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Sirio's New Address?...Clinton Returns to the Podium...Graydon's Bush Book

Bill Clinton, Sirion Maccioni, Graydon Carter, George W. Bush, NABET, CNN and more.

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Restaurant Happenings: Sirio’s New Address?
Having just announced his plans to move Le Cirque 2000 from the Palace Hotel, Sirio Maccioni already has his eye on a new location. Real-estate sources say he is close to signing a deal to take over the two-level Nicole Farhi store and restaurant at 10 East 60th Street. “There are no deals. Nothing has been signed,” says a spokeswoman for Maccioni. Corcoran broker Neal Sroka, who works with Maccioni, declined to comment. . . . In other restaurant news, Bryant Park Hotel’s Ilo (run by chef Rick Laakkonen) is closing this summer and will likely be replaced with a nouvelle Chinese restaurant, overseen by Nobu Matsuhisa (of Nobu), who is importing chef Yuji Wakiya from Japan. Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro, Richie Notar, and Meir Teper are close to signing a deal to fund the restaurant, set to open early next year, with the name Wakiya.

Back on the Street: Generally Speaking
Bill Clinton was nominally exiled from lucrative speaking engagements at U.S. investment banks following his pardon of billionaire fugitive Marc Rich. (According to Senate filings for the years 2001 to 2003, Warburg Pincus was Clinton’s only paid speaking engagement to a U.S. investment firm of 139 speeches reported.) But the exile has ended. Clinton’s speech on June 2 at the Sanford C. Bernstein Strategic Decisions conference at the Waldorf-Astoria is the first real indication that Wall Street firms are once again embracing him. Back in February 2001, Morgan Stanley apologized to clients for paying $125,000 for Clinton’s first postpresidential speech.

Indecent Proposal: Capital Crimes
Graydon Carter appears to have compiled a formidable arsenal of unflattering facts about 43’s gubernatorial tenure in the proposal for his book about George W. Bush, due out from Farrar, Straus & Giroux in September, but he seems to be lacking some crucial information about the state of Texas itself. One of the many notations for facts to be inserted later is TEXAS CAPITAL CITY. Carter also used the Vanity Fair art department to mock up a cover for the proposal, titled “What We’ve Lost” (in what looks like Vanity Fair’s typeface). A spokeswoman for the magazine confirmed that it was designed by assistant art director Chris Mueller.

State of the Union: Convention Warfare
For the first time, New York unions are threatening labor unrest at the GOP convention—and CNN may be to blame. In 2003, CNN terminated its relationship with a subcontractor whose employees were repped by the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET). CNN hired half the workers back, but won’t recognize NABET—and now the union’s retaliating. “Our goal is to embarrass CNN before a national audience by creating difficulties at the convention,” says NABET president John Clark. NABET may stage a picket that other workers could be reluctant to cross. The dispute has also created complications for John Kerry. Labor leaders asked him to boycott CNN shows, sources say, but Kerry refused, instead penning a private, sharply worded letter to CNN president Jim Walton: “I find the dismissal of long-term workers and the ouster of their union to be disturbing, and I urge you to do the right thing by reconsidering your actions.” CNN says NABET’S using a high-profile event to force its hand. —Greg Sargent


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