OPENINGS & CLOSINGS: JOE’S BAR, FIKA, 108 FOOD DRIED HOT POT, MY PIE, SHAKING CRAB, JUNZI KITCHEN

joes bar closed

Some very good burgers are gone, but new Chinese food and Cajun seafood is here, and that’s worth celebrating!

Joe’s Bar on 83rd and Amsterdam closed on Sunday, selling beers, hot dogs and even the furniture. Joe’s wasn’t around very long — but it developed a substantial following. Jeremy M. wrote that it was the “home of the best damn burger in this city, period.” Thanks also to Jeff, Josh and Kevin.

108 food

108 Food Dried Hot Pot has opened on the corner of 108th Street and Broadway in the former home of Tara Hill pub, serving Chinese dry pot meals. Choose ingredients to stir-fry together and eat them with friends! “The neighborhood is really excited about this place, especially since in the last couple of years we lost both Columbia Cottage (it was at 111th and Amsterdam), and Ollie’s at 116th and B’way (though yes, another Ollie’s opened at 103rd and B’way),” wrote Sam, who sent in a tip. “Kind of spicy but I can get used to it,” wrote one Yelp reviewer. Thanks to Ernie for the photo.

My Pie is open at 166 West 72nd Street between Columbus and Broadway, serving flatbread pizzas.

junzi

Junzi Kitchen is opening on Broadway between 112th and 113th in the former home of Deluxe Luncheonette. Junzi “serves bings (Chinese pancakes), noodles and other Chinese food in a fast casual restaurant style,” according to a profile of the two founders from the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute. “The restaurant currently serves wraps, rice bowls and salad bowls with protein and vegetable fillings. The menu, according to an interview with Zhao last year, draws from the Chinese dish chun bing, or spring pancake, which is not typically a dish at Chinese restaurants in the U.S.” The restaurant has another location in New Haven. As seen in this image, they’re now hiring. Thanks to Naomi for the photos.

Fika, the Swedish cafe on 79th and Broadway, expects to close at the end of June, an employee told us. It has already closed its location in the Turnstyle mall at the Columbus Circle subway station. Thanks to our anonymous tipster.

shaking crab

Shaking Crab has opened at 2869 Broadway near 111th Street, in the former home of the restaurant Varelli. Shaking Crab appears to be connected to a restaurant of the same name in Newton, Mass. that serves Cajun-style seafood. “Our restaurant is known for its freshest seafood and Southern sweet tea. Our two chefs are brothers, boasting both seafood-restaurant and food-truck experience in Boston.” Thanks to Cynthia for the tip and photo.

felix fanny

Felix and Fanny has opened at 2868 Broadway near 111th Street. “It’s clothing and gift items where all profits benefit Children’s Aid Society,” writes Cynthia. “It took the place of the long-time optician at that location.” So we were clearly wrong when we initially thought it might be a music store!

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 49 comments | permalink
    1. south says:

      Not sure why MyPie is opening less than a block from the other flatbread pizza joint on Amsterdam between 72/73 St.

      The immediate neighborhood really needs a great NEW YORK style pizza place. Even the average quality City Pie (now Dunkin Donuts) on 72nd was busy (before having to close down for selling drugs on the side). Little Italy Pizza on 71/Bway is OK in a pinch.
      I’m still lamenting the loss of New Pizza Town on 78/Bway (replaced by condos and Marshalls).

      • Robert says:

        Agree.

        I get the feeling that there are way too many real estate agencies, make-up stores, women’s clothing stores, wine shops…and frozen yogurt, pastry shops, coffee shops…pizza places.

        I am not a retail expert but there would seem to me to be opportunities for other types of stores.

        For example, I don’t know of any sporting goods stores on the UWS. Nothing like Paragon. I don’t think there are any stores focused on beer. Not sure if there are any toy stores left, at least a half decent one.

        • Carlos says:

          I agree with you in theory, but your examples are not great – you need to spend more time on Amsterdam. There is a Modell’s in the West 70s on Amsterdam, which qualifies as a sporting goods store. As well as Upper 90 Soccer further up Amsterdam, which is a great soccer specialty store. Neither of these is Paragon, but they aren’t bad.

          For Beer, go to the Beer Shop on Amsterdam in the low 80s.

          West Side Kids is a great toy store, and it is not a chain, which would make many here happy.

          • Tom Lee says:

            Modells sucks and the soccer place you are talking about is not great either. Where can you buy skies or camping tent or a fishing rod on the UWS?

            Where can you buy a set of towels or a comforter on the UWS?

            Where can you buy toys on the UWS?

            While there may be a place or two that sells some variation of the above, there are certainly not as many as there are say make-up stores or wine shops.

