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Saigon Grill

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Saigon Grill Owners Arrested

After being ordered last month to pay millions to former employees, the owners of Saigon Grill were arrested this morning on criminal charges.

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Pizza Prices Definitely Going Up; Bruni Loves Björk

There’s no doubt about it: Pizza prices are going up. A survey of pizzerias around town — well, below 14th Street, anyway — reveals that slice prices are almost unanimously going to increase over the next few months, owing to the soaring price of flour. [City Room/NYT] Though the National Labor Relations Board ruled more than two weeks ago that Saigon Grill‘s deliverymen must be rehired with full back pay, delivery service at both locations remains suspended and there are doubts about its returning anytime soon. [Villager] You can learn so much from hanging out at Ko and the Rusty Knot, like how good Jay-Z is at playing pool. [Mouthing Off/Food & Wine]

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Saigon Grill Deliverymen Get Their Jobs Back, With a Raise

It looks like you won’t see Saigon Grill deliverymen picketing on the sidewalk anymore — according to the Times, a judge has finally ruled that 28 deliverymen who were illegally fired for organizing a labor lawsuit can go back to work at the minimum wage of $4.85 an hour, rather than the $1.60 per hour some workers were apparently paid during 75-hour work weeks. Saigon Grill plans to appeal, though you’d think this snowy, slushy day — if nothing else — would force them to admit they might not be paying their deliverymen enough. Related: Restaurants Must Rehire Deliverymen, Judge Rules [NYT] The Deliveryman’s Uprising [NYM]

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The Feds Have a Problem Ordering Delivery from Saigon Grill

Saigon Grill
Labor activists, ousted employees, and local politicians gathered outside Saigon Grill’s uptown location to cheer a validating September 28 complaint against the restaurant issued by the National Labor Relations Board. In March, Saigon Grill sacked 22 workers who had taken steps to join the 318 Restaurant Workers Union. The NLRB also found that Saigon Grill’s owners promised pay raises (above a reported $1.60 an hour) to those who stayed away from the union and videotaped the employees who participated in regular demonstrations outside the Amsterdam Avenue restaurant and its University Place counterpart.

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New York’s Deliverymen Are Mad As Hell

Between dodging trucks and potholes, risking robberies, working endless hours for slave wages in the rain and cold, and having to buy their own bikes and food, the city’s delivery workers have one of the rawest deals in all of New York City. But thanks to suits filed against Saigon Grill, Flor de Mayo, and several other restaurants around town, solidarity and an able use of the American legal system might turn things around. The takeaway quote from this week's piece by noted reporter and author Jennifer Gonnerman? “If we win this case, every restaurant is going to change.” Of course, there are no guarantees in any labor battle. Read on for the New York take. The Deliverymen’s Uprising [NYM] Related: Pols Come Out to Support Saigon Grill Workers; Delivery Service Still Suspended [Daily Intel]

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City Gears Up to Better Police Labor Violations; Beef Threatens Fish at Le Bernardin

City Council to introduce a bill giving authorities more power to crack down on restaurant labor violations like the alleged ones at Saigon Grill. [MetroNY] Related: 100 Students to Protest Saigon Grill [Grub Street] Kobe beef, having once appeared on Le Bernardin’s menu, is taking over and chasing the fish away – a fact chef Eric Ripert is less than thrilled about. [NYP] Bizarre details of Mr. Chow’s abuse emerge from the lawsuit, including information about one employee who was forced to lie on the floor and be menaced and even kicked by the diminutive restaurateur. [Gawker]

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100 Students to Protest Saigon Grill

Update, 6:14 p.m.: Sit-in ends after 45 minutes, with the NYPD ordering protestors out of the Vietnamese eatery. Jamie Chen, who we spoke with earlier, tells us that she and her fellow students took over most of the tables on first floor. There were no arrests. The protestors joined noisy demonstrators outside, chanting “Boycott Saigon Grill.” Update, 5:49 p.m.: Students, many wearing red, have taken over a number of tables inside the restaurant while television cameras whir. In a planned demonstration reminiscent of sixties campus radicalism, at least 100 students citywide are expected to stage a protest shortly after 5 p.m. today in front of the trendy Saigon Grill on University Place. The demonstration is a statement against the lockout of some 33 delivery workers who refused to sign in March what they claimed was an illegal contract from owner Simon Nget, a Chinese-Cambodian refugee who also runs an Upper West Side Asian eatery by the same name. The protest is “definitely student generated and initiated,” says Jamie Chen, 20, a Columbia student reached during finals. She says her fellow activist Christina Chen,19, held a teach-in at Columbia’s Hamilton Hall a couple of weeks ago “to talk about the abuses” at the restaurant “and a lot of people want to do something about it.”

