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Monika Jagaciak

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Kerry Heffernan's South Gate Slated for February Opening

Whatever happened to 154 South Gate, the restaurant helmed by Eleven Madison Park’s Kerry Heffernan that will fill the void left by Alain Ducasse’s old eatery in the Essex House? Turns out it’s going to be called just South Gate and will go into the space that was formerly Café Botanica. The latest from maître d’ Marc Mover is that it will start taking reservations around January 15, will start serving friends and family the week after that, and will open to the public on the first week of February. (Ducasse’s new venture, Adour, is scheduled to open January 28.) Unsurprisingly, Mover describes the menu as “greenmarket — fresh produce, local farmers, American style with a little bit of French influence or infusion.” And so the Haute Barnyard tear continues… Earlier: Decent Tables Still Available for Ducasse’s Opening Night

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Shake Shocker: No Lunch Line on Opening Day

It seems that even on the Shake Shack’s first day of winter operation, not many have decided to risk frostbite by ordering a Concrete. (Danny: Better put disclaimers on those cups, fast.) From noon till 1:30 p.m., we didn’t see more than a couple of people in line at a time when we periodically checked in with the Shake Cam. So, yes, a measure of sanity sometimes prevails in matters Shack — which’ll make it easy for us to snag a frozen custard on our way to buy a winter jacket and some hats and gloves at H&M.

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Midtown Pop Burger Unveils Its Poppin' Façade

Pop Burger
The recently unveiled exterior of the soon-to-open midtown Pop Burger takes the prize. Looks good now, but wait till the backlighting! Clearly bubble wrap was the inspiration here, making it a real possibility that someone in the upstairs billiards lounge could try to pop one of those windows with a pool cue. Also slated to hit midtown in December and still in hiding in the IBM building: the first U.S. outpost of Roman mozzarella bar Obika.

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The Union Club Is Like an Adult Frat, But Not in a Fun, ‘Old-School’ Way

MEDIA • Yesterday at the Union Club, reporters specifically invited by the Manhattan Institute to hear Mayor Bloomberg and Jeb Bush speak were instructed to leave the room before the speeches began. "The police are right outside," one club worker told them. "If you don't leave, we're going to call them in." You have to wonder if this was merely an administrative fumble, or the old-guy version of that frat-party game where dudes invite fat chicks to parties so they can make fun of them. [NYS, NYO] • However! The Manhattan Institute has since apologized to the press for the Union Club's behavior, and they put Bush's remarks online. It's only audio, though, we wonder why? We can only assume it's because at the Union Club, all speeches are done naked. [Manhattan Institute via NYO] • Janice Min: "It's off-putting when a junior employee tells you they want to be editor in chief." Instead, just try to make yourself indispensable: "I was the easy solution. Make yourself the easy solution." Or just make yourself easy. [WWD]

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Bill Clinton Made Rosie O'Donnell Cry

Rosie
Rosie O'Donnell burst into tears after Bill Clinton called her and apologized for being unfaithful to his wife. The guy who won the marathon said he did so by refraining from sex and eating pasta. Katie Holmes said her marathon run was "hard, but good." (She also wore a velvet Hermès gown to a Museum of the Moving Image event honoring her husband.) Damien Hirst installed a bunch of dead sheep carcasses in formaldehyde tanks at Lever House. Ousted Citigroup chief Chuck Prince didn't say hi to Sandy Weill at the Four Seasons. Annie Lennox gave a bunch of fans the finger. Governor Spitzer, Governor Corzine, and Nora Ephron went on a triple date to Cafe Boulud.

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