Until three years ago few people thought of meatballs as being hip. But that’s changed thanks to The Meatball Shop, a casual-dining chain created by chef Daniel Holzman and bar specialist Michael Chernow. The longtime friends and New Yorkers, relying on multiple investors and sweat equity, opened the first Meatball Shop on Stanton Street in the city’s Lower East Side neighborhood in early 2010. It measured 1,000 square feet, had 39 seats and cost less than $400,000 to ...

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