EaterWire: Derby in at Ssam, Donnybrook Soft Opening, and Uptown Shutters

EAST VILLAGE— The Feedbag checks in with Fran Derby, former chef at Tailor who left Sam Mason this summer to take over at Solex: "Derby is back in the co-pilot’s seat, this time in the cockpit with David Chang at Ssam Bar. The menu seems to have taken on a more graceful, erudite tone with dishes like raw diver scallops with snow peas and orange in XO broth...and steamed Bouchot mussels in a nigori broth with celery and frozen grapes." [TFB]

LOWER EAST SIDE— Donnybrook, the new "pub" in the old Lotus space on Clinton and Stanton will soft open tonight, according to Grub Street: "'It's hopefully not one of these trendy places,' says [owner] Joye, who lives in the neighborhood. 'Hopefully it will be around twenty years.'" [GS]

ECONOMY— And yet more bad news for the restaurant industry: "There has been so much of a focus on Wall Street and the credit problem, but the real source of the problem in the fourth quarter is going to be consumer spending, and restaurants are one of the canaries in this coal mine," Edward E. Leamer, director of the UCLA Anderson Forecast, told the LAT. "If the restaurants are open and no one shows, if businesses do not get revenue, people lose their jobs and cut back even more." [LAT via Eater LA]

HARLEM— Uptown Flavor notices that a number of uptown restaurants are dark or "closed for renovation": "Last week we reported that Cafe Bon Jour on St. Nicholas was dark with a closed for renovations sign in the window...The other evening I passed by Charles’ Southern Kitchen and they were also dark with the gates drawn closed. Farther downtown, Harlem Wing and Waffle had a renovation sign in the window promising to reopen on November 1st...Baton Rouge, the sister restaurant to MoBay, also appeared to be undergoing a renovation of sorts." [UF]For more stories from Eater, go to

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