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OPENINGS & CLOSINGS: THE FAT MONK, A TIME FOR CHILDREN, LIBERTY HOUSE, JOE & THE JUICE

fat monk

A new gastropub just opened and a hip Danish cafe is on its way, as some longtime stores close.

The Fat Monk is now open at 949 Columbus Avenue (106th-107th Street). Chef Rob McCue is focusing on American comfort food. The gastropub serves pastas, burgers, steaks, oysters, and lots of small plates. See the dinner menu here. It’s open from 5-11p.m. from Monday-Thursday and 5-12 from Friday-Sunday.

A Time for Children, the children’s toys and clothing store at 506 Amsterdam Avenue (84th-85th) closed at the end of January. “Our lease was up so we had to make a decision,” said Gwen, the manager there. The problem wasn’t the cost of the new lease as much as a decline in traffic to the store, she said. They’ll be reopening a new store, hopefully in April, at 2868 Broadway (111th-112th) that will also have clothes for older kids and adults. They’re hoping to attract some college kids to the store too. The store, run by the Good Wood Foundation, will continue to donate its profits to the Children’s Aid Society.  “Same mission, new location,” Gwen said.

joe juice

Hip Danish cafe and fresh juice chain Joe & the Juice looked like it was just about to open at 247 Columbus Avenue between 71st and 72nd in the former home of Clarins as of a few days ago. They have more than 170 locations around the world. A Forbes contributor recently surmised that Joe & the Juice could be the next Starbucks because it’s “a great concept and targeted to a consumer base who wants more than what your typical juice or coffee bar is offering them – a place to call their own.”

Liberty House, a clothing, jewelry, and gift shop at 112th and Broadway, is closing after 49 years in business, according to Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York. They’ll be shutting down at the end of April and until then having a sale of 20%-50% off. “It is the last of its kind, a small chain of New York shops first organized in 1965 by Abbie Hoffman and other civil rights workers in Mississippi to sell goods made by poor women of color, with the profits going back to the original communities, and to support the Civil Rights Movement.” Read more about the history here.

bcbg

Boutique BCBGMaxaZria at 2003 Broadway (68th-69th) appears to be in its final days. Thanks to Catherine Meyer for the photo.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 26 comments | permalink
    1. Steen says:

      NOOOOOOO to Liberty House closing. It has always been my go-to for jewelry, especially earrings. I loved the fact that it had local artisits who made and sold their work there.

      So very sad.

      • Mary says:

        This is right around the corner from me so I’m also disappointed to note this development. However, I must confess that I’ve browsed in here often but bought very little. The merchandise is lovely but the prices are quite high. I know it’s more and more of a struggle for businesses like this to stay afloat. I wonder, for example, about the children’s shoe store on that block. They have a decent selection but the prices are much higher than the exact same products online. I want to patronize local establishments, but it can be tough.

    2. Mark Moore says:

      That neighborhood will not support the Fat Monk. Though I could be wrong.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        I think it will do ok because of the Columbia crowd.

      • josh says:

        It very well might. Plenty of folks above 96th street willing to pay $10-$12 for apps, and $18-30 for mains. And being on Columbus doesn’t scare people off as it used to… On par with Henry’s and a few others. Its too much for me for a local place — my burger price limit is $15 (their’s is $16 without any cheese or additions), but if the burger is huge and delicious, I might go above it.

        • David Collins says:

          The problem with the Fat Monk is that no one is going to be there for breakfast, few if any will be there for lunch and only but a few will be there for dinner Mon-Thur and Sun. They will have to make 75-90% of their week on Friday dinner and Sat lunch/dinner. That is a tall order, more so around the summer months when many people leave the city.

      • Sarah says:

        Any NYC restaurant is a risk, obviously, but I think you’re wrong. Setting aside the public and nonprofit housing, the neighborhood is quite prosperous these days, and underserved when it comes to options above fast-casual.

    3. Earlene says:

      Yuppie food on Columbus and Liberty House is closing? What is happening to our wonderful neighborhood?

      • Paul RL says:

        “Yuppie” food? I’m pretty sure that balding hippies in Berkenstocks eat pasta, burgers, and steaks too. Say hi to 1983 for the rest of us!

    4. Chuck D says:

      Not surprised about A Time for Children. I remember taking my toddler there years ago. They always were rude, didn’t want him playing with anything, and wouldn’t let me change his diaper in the bathroom.

      And they can’t understand where all the foot traffic went?

    5. Michal says:

      So sad about Liberty House closing, but I admit I haven’t been there very often since they closed their shop on 91st – the uptown location was great but the clothes seemed more aimed at the college crowds than what I used to look for. This is really a loss for the Upper West Side. It was boutique-y, but approachable and with a dose of Lefty politics. We still have boutiques, but none that feel so easy to drop into and welcoming to women of all ethnicities and sizes.

    6. Mike Kaplan says:

      Just went last night to the Fat Monk. Its a great and much needed restaurant to our neighborhood. The owners are really down to earth and the service is excellent. Moreover the food is what we need. We can’t live off of Chirping Chicken and Blockheads every night.

    7. colcir says:

      I wonder if all BCBG locations are closing. The one in the Columbus Circle mall closed abruptly a few weeks ago as well. Any info on what may be taking its spot?

    8. MF says:

      Soooo bummed about Libery House closing. Been shopping there for 40 years…dropped lots of $$ for the most unusual jewelry, clothes and gifts…ohhhh sadness descends. I must get up there before they close.

    9. susan meltzer says:

      Liberty house was my go-to store for clothes for over 45 years in its various locations. Another piece of the Upper West Side dissappears.

    10. west side walking says:

      SAD about Liberty House. I was around since it first opened nearly 50 years ago. It represented what the Upper West Side meant over the years. An now it and us will be no more.

    11. Me says:

      LIberrty House was one of the few boutiques during it’s era. It used to be on Broadway, between 87 & 88 Street.
      I hung out there a lot. Not only because the merchandise, leftist politic and I knew the people who ran it. I still have beautiful jewelry I wear. So sad.

    12. Laurie says:

      I still have tee shirts I bought at the Liberty House that was on Bway in the 80’s. They’re the best tees I’ve ever found anywhere, and luckily I bought a bunch of them. All cotton, lightweight, and not down to my knees, like the tees today. It’s a sad day when Liberty House goes out of business.

    13. UWSfriend says:

      Has anyone heard what’s going on with the space at 90th and Broadway or Amsterdam and 90th ? 2nd time – thank you

    14. Lorraine says:

      I’m at this moment wearing a sweater I bought there at the 87th (91st?) location. But like Michal said, I didn’t go to the uptown location often. Funny, I’d been thinking about it recently, hoping it was still there. The cost was definitely an issue for me and I’m too petite for a lot of the one-size cloths they have, but I’m heading up there before they close, for sure. This is sad.

    15. Sym says:

      For real old time Westsiders, Liberty House was originally on Broadway between 83rd and 84th St. It was one of a handful of businesses including a movie theater that was knocked down to make way for the building that is named the Bromley. That was the beginning of the Resurgence of the Upper West Side back in the seventies.