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New Tosca vs. Old Tosca
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss (in several interesting ways).
Caleb Pershan | Photo: Mark Nerys, Jolie Ruben, David Waldorf | April 25, 2013
At first glance, Ken Friedman and Jeannette Etheredge could not be more different. The new NYC–based Tosca proprietor is in his 50s and cut his teeth as a promoter and agent for bands like the Smiths. Etheredge immigrated to San Francisco with her Manchurian-born mother, who opened her own see-and-be-seen restaurant, called Bali’s. Still, the two have important things in common.
They love back rooms:
The Spotted Pig’s third floor is only for VVIPs: “It’s like an apartment," said Friedman on the blog Food Republic. Chef friends Jamie Oliver and Mario Batali have been known to cook dinners there, and apparently Jay-Z has played Jenga there.
Though humble looking, Tosca’s back room is a shrine to the bar’s celebrated guests. Today, it reportedly contains only a card table and a bunch of photos of famous people. Etheredge fosters its mystery by not allowing it to be photographed.
They're buds with Bono:
Friedman once worked with U2, the Police, and the Clash as a promoter. U2 lead singer Bono is now a friend, and his management company invests in Friedman’s New York restaurants.
Bono is such a Tosca fan that he opened his own bar in Dublin named Tosca, which is run by his brother.
They like small pigs:
Friedman’s New York restaurant the Breslin serves a famed whole suckling pig for large groups. Not to mention, his collection of pig paraphernalia decorates the Spotted Pig.
Etheredge’s mother made a suckling pig for Francis Ford Coppola after The Godfather was released. “My mother gave great parties,” she told the S.F. Film Society.