NYC Deputizes All Citizens As Secret Shoppers

NYC Deputizes All Citizens As Secret Shoppers

Inspections by New York’s Department of Consumer Affairs found that two-thirds of the supermarkets they visited were overcharging customers at the checkout counter. That’s up from 1 in 3 last August. So now they’re turning all shoppers into “deputized inspectors” to report malefactors. [More]

Gorilla Coffee Sues New York Times For Posting Worker Walkout Letter

Gorilla Coffee Sues New York Times For Posting Worker Walkout Letter

Gorilla Coffee, the coffee shop where eight employees jointly quit over protests about working conditions, is suing the New York Times for publishing their resignation letter. The Times reporter and the eight ex-workers were also named in the suit, which claims the epistle was defamatory and caused them to lose business. [More]

At Least One Overpriced NYC Bar Ditches Mandatory 20% Tip

At Least One Overpriced NYC Bar Ditches Mandatory 20% Tip

Yesterday we brought you the story about several overpriced, overhyped NYC hotel bars that were adding mandatory 18-20% tips to drinks that already cost more than a good meal. Today, we’re happy to report that at least one of these spots has changed its policy. [More]

Celeb Chef Mario Batali Sued Over Tips By Staff At Yet Another Restaurant

Celeb Chef Mario Batali Sued Over Tips By Staff At Yet Another Restaurant

Back in July, pony-tailed celeb chef Mario Batali found himself the subject of a lawsuit filed by workers at five of his NYC area restaurants for allegedly withholding credit card tips from the staff. Absent from that litigation were employees at Batali’s flagship eatery Del Posto… until yesterday when 27 members of that restaurant’s staff sued, claiming they weren’t paid a legal wage. [More]

NYC Transit Fares Increase As Service Continues To Decrease

NYC Transit Fares Increase As Service Continues To Decrease

Life in New York City has just gotten a little more expensive, as the MTA board has voted to increase fares on subways, buses and commuter trains for the third time in two years, all while cutting bus routes, train service and laying off thousands of employees. [More]

Watch A Man Eat As Much Sugar As Is In A 20 Oz. Soft Drink

Watch A Man Eat As Much Sugar As Is In A 20 Oz. Soft Drink

Well, this is gross. It’s the sequel to the notorious “Man drinking fat” commercial from the New York City Department of Health. [More]

Consumer Group Launches Anti-Google Ad In Times Square, Keeps Google Analytics On Its Own Website

Consumer Group Launches Anti-Google Ad In Times Square, Keeps Google Analytics On Its Own Website

The group Consumer Watchdog is pushing hard for Congress to establish a “do not track” list for online consumers, which I’m all for. I’m not sure whether releasing a ridiculously unpleasant cartoon in Times Square is the right strategy, though–especially when you use the very service you’re warning people about. [More]

Soup Nazi Back In Business, But Not Actually Around To Yell At You

Soup Nazi Back In Business, But Not Actually Around To Yell At You

Al Yeganeh, the man who inspired Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi character, closed up shop six years ago, but this week he re-opened his business at the same location on 55th Street in NYC under the name “The Original Soup Man.” The company is now a franchise with locations in nine states and Washington, D.C., and unfortunately (for us, but probably not for him) Yeganeh doesn’t actually do any counterwork–he’s just the brand at this point. [More]

Government Wipes Out Geese Population In Brooklyn To Ensure Airplane Safety

Government Wipes Out Geese Population In Brooklyn To Ensure Airplane Safety

In what has come to be known as “Sully’s Revenge” (by me, just now), wildlife biologists herded about 400 geese from Brooklyn’s ginormous Prospect Park into cages last week, then “took them to a nearby building where they were gassed with lethal doses of carbon dioxide.” [More]

NYC To Retailers: Close The Door, Did You Grow Up In A Barn?

NYC To Retailers: Close The Door, Did You Grow Up In A Barn?

In New York City, if you have a store with more than 4,000 square feet of retail space, or if you own a chain of at least five stores in the city, you’re required by law to keep your cool air inside where it belongs. That means none of this leaving the door open so your cool air will “lure in overheated customers,” reports WNYC. A city councilwoman says she hopes to conduct surveys this week to catch any retailers skirting the law. An employee at French Connection in SoHo said that her store is concerned about the energy crisis, so they only open one door instead of two these days. [More]

Mom Sues Starbucks After She Spills Hot Tea On Her Baby

Mom Sues Starbucks After She Spills Hot Tea On Her Baby

It’s not surprising that a parent who accidentally scalds their child with hot tea would end up in a courtroom. But it isn’t usually the case that said parent is the plaintiff, suing Starbucks for doing what they do best — or at least do a lot of — serving hot beverages. [More]

NYC Forces Retailers To Stop Selling Illegal Knives

NYC Forces Retailers To Stop Selling Illegal Knives

If you were planning on picking up a sturdy switchblade or gravity knife from one of the Home Depots in NYC for your next home improvement project, or because you wanted to stab someone, you should note that they’re no longer available. That’s because last week, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office persuaded that store and 13 other retailers to stop selling such knives. They’re generally illegal in New York, and the retailers have agreed to surrender their inventory and forfeit any profits they made from illegal knife sales over the past four years. [More]

Big Tobacco Sues NYC, Claims Anti-Smoking Posters Are Unconstitutional

Big Tobacco Sues NYC, Claims Anti-Smoking Posters Are Unconstitutional

Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds and Lorillard are bankrolling a lawsuit that says that the graphic anti-smoking posters that the city now requires near cash registers are unconstitutional. [More]

Bicycle Blender Smoothie Cart Gives $1 Discount If You Pedal Yourself

Bicycle Blender Smoothie Cart Gives $1 Discount If You Pedal Yourself

A new smoothie cart across from the Museum of Natural History in New York City will be powered by bicycles, says the NY Post. If you pedal the blender yourself you can get $1 off. [More]

Coffee Shop Reopens After Entire Staff Quit, Business Is Tepid

Coffee Shop Reopens After Entire Staff Quit, Business Is Tepid

Gorilla Coffee, closed for 16 days after its entire staff quit simultaneously, has reopened, to decidedly decaf customer response. [More]

Entire Coffee Shop Staff Quits Simultaneously

Entire Coffee Shop Staff Quits Simultaneously

Gorilla Coffee, in Brooklyn, is a well-known local favorite but apparently it’s a lot more fun to drink the coffee than it is to work there. It’s so unpleasant, in fact, that even considering the current economic climate, the entire staff simultaneously quit — forcing the coffee shop to close. The staff sent out an email to the media claiming that it’s not a strike — the “staff quit and the matter will not be resolved.” [More]

The Story Behind The Man Who Designed Apple's Glass Cube Store

The Story Behind The Man Who Designed Apple's Glass Cube Store

It’s not often that a retail store becomes an icon even before it opens for business, but Apple managed to pull off this weird architectural/cultural feat with its glass box Apple store in NYC in 2006–it’s the 5th most photographed landmark in the city and 28th worldwide according to a new study of Flickr images. The man who designed it, 70-year-old Peter Bohlin, has been awarded the 2010 gold medal from the American Institute of Architects for his entire body of work, and he doesn’t like computers and had never designed a retail environment before the Apple store. [More]

American Airlines, Jet Blue, Delta Seek To Delay Tarmac Imprisonment Rule

American Airlines, Jet Blue, Delta Seek To Delay Tarmac Imprisonment Rule

You know that new rule that says airlines have to let passengers off the plane if it’s stuck on the tarmac for more than 3 hours? It’s supposed to go into effect in April, but at least three airlines are hoping to delay it because they say runway repairs at JFK Airport will interfere with schedules. [More]