A man who makes a living by spying on restaurant employees on hidden cameras and airing the footage on television is the next restaurateur to debut an offering in Astoria. Willie Degel, host of Food Network's Restaurant Stakeout, also runs a chain of restaurants called Uncle Jack's Steakhouse, whose locations in Manhattan and Bayside are billed as "the Best Steakhouse in New York City."
The Astoria Post reports that Degel is set to open his fourth Uncle Jack's at 36-16 Ditmars Boulevard with a special "speakeasy" component in the basement.
Degel, who seems to enjoy a good cigar also savors the word "experience," dropping it three times while describing the new endeavor. The restaurant itself will be an "experience," the sides will be an "experience." Of the meat case that'll be installed in the dining room, Degel describes it as "a visual meat experience."
The Uncle Jack's experience will also feature a speakeasy hidden behind a door dressed as a meat locker—but don't expect to get in unless you're considered a "VIP" by Degel. "Become a regular, or you're already a regular at one of my successful restaurants, or you're networking through my management, my chefs, my people," he explains. Those deemed worthy will be given a special code—which changes daily—to enter at the door to gain entry to the private space.