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The Heartening Backstory of the Deliveryman Rebellion

The worker protests recently seen at Saigon Grill and Ollie’s Noodle Shop and Grill weren’t just an isolated pair of incidents; they indicate a sea change, according to a dramatic, eye-opening article in City Limits this week. Ever since workers at 88 Palace on East Broadway won their case against management for paying them poorly and ripping off a portion of their tips, the article says, long-terrorized restaurant staffers have been riding a wave of rebellion into fair treatment. Right on! Of course, our sympathies are always with the people who bring us our food. Wins Galvanize Workers at City's Asian Eateries [City Limits] Related: Pols Come Out to Support Saigon Grill Workers; Delivery Service Still Suspended [Daily Intel]

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Free Brazilian Pool Party Returns to Times Square

Clinton Hill: “Seder in a Box” prayer kit available for $1 at St. Joseph’s College. Bring it to one of the nontraditional Seder meals we recently recommended! [Clinton Hill Blog] Lower East Side: MySpace pages offer insight into why Falai Panetteria waitresses are so bitchy. [Gawker] Midtown East: No longer keeping their chin up: I-Chin has closed. [NYT] A Burger King on Fifth Avenue sues its landlord over rats, who were probably seeking a new food source after Hunan Fifth got shuttered. [NYS] Red Hook The beloved El Huipil is no more, but the new owners of the space will also serve Mexican food — made by a “hot chef.” [Eat for Victory/VV] Times Square: “Reality dining” comes to Broadway when Spotlight Live opens on April 6. [NYT] The free Brazilian pool party at Hotel QT returns this Thursday, promising live music, cachaça specials, and skinny-dipping-themed pickup lines. [NewYorkology] Tribeca: Oh, dom: Dominic closes. [NYT] Turtle Bay: The U.N.’s all-you-can-eat Malaysian buffet kicks off in mid-April! [NewYorkology] Union Square: Union Square Café name sold to Tokyo group. Related: Tokyo has a Union Square? [NYT] Upper West Side: Ollie’s Noodle Shop workers follow Saigon Grill deliverymen. [Eater]

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Just 9,680 More Signatures Needed to Preserve Coney Island

Chinatown: Tow-happy deputy inspector Gin Yee instills fear in government officials: no more double-parking for dumplings. [downtown express] Clinton Hill: The Pan Y Mas grand opening, and the 49-cent coffee it promised, has come and gone. [Clinton Hill Blog] Coney Island: Online petition to battle Thor Equities needs 9,680 more e-signatures. [Kinetic Carnival] East Village: Birdies chicken restaurant takes over Flor's space on First Avenue, panders to the stereotype that old ladies and chicken naturally go together. [Gothamist] Flatiron: Shake Shack open early! [Eater] Midtown East: Hip new Pod Hotel soon to have “bitchin’ roof deck” and bar. [Gridskipper] Upper West Side: Saigon Grill's delivery workers continue strike; “Fat Guy” implicates all of us. [egullet] West Village: A campaign backed by Virgin Atlantic, Tea and Sympathy, and celebs like Mischa Barton looks to rename part of Greenwich Avenue “Little Britain.” [Englishman in New York] Williamsburg: Almost all the ice-cream trucks involved in last Tuesday's Koolman garage fire were indeed damaged. [i'm not saying, i'm just saying]

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Like Their Noodles, Saigon Grill in Hot Water

It’s not just Daniel Boulud with labor troubles these days: The humble Saigon Grill on the Upper West Side faced 75 demonstrators earlier today after the owner locked out 22 deliverymen Friday night. (The workers had refused to sign away their right to sue for wages they claim they’re owed.) Get the details — and the cold, hungry customer’s perspective — on Daily Intel. Labor Troubles at Saigon Grill Mean No Delivery for You [Daily Intel]

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