Dona to Return, in Relaxed Form
We’ve learned that Juan Garcia-Espinoza, a dishwasher who worked at Carmine’s for two and a half years is suing the South Street Seaport dive (no relation to the Upper West Side pasta joint) for allegedly violating overtime laws by paying him a miserly $260 to $300 for workweeks as long as 58 hours. We’ve pointed out that these cases are increasingly becoming “man bites dog,” and the cover story of this week’s Business Week proves it: In the last few years, companies have blown about $1 billion resolving them. At this point wouldn’t even Mr. Burns agree that that money is better spent fairly compensating workers in the first place? Related: Wage Wars [Business Week]
Guest of a Guest broke the story yesterday that Cordell Lochin thought be a partner in Serge Becker’s joints La Esquina, 205, and the Box will be sentenced on October 10 for importing more than 100 kilos of weed and dealing it in New York in 2004 and 2005. There’s been speculation that the August 24 raid of the Box and La Esquina was related to this, and we’ve heard rumors that Cordell was recently arrested again but the Box’s publicist, Nadine Johnson, tells us neither of these things are correct (a check with NYPD turned up no recent arrests). She also describes Cordell as a consultant and not a partner in the Box, as reported in a recent Observer profile and other places: “We had taken the decision to call him a partner, but he isn’t a real partner or employee for the Box or La Esquina.” Serge Becker did not know about Cordell’s past until ten days ago, when his case went to trial, Johnson says. She also issued an emphatic statement to Grub Street on behalf of Becker further disavowing Cordell’s ownership stake.
Jimmy Rodriguez, the man behind the late, legendary Jimmy’s Bronx Café wants to open an outpost of his midtown joint Sofrito same concept, same Puerto Rican menu. “I’m looking all over the city for something next year,” he tells us. He has considered a former club space in Chelsea, but he’s still open to anything below 96th Street.