This airport restaurant is so exclusive that passengers don’t even know its location

At Classified, there are only 36 seats and the menu serves world-class food with steep price tags, plus bottles of wine costing $500 or more. Its high-flying guest list has included CEOs and celebrities such as Madonna, but it's the location that's drawn people's attention, as the restaurant is, well, classified. All we know about this fine dining establishment, which opened in late August of last year, is that it's located somewhere in Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport. United Airlines, in collaboration with airport restaurant company OTG Management, established the restaurant, which is invite-only - and no one really knows just how one scores an invite. "There's not one perspective or one way we look at the invitation list," United Airlines vice president of Newark operations Rick Hoefling told CBS news. "Right now that's classified and it does remain a secret." Invitees must be United MileagePlus passengers, and those who are selected will receive an email invitation to make a reservation. It is only after making the reservation that the passenger is given instructions on how to find Classified and approach its host for access. Menu items have reportedly included their signature dishes, a 42-ounce tomahawk steak and a chili lobster, as well as chicken biscuit sandwiches, oysters, shrimp salad, crab cakes, and all other kinds of top-quality seafood dishes as well as many expensive drinks and cocktails. Rick Blatstein, CEO of OTG Management, claims that the restaurant's elitism was not the intended goal but rather just how things turned out. "We wanted to create a really unique space that's kind of out of the way, little bit of a speakeasy... somewhere where you can just enjoy a great meal, listen to some nice music, have a delicious glass of wine, take it easy, get yourself away from everything else," he told CBS News. If you're a United MileagePlus customer that hasn't received an invitation but would like to, you can try logging into their Continue Reading

United opens “secret” restaurant at Newark airport

Only high-fliers get invited to dine at exclusive airport restaurants Chris McGinnis Updated 3:14 pm, Tuesday, January 9, 2018 United’s “secret” restaurant at Newark is by invitation only. (Image: United) United’s “secret” restaurant at Newark is by invitation only.... Major U.S. airlines in recent years have been increasing the in-flight divide between have- and have-not customers by adding more space and perks to their premium cabins but cramming more seats into their already-crowded economy sections. And now that trend is moving into their airport facilities as well. Travel Tips with Chris McGinnis sponsored by: United Airlines, for instance, has a new restaurant for its top customers at Newark Liberty International Airport, one of its major hubs. How exclusive is it? For one thing, its name is “Classified,” and you can’t get in unless United invites you. There is no signage or directions on how to find it. The airline only reveals the exact location of the restaurant to invited MileagePlus elite frequent flyers when they book a table. (That said, media reports indicate it is hidden behind Alain Ducasse’s Saison restaurant in terminal C at Newark.) The 36-seat exclusive restaurant has a menu that’s as high-end as its customers. Entrees are said to start at $29 and to run as high as $98 for a 42-ounce steak, and a typical bill is estimated at about $100 per person, without wine. (Bottles of wine reportedly cost as much as $500.) American Airlines now has special restaurants for first class flyers at three airports. (Image: American) American Airlines now has special restaurants for first class... Meanwhile, American Airlines has been installing Flagship First restaurants with sit-down table service at some of its key hub airports. Unlike United’s “Classified” restaurant at Newark, dining is complimentary at American’s facilities — but Continue Reading

Man runs past Newark Airport security, leading officers on chase

A terminal at Newark Airport was evacuated after a man bypassed security then led officers on a chase past bewildered travelers Sunday night, authorities and witnesses said. “I was hanging out waiting for my flight having a glass of wine. All of a sudden we hear this commotion, this guy ran through my section of the terminal yelling ‘help, help, help,’ ” said traveler Alexis Rhodes, 28, who was waiting to fly back to Atlanta after visiting New York City. “There were like 20 TSA agents running after him.” Traveler Richard Krezwick used his suitcase to trip the man, he said on Facebook. “They are running right at me!! I throw my briefcase in front of the guy they’re chasing, trip him and a customs agent draws his gun!!” Krezwick wrote. Authorities said the agents cuffed the man at the scene and took him out of the airport as the terminal was cleared. “They evacuated everyone including the workers and restaurant and everything,” Rhodes said. A massive line that stretched from the second floor security gates to the first floor formed following the 7 p.m. incident, witnesses said. “The floor is completely mobbed, the line going out the door,” said Eric Charleston, 35, as he waited on line . Port Authority Police Department Security dogs swept the area before the security gates at the terminal reopened shortly after 8 p.m., authorities said. Several passengers reported their flights were held because of the evacuations. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Continue Reading

