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Newsy Nuggets: Barnie’s redo, meat and magic, and a spaghetti house bans kids

Written By Scott Joseph On February 11, 2023

Barnies new look

The Park Avenue Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Co. cafe, formerly known as Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen, is scheduled to reopen next week following a renovation of the space and a revamping of the food menu. CoffeeKitchen – you know they paid a branding expert lots of money to remove the space between the two words – was kicked off more than 11 years ago and featured the estimable chef Camilo Velasco as the company’s executive chef. Onsite bean roasting was planned, and pour-over coffee was meant to be a forte. By now, CoffeeKitchens (CoffeesKitchen?) should have been dotting the countryside.

None of that played out. Velasco is now the chef at the upscale Tiffins in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. And so far no new executive chef has been named for the reboot, which reclaims the old tried and true name. So we’ll just have to see what kind of food is available to go with Barney’s always-good coffee.

A media preview is planned for Feb. 23, so keep watching for an official opening announcement.

Southeast Black November


Kostya Kimlat, the acclaimed “business magician,” will be returning to Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster, from whence he got his start. Actually, the Lee Road restaurant was still known as Del Frisco’s back then when Kimlat wandered through the dining room like an instrumentless musician.

But this time, Kimlat will be doing his mind-boggling magic in a private room as part of a magic show dinner. The dinners are Feb. 23 and 24, though the 23d is sold out. Tickets are $259 and includes a four-course dinner. Tickets at kostyakimlat.com.

I’ve been known to perform a little magic at Christner’s myself – I can made an entire ribeye disappear. (Doesn’t always work with a bone-in steak.)

A Tinton Falls, New Jersey, restaurant has been getting world-wide attention after it announced last week that it was banning children under the age of 10 from its premises. That isn’t unheard of, but it does seem strange from a place called Nettie’s House of Spaghetti.

A post on the restaurant’s Facebook page stated: “We love kids. We really, truly, do. But lately, it’s been extremely challenging to accommodate children at Nettie’s. Between noise levels, lack of space for high chairs, cleaning up crazy messes, and the liability of kids running around the restaurant, we have decided that it’s time to take control of the situation.”

As of last week, the post had been shared more than 6000 times, with comments balanced between outraged disappointment and grateful praise.

The ban doesn’t go into effect until March 8, so parents in the NJ area still have a chance to go out and annoy fellow diners.

Victoria & Albert’s banned children under 10 many years ago, famously annoying the New York Times food writer Florence Fabricant, who had take her grandchildren to Walt Disney World and wanted to take them to the fine dining restaurant. Instead, she and the kids were made to eat at the chef’s table, which is, of course, one of the most coveted and illusive tables in the area.

But that was years ago. When V&A reopened a few months ago, they dispensed with the jackets-required policy, so who knows. Maybe Vicky & Al have high chairs now. Or a kids menu with spaghetti.

We hope you find our reviews and news articles useful and entertaining. It has always been our goal to assist you in making informed decisions when spending your dining dollars. If we’ve helped you in any way, please consider making a contribution to help us continue our journalism. Thank you.

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