The New York International Restaurant & Foodservice Show is where restaurants go shopping. I spent Monday there, along with thousands of restaurateurs, chefs and other hospitality-biz types, walking up and down the aisles of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.
What’s on offer? Food, for one thing. Soups, crab cakes, muffins and even pizzas that restaurants will pass off as their own. There’s kitchen equipment, cleaning equipment, furniture, restroom fixtures, china, stemware, paper products, uniforms, shoes, computer systems, payroll programs—everything a restaurant could possibly need.
I ran into Brian Rosenberg, formerly a vice president at the Garden City Hotel and now a restaurant consultant, and his partner, Lenny Oliva, owner of Ciao Baby in Massapequa and Commack. The two men are collaborating on a new venture, Sugar Dining Den and Social Club, that is slated to open in April in Carle Place. Along with their chef, Hok Chin, and their director of operations, Jeanne Repetti, they were searching for inspiration.
Rosenberg was interested in some sleek, stackable chairs from one vendor, as well as two-way radios from Farmingdale’s own RadioBoss. He explained that when a restaurant gets noisy, radios are the best way for managers to communicate with one another. He was especially smitten with a display of rock-candy drinks accessories that would drive home his new restaurant’s “sugar” theme.
The Show, which is only for "the trade," ends today.
Newsday Photo / Erica Marcus