Newark Liberty International Airport Guide

Contact information and flight status Checkpoint savvyBusiest times: Terminals A, C and Terminal B-1 checkpoint: 5:30 a.m. - 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. Terminal B-2: 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. Terminal B-3: 2 p.m. - 8 p.m.Depending on your airline and your status with TSA, expedited TSA PreCheck lanes may be available. ParkingParking information: 888-397-4636.Most convenient: Valet Parking at Garage P4, $40/day. Short-Term Parking (Lots A and B, and garage C): $8/hour, $39/day. Daily parking (P4): $34. Parking Lots 1 and 3: $27/day. See more options. All lots (including long-term) offer reserved parking for a fee.Least expensive: Economy long-term parking (Lot P6): $18/day. Shuttle to terminals. See more options.Cellphone lot: Located near airport entrance, adjacent to P4 Parking garage. 100 spaces. No services. Transportation to/from cityMost convenient: Taxi (not including tolls/tips/surcharges), $15-18 to Newark, $20-$25 to City of Elizabeth, $50-$70 to New York City. Travel time varies. Note: $5 surcharge added during weekday rush hours to New York, plus surcharge for using credit card. Tips and tolls not included. See fares and more options.Least expensive: AirTrain Newark connects to NJTransit, PATH and Amtrak. NJTransit to New York Penn Station, about $12.50, including airport rail station access fee. Travel time: 30 minutes. Public bus service is available through NJ Transit Bus Lines. See fares, routes and schedules. Newark Airport Express bus to NY Port Authority terminal, Grand Central and Bryant Park, $16/$28 RT (plus $1 admin fee).  Travel time: About 40 minutes. See more options. Wi-Fi and charging stationsComplimentary 30-minute Wi-Fi sessions are available in all terminals. Additional fee-based Wi-Fi service is via Boingo. Unlimited Wi-Fi browsing available at Terminal C (United) on OTG-supplied iPads at gates and in restaurants.Power outlets: Complimentary power charging stations are located in all terminals, post-security. Go localGood choice Continue Reading

Crazy 4 Falafel pleases Mediterranean food fans at Edison restaurant

EDISON - There’s something appealing about watching from the counter as the chicken shawarma about to grace an open pita is cut – actually, shaved – fresh to order, from a 2-foot-high spindle of warm, seasoned chicken.At Crazy 4 Falafel, a casual Mediterranean eatery, which opened two years ago at 260 Talmadge Road in Edison, that’s just the beginning.The next step invites a little creativity, as shawarma lovers can have their pita dressed with a multitude of toppings.Cabbage, lettuce and an Israeli salad highlighted by chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers - plus a drizzling of tahini sauce - are regularly added. However, the Israeli pickles, tabouli and hummus will also meld perfectly with the chicken.On a recent late afternoon, the day’s third mountain of chicken shawarma had just been placed on the spit.“We get Halal chicken thighs, we spice and marinade them at night, and every morning we build the chicken,” said general manager and chef Kartikeya Kathpalia, 34, who bought the restaurant in July of 2015 with his brother, Kunal, 36.“One of us is always here,” said Kathpalia, of Edison, known as “Kartik” to customers.Regulars Matt and Lisa Brown first discovered Crazy 4 Falafel on Yelp while searching for local Mediterranean food, and shawarma in particular. 'Full of flavor'“When you watch them cut the chicken off the thing, you know it’s fresh,” said Matt, an airline pilot who maintains a “crash pad” in Edison when flying out of Newark Airport. “It’s just full of flavor, and a little bit crunchy. Wow!”The couple shared a chicken shawarma pita ($6.95; .75 more with hummus or baba ganoush) and Jerusalem Platter ($7.95) consisting of three falafel balls, hummus, tabouli, baba ganoush and slices of pita – all homemade on the restaurant’s premises.They had hoped to add an order of lamb shawarma, but the lamb had already Continue Reading

