Magazine article The New Yorker

Justin's

Magazine article The New Yorker

Justin's

Article excerpt

31 W. 21st St. (212-352-0599)--There is circumstantial evidence that the party promoter turned rapper turned self-promoter Sean (Puffy) Combs opened his Flatiron-district restaurant several years ago to satisfy his need for good soul food on demand: Justin's is only a limo's length away from the clubs he is reputed to enjoy, and he's known to put in the occasional appearance. If you had had a reservation on a recent Sunday night, for instance, you would have received a call in the evening telling you, over the din of an R. & B.-inflected rap duet, that "something came up" and, regrettably, the restaurant would be closing early. If you still managed to slip in for the last seating, behind a group of eight church ladies dressed in monochromatic berry- and cantaloupe-colored suits, two of whom had come "all the way from California!" and who would have been bitterly disappointed if they didn't get to try the food, you might have learned from a less than canny waiter that Puffy was throwing a bachelor party for one of his friends later that night. That would explain the bouquets of helium balloons bobbing from the railings on the dais-like dining floor and the high-running nerves of the staff. …

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