Empire Biscuit Is Back Up and Running (INTERVIEW)

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Courtesy Empire Biscuit via Facebook
Fried chicken sits atop a biscuit, one of the select sandwiches you're able to order
You may have heard about Empire Biscuit (198 Avenue A), the East Village's answer to the soulless 24-hour IHOP. Unlike the house of pancakes though, it seems that people actually want to be at this spot at all hours of the day and night: The biscuit emporium opened two weeks back, then had to renege, at least temporarily, on serving its goods 24 hours a day due to the overwhelming response. The operation even shut down briefly after biscuits flew off its shelves.

The guys behind biscuit-mania reopened for business last week, though they've yet to reinstate 24-hour availability. And with the hype, we wonder: Is New York full of southern expats that have been waiting years for a place like this to come along? Or are people intrigued by a place that uses the word "drunk" in its promotional tag line? We spoke with co-owner Jonathan Price, who grew up in the south, to find out.

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Courtesy Empire Biscuit via Facebook
Biscuits fresh out of the kitchen has everyone wishing they lived near Avenue A

"The biscuit in the south is essentially fast food," notes Price. And making them from scratch is an emblem of pride. The fluffy baked goods can also be eaten and enjoyed at most hours of the day, and they're especially popular after a big night out. So when Price and his partner Yonadav Tsuna -- who he met when they were both working at fine dining temple Bouley -- found very few NYC spots were doing them justice, they opted to focus their efforts on a place of their own.


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