Newark airport workers rally for higher wages

As part of the protests that took place nationwide on Tuesday, more than 1,000 people demonstrated and rallied at Newark Liberty International Airport International to demand a $15 minimum wage for workers there.The lunchtime rally was organized and led by members of the 32BJ Service Employees International Union,  which represents about 2,000 workers at the Newark airport. Undaunted by the rain, and with many wearing bright yellow plastic ponchos and purple caps with the organization's logo, chanting union members from not only the airport but other airports and from out of state -- included fast-food employees -- marched from Terminal B to Terminal C, where Newark Mayor Ras Baraka addressed the group.Many of those protesters started out in Manhattan to start the National Day of Action to Fight for $15, a campaign to win higher hourly wages for workers at airports and restaurants. Nationally, there were protests in 340 cities and 19 airports, according to 32BJ spokeswoman Desiree Taylor.About 25 protesters were arrested in Manhattan, and at the Newark airport some demonstrators held a brief sit-in at Terminal C, which ended when the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which operates the airport, warned them to get up or they would be arrested.Kevin Brown, 32BJ's vice president and New Jersey state director, talked about what the union contends is the unfairness of airport workers at LaGuardia Airport and JFK International Airport getting $15 an hour, while their counterparts in New Jersey are not. The affected workers include baggage and wheelchair handlers, cabin cleaners and skycaps.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation in April that will gradually raise the Empire State's minimum wage to $15. In contrast, New Jersey Gov. Christie vetoed a $15 minimum-wage bill earlier this year.32BJ also called on the subcontractor who employs the workers at Newark airport, Continue Reading

Hey, ho, let’s go to the CBGBs Newark airport restaurant

Among the things one associates with the former New York City nightclub CBGBs -- the Ramones, the toxic restroom, the nearby skid row -- the concept of food isn't on the list.However, the venue is set to reopen as a restaurant at Newark Liberty International Airport, according to a report in the Gothamist. It will be called CBGB L.A.B. (an acronym for Lounge and Bar) and prime ribs, Kobe chili dogs, turkey club sandwiches and more will be served.Noted New York City chef  Harold Moore will oversee things and the spot will serve "American fare in a fun environment recalling the legendary music venue," according to the Gothamist.CBGB OMFUG was opened by Hilly Kristal on the Bowery in 1973 and punk groups like the Ramones, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, and Blondie got plenty of stage time there. A rent dispute caused Kristal to close to the club in 2006 after a Patti Smith show. He died in 2007.The spot at 315 Bowery St. is now a Johm Varvatos clothing store. A  holding company has the rights to the name "CBGB" and they're the ones who are opening the restaurant.Chris Jordan: [email protected] Continue Reading

Downtown Newark’s rental market on the rise

For years, real estate developers and government officials thought no one would want to live in downtown Newark. Developer Arthur Stern and his Cogswell Realty Group just proved them wrong. Recent rentals at Eleven80 (1180 Raymond Ave.), Cogswell's 35-floor 317-unit residential building, show 45 rentals in the past six weeks, putting the building at almost 85% occupancy in just over a year. "People still don't understand how this revitalization occurred," says Stern, who credits a strong city government, the new Prudential Center Arena and his company's persistent effort for the turnaround. "It was a six-year odyssey of council meetings and presentations to banks to get people to understand that this building and downtown could work." Drawing renters priced out of Hoboken, Jersey City and Manhattan, Eleven80 has been transformed from a rotting downtown commercial building into the city's tallest residential structure. For 21 years, the former Helmsley-owned building lay abandoned. The nationally registered historic landmark is the first market-rate downtown residential building since 1961. Sitting two blocks from the Prudential Center and at the southern edge of Military Park, Eleven80 is a five- to 10-minute walk from Newark's Penn Station and a 15-minute Path train ride to downtown Manhattan. Stern thinks location, the building's amenities, gracious apartment sizes and a changing perception of Newark are reasons for this building's fast success. "For years, Newark was an easy target for people to poke fun at," he says. "The reality is, there are good areas and bad areas. When someone gets killed in East New York, it doesn't scare a person in Chelsea. There are areas of Newark with no crime." Municipal Council Member Carlos M. Gonzalez calls the downtown area in Newark one of the city's safest places. "There is more of a police presence downtown than in almost any other Newark neighborhood," says Gonzalez, the Newark North Ward resident who Continue Reading

