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Benihana Founder's Shipping Container Has Been Stolen
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"Saigon Social, a Vietnamese restaurant on the Lower East Side, has only ever existed in a pandemic-era limbo.” Photographer and reporter Gary He chronicles Helen Nguyen’s fight to keep her restaurant afloat for the past two years. The restaurant, at 172 Orchard Street, officially opened for full service dining last week.
“…Applebee’s has not always kicked ass recently,” reports Restaurant Business Online. Same store sales rose over 6 percent in 2021, one of the highest rates of growth in its 40 year history. Keys to growth: Embracing its fans instead of trying to court younger people; cutting the menu, and a shift to delivery and takeout.
Sweetgreen has added 200 locations in less than six months and is revamping its program, even though same store sales were up 36 percent in the latest quarter earnings.
A 30-foot long shipping container containing about $200,000 worth of restaurant equipment and priceless heirlooms were stolen from Kevin Aoki, son of Benihana founder Hiroaki "Rocky" Aoki. Before his death, Rocky Aoki amassed a trove of Asian artifacts and antiques. The prized possessions, handed down to his children, were used to furnish son Kevin Aoki’s restaurants. The items were packed into the shipping container, bound for Oahu, Hawaii. The 40,000 pound container was waiting for transport to the Port of Miami where it would be placed on a container vessel, when it was stolen. Kevin Aoki is offering a $25,000 reward for the missing container.
World Central Kitchen has an ebay charity auction site. As the war in Ukraine escalates, it’s estimated that more than three million people have fled the country they call home. At the Ukraine-Poland border, volunteers from World Central Kitchen greet these cold, tired people with a hot chocolate, a meal, and whatever else they can do to help them feel like someone cares. To support these efforts, you can now shop the organization’s eBay store. This virtual thrift store has everything from Lego sets to vintage tableware — plus all proceeds fund World Cental Kitchen’s efforts in Ukraine and all over the world.