Reader: Is the El Diablo story a trip to Imaginationland?

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The First Avenue Hotel saga continues, with El Diablo and Sketch remaining closed, and some of their specialties now served at Rockbar (above), also owned by Jesse Morreale. Much of the discussion concerns Morreale himself -- and how this story should be covered.

Says Rawdoggin:

I guess it depends on what you consider a "douche" If a "douche" is just a socially offensive individual, then the issue of Jesse's "douche" status does seem irrelevant from a news perspective.

But if you define a "douche" by someone who makes a career by intentionally leveraging social, commercial and political connections, and then finds oneself persecuted by the same system they were trying profit from, perhaps there is legitimacy in digging deeper into this story.

Some questions that do come to mind are whether Jesse's arrangement with the city is unique, and if not, are other proprietors facing the same scrutiny? And if Morreale is being singled out, what reasons are behind these actions? Are there circumstances, relationships and transactions that lead up to this?

A little curiosity and the ability to access Google show that this guy is not some line cook who aspired to open his own place and got screwed by the local authorities because he got in over his head. And, if you base your judgement solely on documents issued by lawyers on either side, then this must be your first day in ImaginationLand.

Do you know of other restaurateurs concerned about scrutiny from the city? (And no, we're not talking Frank Bonanno.) Is there too much coverage of the El Diablo story, as other commenters suggest? Post your thoughts below.

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