And on the subject of Plaza rumors, I keep hearing that Tomfooleries (612 West 47th Street) is decamping from its location -- "They've lost their lease," one Plaza restaurateur assures me -- and moving north of the river.
"Lost our lease? Not even close to the truth. We're not moving out of the Plaza," says Tomfooleries owner Barton Bloom. "But we are opening a second location up north, in the new Zona Rosa shopping center."
That center, scheduled to open next April, will feature a Tomfooleries restaurant serving the same menu (and elaborate Sunday brunch) as the Plaza version, but in a slightly larger venue. "We're even going to have a mezzanine level that we'll rent out for banquets, receptions and special occasions," Bloom says.
Another rumor in current circulation has Steve Cole, former owner of Café Allegro -- now the distinctly less fancy Joe D's on 39th (1815 West 39th Street) -- opening a catering company and small bistro "somewhere in midtown." I catch up with Cole, who's now in the restaurant real estate business, on his cell phone. He laughs at the rumor: "Not on a bet!"
Cole watched the first episode of NBC's reality series The Restaurant and was doubly thrilled to be out of the culinary business, especially in this tough economic climate. "The local independent restaurants are really having a rough time," he says.
Also still not in the business: the partnership of chef Antonio Brocato, Kristen Lamorie and Ashley Williamson, who planned to open a downtown café called AKA this year. "Ashley and I are still planning to do something," Lamorie says. "But not with Antonio. We don't even know where he is."
Let's start a rumor.