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The Daily News breaks a big one today, kiddos, and the headline only tells half the story:

Cheeky Monkey shuts down [2/2/07]

The restaurant is closing because Papa Paolino is in discussions to sell the building. Rumor has it that Dodo Hamilton & Co. are the potential buyers, as they already own Christie's next door. Naturally, neither party will say anything.

[Cheeky Monkey owner]Kates and multiple city officials said they have heard that the Hamilton firm is interested in buying the Perry Mill Wharf building from Paolino. Paul Fleming, the spokesman for 802 Partners, said he is not aware of the negotiations, but that does not mean they are not taking place.

Kates said he opened the Cheeky Monkey 10 years ago and is sad that it now is closed. He said he is considering reopening the restaurant in another community.

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Things continue to get curiouser down at Christie's.

Apparently, Dodo Hamilton bought the Cheeky Monkey building. And it's being re-opened as a "family friendly fish restaurant" called - you guessed it - Christie's. They bought the liquor license from Primo on Brown and Howard Wharf and are looking for an entertainment license.

And the old - real - Christie's continues its transformation to Forty 1 North, an ill-defined, somewhat snobbier version of the Newport Yachting Center - dockage, event space, food and beverage service. (http://www.41no.com/)

Why doesn't she just pull a TPG on us, announce that she's buying the entire waterfront and transforming it? At the least, she could spell out her plans for her not-so-new property. It's killing me...because Christie's has the potential to be a transformative anchor for Lower/Mid Thames, and she doesn't seem to be doing much with it.

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