            • lynn says:

              What’s wrong with BBB for towels and a comforter? They have an excellent selection of both. If you want a high end comforter then go to the Down & Quilt Shop. I honestly don’t understand the neverending drama over pizza and bagels. I thought I was reading an update from last week, lol.

            • lynn says:

              P.S. The Stationary Store on 72nd btwn Columbus and Amsterdam has a great selection of toys, as well as office and school supplies. 🙂

            • Carlos says:

              Soccer place is pricy but great for soccer gear. Modell’s is fine for your basic needs. And they are good about supporting local schools.

              How many people on the UWS are routinely buying tents?

              As I said, West Side Kids is great for toys.

              Towels and such at Laytners or BB&B.

              Please stop complaining and look around. Or move to the suburbs.

              I dislike the empty storefronts as much as anyone, but there is something called supply and demand. If there was a huge profit to be made selling fishing rods to people on the UWS, someone would likely be doing it. There is a huge profit to be made dealing with all of the angst and neurosis of people living here and that is why we have more than our fair share of mental health professionals.

            • Ish Kabibble says:

              Tom Lee, sounds like you need to find a new place to live. You’re clearly very unhappy here.

            • jerry says:

              I am not aware that any store sells “skies”…

              If you were so into “skies”, you should know how to spell it

            • EricaC says:

              Towels you can get at Laytners on Broadway. West side Toys is good. I agree that sports is a bit short, but the Modells up in the low nineties on Columbus isn’t bad.

          • Kevin says:

            Unfortunately a place like Paragon doesn’t seem to work. There was EMS on 76th & Broadway, and also a small snowboard/skate shop on 72nd between Columbus & Amsterdam. Both closed.

            The closest we have now is The North Face. At least they took over as the bus stop for a lot of ski trips that used to stop in front of EMS.

          • JVH says:

            And another Modell’s on Columbus at 98th. We don’t have an REI either, but this is pretty serviceable.

        • Ellen says:

          There are a few stores focused on beer. Beer Shop on Amsterdam and 81st is great. Their to-go beers are a much better deal than the ones on tap. There is also Gebhard’s Beer Culture on 72nd between Broadway and West End. Their food is overpriced but they have a good beer selection – on tap, bottles/cans and to-go.

          And then there are the craft beer bars like George Keeley’s. Joe’s also had a great selection (though I agree the service was terrible) so I’m sad to see them go.

        • js says:

          EMS could not make it. Closed after just a few years

          • K says:

            EMS was on the UWS for 35 years, first on W.61st street and then on 76th Street.

            • js says:

              Yes EMS had a store on 61st Street years ago.
              That store closed a while back.

              The Broadway location was more recent and only lasted a few years

            • Tom D. says:

              EMS also closed their SoHo store a year ago. There’s supposed to be a story behind that as they had been trying to get out of or sell their lease for some time before they closed.

              In any event, the entire EMS chain is in trouble. If you do some looking into the sporting goods business, you will find that the business has really gotten shaken up. Sports Authority went bankrupt and liquidated. City Sports went bankrupt and ditto. EMS’s parent holding company has declared bankruptcy and liquidated one of their sister chains (Sports Chalet out west) a year ago. REI and Dick’s are supposed to be doing well, and apparently Models is too since they picked up some Sports Authority’s locations.

              I still buy from EMS on-line but I miss being able to walk into their store and look store over.

      • Jeff says:

        My Pie is much much better than the other flatbread joint (Farinella), which is wildly overpriced and not nearly as good. As a 72nd Street resident, I’m thrilled it opened where it did.

        I agree there could be stronger options nearby for a traditional slice, but fwiw, I’d argue that Saba’s and Pizza Pete’s are both more than respectable.

      • Ethan says:

        . . . and I’m still lamenting the loss of Vinnie’s Pizza on A’dam/73-4.

      • UWSSurfer says:

        I’ll tell you why.. that place on Amsterdam, Fiorella, is expensive, has horrible decor and their pizza looks like it has been sitting out for hours.

        We need a great slice . We lost City Pie, the pizza joint w/ Polish ownerthat Marshall’s all gone.

        Gigi’s (Broadway/w.72nd st)has a great vegetable slice for $3.25.

        I will try My Pie–they were playing “Sway” by Rosemary Clooney as I walked past them. I liked their menu on the internet.

        Give me hot, cheesy , inexpensive things NOT weird animal carcases for high prices.

        And Sweetgreen, don’t charge me $22 for 2 tastlessless salads and make me use a credit card after refusing my CASH!

        Any time I have ventured to sit in a restaurant in the past 5 yrs, I have had to hear cell phone conversations or couples breaking up–no thanks.

