McNally, Hanson, Friedman Get a PAC of Their Own


Although Keith McNally surrendered his plans to build a Pulino’s Café in the old Village Paper space, he’s not going gentle into that good night.

The Wall Street Journal reports that McNally is joining forces with fellow restaurant majordomos Ken Friedman and Stephen Hanson to form the NYC Hospitality Coalition. While the name brings to mind street protests replete with potpourri bowls and branded matchbooks, it will instead be a political action committee, complete with a lobbyist and a charter membership of 16.

Although one wouldn’t necessarily assume that such a powerful, moneyed group would need a PAC as much as, say, their employees, Friedman, who will open the John Dory on Monday, begs to differ, telling the Journal, “The hospitality industry in New York is one of the biggest employers in the city and we’ve been treated like an ATM machine. … We need to get some people fired, or elected. We just need to have a little bite along with the bark of the existing restaurant association.”

His group’s goals include getting more community board representation, a “revamped” 311 citizen complaint line, and better training programs and standards for city agency inspectors. Community boards seem to be a particular source of contention: Serge Becker, whose upcoming Miss Lily’s has been opposed by noted NIMBY Anna Wintour, labels them “kangaroo courts” without “rhyme or reason.” Considering what we’ve witnessed at community board meetings, that’s an insult to kangaroos, but certain board members just might take issue with that remark.

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