Bagggage handlers, cabin cleaners and other workers at New York-area airports are on the march for better wages and working conditions

Once again, New York-area workers, tired of being abused, are protesting to demand the wages and working conditions they deserve. Last Thursday, more than 100 baggage handlers, customer service agents, skycaps and cabin cleaners who work at LaGuardia and Newark Airports — with the help of members of Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) — marched to LaGuardia in solidarity with a strike by more than 500 of their Philadelphia colleagues. The strike came just days before the same workers were to join fast food, home care and other workers in a national “day of action” on April 15. According to the union, this was the largest strike in the three-year history of its airport workers’ campaign. “Like the Philadelphia workers, we are looking for a better salary and better benefits,” said Wilbert Santiago, 34, who after two years as a baggage handler for Prime Flight, makes $10.10 an hour. “I was making $10 until I got a ten-cent raise in February. A ten-cent raise! I have six children, how am I supposed to support my family? I don’t have even health insurance because I would have to pay $350 per month for it. I take home $305 per week and I cannot afford it.” Not a pretty picture, but one the workers of the Nashville, Tenn.-based Prime Flight, a subcontractor that provides services to airlines at 44 airports nationwide, are determined to change. The company benefits from a number of public subsidies, yet it pays paltry salaries to its workers. There are 12,000 subcontracted airport workers in New York and New Jersey who are fighting for higher wages, benefits and the right to unionize. They are part of a growing movement of airport workers — and low wage workers in general — who have been organizing in cities around the country. Airport workers were not the only ones protesting last Thursday. Fast food workers, chanting, “Hey, McDonald’s, Continue Reading

Airport workers upset LGA renovation plan moves forward while promised benefits package stays on pause

Airport workers flew into a rage Thursday as the Port Authority moved forward with a plan to renovate LaGuardia Airport while a promised benefits package remains grounded. “How can they modernize the airport while maintaining outdated working conditions?” Newark Airport cabin cleaner Gertrudes Contreras, 60, fumed to Port Authority board members. HECTOR FIGUERIA: LAGUARDIA AIRPORT'S OTHER SHAME The area’s roughly 20,000 porters, cleaners and guards are now making $10.10 an hour — after a pay raise fueled by the Daily News’ Fight for Fair Pay campaign. But eight months after its own deadline, the Port Authority still hasn’t unveiled its plan laying out future pay raises and expanded medical benefits. “In the 21st century, we still have 19th-century wages," Kennedy Airport cleaner Luis Sanchez, 57, told board members. Sanchez spoke before the Port Authority formally selected a team to rebuild LaGuardia Airport’s decrepit central terminal. The airport — which Vice President Biden famously likened to a Third World country — is set to undergo a $3.6 billion renovation. The project to expand and modernize the facility known as Terminal B will be carried out by a group led by the Skanska construction firm and the Vantage Airport Group, with the backing of Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. The newfangled terminal will be nearly twice as large and boast far more restaurants and retail shops than the old space. Passengers are going to “have an experience like they have in a 21st-century airport anyplace around the country or around the world,” Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye said. Foye was less effusive on the subject of the airport workers. He suggested the benefits package is delayed in part because of Obamacare. Asked to elaborate during a press conference, Foye dodged the question. “It’s a matter of great Continue Reading