    2. kimdog says:

      NO! I love Fika. Small shop, but great coffee and pastries. A perfect place to sit and watch people go by.

      • Robert says:

        I like it as well but that location has been left my the hand of God for a long time now. It is always dirty and disorganized. I first discovered Fika at their location over by Plaza Hotel. Great coffee but their UWS location left much to be desired.

        Btw, has one of the Birdbath locations closed? I would not be surprised. They just don’t seem to have the right approach. While Joe’s and other are doing very well, they are struggling and often doing so despite being next door!

    3. Eric says:

      Not sad at all to see Joe’s go. While they always had a very solid tap/can beer list, their pricing were absolutely insane. $70+ for two beers and two burgers and the service was atrocious.

      • Alison E says:

        Yes to all of this!!

      • Kevin says:

        The cocktails were good, but I never got food there. I liked it because there was enough elbow room to show up with a group, but that was probably an indication that they weren’t doing enough business.

      • Glen says:

        Neither it nor its predecessor, “Soldier McGee’s” had happy hour. The minimum draft was $7. Maybe the rent would not allow them to do that, but look down the block and across the street and the usual (and expected) NY deals are in place.

    4. Kate says:

      The Lincoln Square area remains bare as a bone. 🙁

      • sg says:

        Agreed…I have no idea why that is. Also, as a resident of CPW in the mid 60’s, I’m more inclined to go south 40 blocks than north.

        • Mary says:

          I used to live around that area too and now, as a resident of the area around 110th and Broadway, let me encourage you to come up and explore the increasingly diverse offerings the area has to offer! I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised.

    5. Jose Habib says:

      I liked Fika. It was a good alternative to waiting in the super-slow line at Irving Farm.

    6. Wijmlet says:

      Try Saba Pizza, Amst and 79 Street– really good, and kosher

    7. CR says:

      Cafe 71, corner of Bway/Amsterdam (across from McDonalds’) makes great pizzas!

      • crybaby says:

        Ahhh.. I remember the Italian pizza place on 72st. in the 1990`s, Family owned, Best pizza i ever had in my life. So sad its gone. But I mostly miss Big Nick`s. Why god ? why? whaaaa

        • Karen Bruno says:

          I make the best pizza in the world, now if you just want to donate about $50,000 – $100,000 I would be happy to open a place!

        • UWSSurfer says:

          Why?

          Exhorbitant Rent!

          I think Big Nick said his rent had risen to $40,000 on that tiny sliver next to Westside Market.

          Saw him at church once — he is “Big Nick”—very tall and striking.

        • GG says:

          Oh where have you gone Big Nick?? A nation turns its weary eyes to you…

      • UWSSurfer says:

        Cafe 71 has the BEST sandwich on earth— grilled Swiss cheese on toasted sourdough.

        I’m not sure it’s even on the menu but it is heaven — approx $2.35

      • nycityny says:

        An out-of-town guest started me on Cafe 71 pizza just last year and you’re right, it is good. It is now my go-to place for pizza, whole or slice. I’ve lived here for 20 years but an outsider had to find this for me. Kinda funny.

    8. K says:

      I only ever had friendly, competent service at Joe’s,and the beer and food and vibe were great. Its closing is a loss.

    9. Wijmlet says:

      West Side Kids for toys

    10. LuluT says:

      Cafe talulah on Columbus and 71/72 has excellent flatbread. Can’t wait to try My Pie!

    11. Tom D. says:

      Also in the 100s, on the west side of B’way btw 108 and 109 where there used to be the stationers and a deli/bodega, TIAA-CREF has opened offices. Rumor some time ago was there was going to be another bank branch at that spot, so seeing something else is nice. But I could have been happier if it had been a retail store, something that didn’t pull down their shade at 6:00 and leave half that block looking dark.

      And on the 109 corner of that block where there used to be a Subway sandwich shop, a HearUSA audiologist has opened.

    12. RK says:

      Our go-to place for classic NY pizza these days is West Side Cafe, a small storefront near Joseph Pharmacy on 72 between Bway/WEA. It’s a typical kitchen-sink deli with a pizza operation like cafe 71 etal. But the pizza is really decent. Their dough is yeasty with decent (altho not great) chew, it has the right level of saltiness/greasiness, the right “pizza cheese”, good tomato sauce, and they don’t cook on grids (a sure sign of a crappy pizzeria) so the undercarriage is good. They’re priced surprisingly well and they deliver within 30 mins, often faster. The rest of their menu is pretty decent too (esp. cubano – the pork is nicely done although not flattened), although salads are mediocre. I found it on Seamless (high rating) and had to look for the storefront.
      Will try Cafe 71 too.
      It’s strange that these everything-delis are beating the standalone pizzerias at pizza…