Falafelgate Drama Mounts: ‘Spam Isn't Kosher’

Earlier, we pointed out that there was something fishy about the fact that Kosher Village, the falafel joint that found its name via a $3,000 contest, reserved the domain name www.koshervillagenyc.com two weeks before the entry deadline. We received a call today from someone who said he submitted the name Kosher Village on March 20, but when he asked owner Nissim Oron for his $3,000, he was told that someone selected the name before him. Was it all a scam?

Oron tells us that, indeed, twenty people chose the name Kosher Village (there were 20,000 submissions in all), and all of them except one Adi Libson, who suggested the name first, would receive a certificate for free grub (for possibly as much as $50) as a consolation prize. As for why the restaurant secured a domain name before the deadline, Oron says he checked on the availability of about four domain names that he liked (another possibility was the ever-so-evocative Village Glatt), but he didn’t make a final decision until three days ago.

Finally, we received e-mails from readers who were incensed that the restaurant repeatedly sent its menu to everyone who entered the contest, with their e-mail addresses displayed (“We all know spam isn't kosher,” wrote one commenter). Oron says this was a mistake and that he shut down his servers as soon as he realized the e-mail had gone out. He’s planning to send everyone a coupon for a free sandwich — this time via U.S. mail, since he doesn’t plan to use the e-mail addresses again.

Related: Falafelgate Unfolds: Contest May Have Closed Early
Nameless Kosher Restaurant Chooses Contest Winner