NYC restaurateur Stratis Morfogen knows how to feed a mob

He knows how to feed a mob

Stratis Morfogen. Nicknamed the Golden Greek, he owns a crate of NYC’s top restaurants. He’s been a victim of, partner of, friend of names that should stay nameless.

“’91 I opened my first, Upper East Side’s Gotham diner. Then another 40 restaurants. You sell or move because properties get sold, economy downturn, demolition problems, tastes or neighborhoods change.

“Our industry was then like the Wild West. Comes a knock on the door and you have to pay protection so the mob doesn’t break your window or your manager’s legs. They beat my guys up demanding $7,000 a month. These guys ruled the whole Upper East Side to Midtown. Now gone because those days got them one-way tickets to jail. I refused the shakedown. Also, three judges were my aunts and uncles.

“Gotti Jr.’s thugs tried to muscle me. But one guy had me go to a Gambino hangout at 11 o’clock where they were told, ‘This Greek’s one of us. Tell Junior stay away or this escalates.’ So it got squashed. This stuff started with me when I was a busboy at my dad’s chophouse in Howard Beach.

“Now I just opened Brooklyn Chop House, 25,000 feet in Times Square. I owned Chinese restaurants for 17 years. During COVID our delivery business thrived. No sending romantic dinners for two. We were sending food platters for 20 to 30 people in two-bedroom apartments.

“Took time to screw up restaurant business so now it’s going to take time to fix it. I’m just opening my Greek restaurant in Greenwich Village which basically I can’t open because Macdougal Street’s been taken over by criminals and drug dealers.”

Winning the West

One great word about Peter Mosconi who came here from Italy long before the Big Bang and opened his A-1 terrific Italian restaurant Monte’s Trattoria. It’s on Macdougal Street. It’s packed. It’s the best. And the street loves him.

Judgment Day for Janet

Vats of bodily fluid may dribble out over ex-Chief Judge of the State of New York Janet DiFiore’s sudden step-down.

The investigation is only beginning.

The offense of sending an ex parte communication to a judge — of which she is accused — is a big large no-no. She knows that. But a voluntary step-down over it? Doubtful.

Mayhap more is to come unless some deal’s been struck.

New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announced that she is stepping down in August.
New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announced that she is stepping down in August.
AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File

A sort of could be maybe misunderstanding flap over this causing an end to a long career is as doubtful as Biden turning into Plato.

Mother might think, more might seep out. My Botox’d lips are nailed shut.

Also — hearing about a union head/state court officer suspended after releasing DiFiore’s home address but hearing zip about suspensions or firings of those who leaked home addresses or private information of Supreme Court justices?

Qué pasa? Law only applies when you agree with it?

Royal boo-boo

Apologies to Tisch, Farkas and author Lownie, whose new book chops the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and says that in their sponging days they stayed in the Tisch family’s Cap-Ferrat home. NO! NO! Again, NO! It was the Farkas family where, clearly, I will never ever be invited.

Everyone’s having so much difficulty these days that a friend even asked his son the lawyer for advice. The friend then received a bill. A family member asked him: “You would charge your own father?” And he said, “Please — I gave him a 50% discount.”

Only in New York, kids, only in New York.

This article was originally posted here