Though a deal is not yet signed, we can report that Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s partnership with Japanese restaurateurs the Matsushita brothers is back on. The building that used to house 66will become a long-awaited soba restaurant and maybe something even better: a three-story Japanese megamarket. The soba restaurant, Matsu Gen, is envisioned as the anchor to what one source familiar with the project described as a “Japanese Zabar’s.” (A similar Japanese megamart, the Mitsuwa Marketplace, exists in Edgewater, New Jersey, and is a mecca for Japanese cooks and aficianados from all over the greater New York area.) It’s not definite that the full three-floor bazaar will come to pass, but the restaurant, at any rate, seems to be coming into focus.
Earlier: Vongerichten's Soba Plans May Be in the SoupVongerichten May Deep-Six 66, Serve Sushi and Soba Instead
British sandwich chain Pret a Manger is launching an expansion of Starbucks-like proportions, announcing plans to open 33 more locations in New York — four times the current number. “If New York could support one on every corner, we’d love that,” the company’s head says. [NYS]
Related: Out to Lunch [NYM]
Urged by the Marine Conservation Society, Gordon Ramsay pulls endangered bluefin tuna from all his restaurants. [NRN]
The Department of Health’s current closure rampage continues with Union Picnic in Williamsburg, Café Angelique, and J’adore in Manhattan. [Eater]