Restaurant News Bites 3/25/13

In early 2012, Chef Robert Irvine and Restaurant: Impossible took on the challenge of helping turn around Pappas Restaurant in Benicia, California.  Although the interior and menu makeover gave the Greek restaurant an intitial 50 percent sales boost, it still wasn’t enough to save the restaurant.  Pappas served its last meal on Sunday, March 24th.  [Benicia Herald]

Federal agents have caught two men illegally hacking Subway gift cards and selling them to unknowing consumers over the Internet. Shahin Abdollahi and Jeffrey Thomas Wilkinson were charged recently in California courts with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and computer intrusions. The team used hacking software to use point of sale computers to fill the gift cards fraudulently. The case involved 13 hacked computers and about $40,000 of theft. This isn’t the first time Subway has been hit by a major fraud case. During 2012, a team of two Romanian hackers pulled off a similar hacking heist that caused over $10 million in losses for the sandwich chain.  [Ars Technica]

A new Italian restaurant in St. Louis will be built thanks to the donations of pizza and pasta fans. Chef Katie Lee started a Kickstarter campaign to fund her new Katie’s Pizza & Pasta project, and diners quickly jumped on the chance to donate.  The fund raiser was a success with 240 backers pledging $42,827.  The restaurant will focus on wood fired pizzas and new twists for traditional pasta dishes.  [Kickstarter]

Wolfgang Puck reignites Malibu restaurant rumors [Malibu Times]

Mississippi Passes Anti-Bloomberg Bill, No Limit on Restaurant Portions [Opposing Views]

Woman accused of embezzling more than $100K from area restaurant chain [The Argus Leader]

With tons of new exotic toppings, hot dogs are becoming haute dogs [NY Daily News]