven seems to think is a cash cow.
No waiter in New Haven makes $247/night, five nights a week, every week of the year.
Batali is opening a spot on Park St., not Park Ave.
$74K per year in NYC is abject poverty. The bankers who eat at Babbo could afford to pay the servers a living wage.
The Babbo lawsuit took place in the context of New York.
64K a year is NOT abject poverty in NYC according to the BLS which says it’s 156% of the average annual wage for leisure and hospitality workers in Manhatten.
And not according to the Department Head of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT who says its 241% of a living wage in New York City.
The fact is that the owner stole a portion of the workers’ tips every night, which is illegal. He stole millions that they rightfully earned. He outright told his employees that he was taking 4.5% of the tips from alcohol sales, so he admitted to an illegal practice. He said that he was using this stolen money to pay his other (salaried) employees, but he had to pay the salaried employees anyway, so that statement was just a smokescreen.
Secondly, the owner was paying some of his workers the server’s minimum ($4.60 per hour) even when they were not waiting tables or attending to customers in any way. By law, they should have been paid at least the regular minimum wage.
Third, before we jump to conclusions about how much a server earned per year, remember that tips are pooled and divided among all front-of-the-house workers (anyone who attends to customers in any way, including captains, bussers, runners, back waiters, bartenders, and barbacks). So when tips are stolen by the employer, these workers are robbed as well.
The Grubstreet article reporting on the lawsuit notes specifically that, “the server made about $239 or $256 in tips on a given night, and the runner received about $120 or $130 (in addition to their $4.60 hourly wage)”. I took that to mean a division of a larger sum already tipped out to staff because the article also noted that, “(on a given night, six waiters are said to have made about $4,500 in gratuities).” That’s $750 per waiter.
Batali’s point about tipping out the Som is that its the Som who convinces customers to buy a really nice bottle of wine (which significantly ups the tip pool). The plaintiff’s attorneys claims that this is illegal but we’ll never know if anything was really “stolen” because it was settled out of court. Its worth mentioning that the NYC attorney is well known in the restaurant community as being an upscale ambulance chaser.