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John Gargiulo

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Swich Wants Your Random, Pointless Antics

Customers at Chelsea’s Swich kill time waiting for their panini with one of the strangest of New York restaurant entertainments: SwichTV, a continuous loop of weird, soundless, Dada-like performances by random people shown on a big flat-panel display. (Two typical examples can be seen above.) Owner John Gargiulo creates the movies, which feature such stone-faced characters as Charade Girl, Awkward Mary, and What’s in the Box Guy, but feels that the videos have gotten a little stale. So he plans to do a new batch and is inviting all Grub Street readers to contact him for inclusion. There is no pay and no credit, but if you're chosen, you will have the pride of starring in videos about which Gargiulo says, “Most people get it, while others stare at it like ‘what the f*!k is this?‘” Earlier: Swich On: New Shop Suggests Eventual Empire

Swich On: New Shop Suggests Eventual Empire

We visited the new pressed-sandwich emporium Swich last night, as promised, and owner John Gargiulo walked us through the menu that we advised him on lo these many months ago. Gargiulo kept his own counsel: His dozen or so sandwiches don't closely resemble any of the city classics we told him we love. The best one, a simple number composed of Joe's Dairy mozzarella, proscuitto di Parma, and ripe beefsteak tomatoes, was extraordinary; the lesser items were good, too. Owing to the restaurant's intense planning and design, nicely executed details abound, from the intensely crisp and salty fresh potato chips to the TV screen showing original Dada-style videos behind the counter and what is definitely the most powerful automatic hand-dryer in the universe. The fast-foodie shop is so well thought-out that we're guessing it's the pilot for a national franchise. But you can judge for yourself, starting tomorrow. Swich, 104 Eighth Ave., nr. 15th St.; 212-488-4800.

Hitting the Swich

Tonight we'll be getting a preview of Swich, a new pressed-sandwich bar on Eighth Avenue, but in the meantime, we thought we'd show you this pic. (The artist's rendering you might have seen on Eater was a prospective design that the restaurant ultimately decided against.) Full disclosure: Owner John Gargiulo approached us informally earlier this year (long before we morphed into Grub Street) for advice on sandwiches, and we named a few of our favorites around town. Find out tomorrow if Swich equals any of those eats. Swich, 104 Eighth Ave., nr. 15th St.; 212-488-4800.