One of my favorite burger joints in the city is tainted with money from Ma Madoff and the Fake Trading Gang.
Prosecutors are seeking the Madoff interest in the restaurant P.J. Clarke’s on the Hudson LLC. A woman who answered the phone at PJ Clarke’s declined to comment and wouldn’t provide her name.
It turns out, based on this article in Bloomberg, that the Madoffs had investments everywhere, including several ventures with Sterling Equities, the real estate company owned by NY Mets owner Fred Wilpon.
One of their investments is the World Financial Center-based P.J. Clarke’s on the Hudson, the downtown outlet of my second favorite burger spot in Manhattan (J.G. Melon in the East 70’s is slightly better).
If you don’t know P.J. Clarke’s, its a New York dining institution that has stood at 3rd Avenue and 55th Street for over 125 years. The historic, civil war-era red brick building it inhabits sits among modern skyscrapers as though it is immune to the very effects of time and real estate development that have transformed everything around it. Frank Sinatra himself ended every night out on the town at P.J.’s almost without exception.
And you don’t know authenticity until you sit down to a P.J. Clarke’s cheeseburger and fries.
Anyone who knows The Reformed Broker knows how he loves his burgers, so I can only hope P.J. Clarke’s finds a way to shed whatever investment capital the Madoffs put in for their expansion. I’d hate to see a New York classic dragged through the mud as the asset seizure of the Ponzi King begins.