If that Black Label burger goes up a couple bucks in the next few months, you can blame the bike lames. They are among the myriad reasons Pat LaFrieda abandoned Manhattan for the fairer shores of North Bergen a year ago. With tolls about to jump on the Hudson River crossings, The Observer cannot help but wonder if it will not mean an added premium for that premium beef.
“We’d get $1,850 a morning in tickets,” La Frieda proprietor Mark Pastore told The Jersey Journal, presumably for blocking the bike lanes with his delivery trucks. Funny, because this seems to be a problem that goes decidedly unenforced. Maybe it was the PETA police on patrol.
That was not the only thing rankling butcher, though.
“The police, the firemen, the building people, everyone in New Jersey is easy to work with,” LaFrieda’s cousin and company president Mark Pastore told The Jersey Journal when we caught up with him at last weekend’s New York City Wine & Food Festival. “In New York, it’s red tape upon red tape. You can’t get anything done, like, let’s put in bike lanes to make your life more difficult, then ticket the hell out of you.”
“It’s the sixth borough of New York, we love it,” LaFrieda said. “It’s the best move we’ve ever made and every day we say we should have done it 10 years ago.”
If Mr. LaFrieda’s signature blends taste a little gamier these days, now we know why.