According to Crain’s New York, Flex Mussels owners Alex, Bobby, and Laura Shapiro’s bivalve business has done so well since its opening three years ago, in addition to their Upper East Side and West Village digs, they’re currently scouting for an Upper West Side location. They might even open a spot in Sag Harbor. Mussels lovers, rejoice!
The article profiles the family, which unveiled the fun and tasty seafood emporium just after the stock market crash in 2008, bringing one of the first mussels-only restaurants to the city — and capitalizing on the one-item restaurant trend. They were also able to nab charismatic pastry chef Zac Young, who then starred in Top Chef: Just Desserts and presumably helped raise the restaurant’s profile even further.
Yet it wasn’t all fun and games for the Shapiros — a former employee ripped off their concept and started a competing business. Who? They are polite enough to not say, but oh, could that restaurant just happen to be the newly opened Mussel Pot? Granted, there are only so many mussels preparations that appeal to customers, and the mussel restaurant has been in Europe forever, but let’s just say that when it comes to comparing the two spots’ menus, something smells a little fishy.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 22, 2011