Anthony Weiner’s political ambitions may have gone down in flames last year, but it looks like he is cooking up a whole new career.
The embattled former congressman is in midst of plans to open a restaurant in the Rockaways section of Queens, New York, according to the Associated Press.
Local reports say that Weiner is currently scouting locations in the area. The Rockaway Restoration Kitchen is the current name of the would-be establishment, which would cater to a clientele still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Weiner told msnbc the project will be a “nonprofit social entrepreneurship with a restaurant.” And while he said the restaurant will be “a healthy, sustainable and welcoming one,” he cautioned that the concept is still in the “very early stages.”
The Rockaway Restoration Kitchen’s website puts an emphasis on “restoration” of the community as well as nutrition and education. Its mission statement says: “Rockaway, Queens, is a part of New York City that is home to chronically unemployed and was devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The mission of Rockaway Restoration Kitchen is to help meet some of the needs that have arisen from these and other challenges faced by the community.”
Weiner’s project has the approval of at least one local official. New York City Councilman Donovan Richards told amNewYork that the former congressman is a “friend of the Rockaways,” adding, “I’d love to have some of his soup.”
Weiner surged into frontrunner status in 2013 in the highly competitive Democratic primary for New York City mayor. His candidacy was undone, though, by some high-profile gaffes and the revelation that he had carried on illicit relationships of a sexual nature with several women via social media for more than a year after he was forced to resign from Congress over similar behavior in 2011.
When Weiner won just 5% of the vote in the August mayoral primary, he subsequently dropped out the race, saying, “We had the best ideas … Sadly, I was the imperfect messenger.”
Weiner has largely stayed out of the public eye since his latest unsuccessful bid for mayor (he first ran in 2005). He remains married to Democratic political aide Huma Abedin, and their family continues to reside in New York City.
When asked if the move to the restaurant business signals an end to his political aspirations, Weiner replied via email, “Uh, no. Losing the election means that.”