NEW YORK —Even in the epicenter of the financial melt-down, smaller operators in New York are stepping up growth plans, finding friendlier landlords, better deals and extra perks as major national chains continue to shutter stores or slash expansion plans. Famed Brooklyn pizzeria Grimaldi’s and upstart cupcake maker Crumbs Bake Shop, both with fewer than two dozen locations and a consumer-friendly average ticket of $20 or ...

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