mikes bistro

A handful of Upper West Side restaurants and food shops have recently closed or will close shortly.

Mike’s Bistro, a Kosher restaurant on 72nd street between West End Avenue and Broadway closed a few days ago and announced it will move to East 54th street. Thanks to Jeff, Randy and Linda Rosenthal for the tips.

The combination Cold Stone Creamery/Tim Hortons on the South side of  72nd street between Broadway and Columbus also closed last Friday, a tipster tells us.

The Gotham Deli on Columbus between 72nd and 73rd is apparently closing at the end of the month, earlier than we had expected.

Westway Deli, a deli on Amsterdam and 78th street, is closing on June 30 after about 40 years in the neighborhood. Westway is a neighborhood mainstay, the kind of place where people leave a copy of their apartment keys in case they get locked out. One tipster said they had too much competition from the Duane Reade across the street. Said another: “Besides being the closest place to get a cold water bottle or snack while your kids are at the playground at 77 Street, they were also known to hold packages or keys for the residents of the apartment building around the corner on 78 Street (I had a client who told me to drop off her tax return with the guy behind the counter).” They’d like it if people stop by and say goodbye before they close for good. Thanks to several tipsters.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 37 comments | permalink
    1. Howard Freeman says:

      The really sad part is that it’s not just that the stores like Westway and Gotham themselves are going away — because most of their products can be found elsewhere, let’s face it — it’s the relationships with the owner/manager that we value. Most of us would never leave our house keys at a store like Duane Reade simply because staff turnover is so high compared to these proprietor-run places. The only place I could leave keys if I wanted to is US Laundry on W84th between Amsterdam and Broadway. Evelyn and Winnie know us and they will always be there, or they will have trustworthy people working there for them.

      • Christina says:

        So True Howard Freeman!!! Unfortunately those days of knowing the shopkeeper are over. It’s sad. That was one of many things about growing up on the upper west side I loved… Places where people knew your name. Now it’s all anonymity. What a shame!

    2. BILL says:

      I see the Korean grocer on 92nd & bway is going out of business

    3. Jason says:

      I agree that it’s sad that they are closing, it’s nice to have locally run businesses in the neighborhood. We have to expect a lot of this in the coming months/years, however. It’s getting much easier, and cheaper, to shop online and get everything you want delivered to your door conveniently, and cheaper than if you shopped in the neighborhood. I for one use Google Shopping Express daily, it’s free shipping, no minimum, and they deliver from Target, Costco, Walgreens, Fairway, etc. And you pay the price you would pay in those stores. So I can go to the local corner store and get 4 rolls of toilet paper for the same price that I can order it on Google and get 8, and, have it brought right to my door. Why wouldn’t I do that? Inasmuch as the local businesses need to earn a living, so does the delivery clerk, and so do I by saving as much money as I can for my family.

      • Jeff says:

        One reason you might not want to do that is that you’re contributing to the demise of businesses that you acknowledge are nice to have around. Saving money is great, but it’s not the only thing that matters in life – having a neighborhood that offers more than big box retailers, high-end boutiques and vacant storefronts is also quite important, at least to me.

      • Christina says:

        That’s all true Jason. But I don’t know if you grew up on the Upper West Side or not but I remember just as the article says… places where you could trust and leave things likes keys and such with the shopkeeper. It’s the neighborly, friendly, people know your name aspect that is deteriorating. No human friendly contact. I know change is inevitable but it’s a shame that this endearing quality is going fast.

        • Jason says:

          I did not grow up on the UWS and I completely agree that by using Google or Freshdirect, etc., I’m taking business away from the local retailers, however, the local retailers are not even close to the prices I can get elsewhere. If they at least tried to compete, I would be happy to spend my $$ there. But the batteries at the corner hardware store are actually three times as much as at Costco. How can I, or anyone, justify that? The dish washing detergent at Westside Market is $3 more than at fairway. Etc. If the local businesses want my business, make it worth my while to shop there. You’re correct that money isn’t everything, but I can’t pay my mortgage with good will.

          • manhattan mark says:

            Jason, I’m glad you’re comparison shopping, it’s the true barometer of the economics of shopping. Although I live
            closest to Fairway there are things I buy at Westside and
            Zabar’s both for price and expertise of the staff. I also shop at Costco for bulk items, but not for a single item because it’s cost ineffective, add up the gas, parking there and the time…stay with your neighborhood store for your batteries.

            • dcortex says:

              He’s not paying for gas parking or the time- he’s ordering online- so he really is sending these local shops to their demise. And there’s no chance that the brick & mortar stores will ever offer similar pricing-the economics cannot make sense. The system is broken- or moving to a new configuration in which local retail will cost 5 to 10 times the online price.

    4. Susan says:

      Gotham is closing tomorrow, Friday June 27th. I’m really going to miss them. Theirs was the first delivery number I memorized when I moved here 18 years ago.

    5. ScooterStan says:

      Re: “The combination Cold Stone Creamery/Tim Hortons … also closed last Friday,….”

      Hey, great news for all the professional-kvetchers who moan that the UWS is ‘becoming suburbia….looks like the Paramus Mall….’ yadda yadda yadda

      That Creamery/Hortons WAS an odd couple and definitely out of its element on W72nd, especially so close to the NYC-iconic Gray’s Papaya.

      So, now can we turn down the nostalgia/Lost-NY/ volume a little bit???

      • webot says:

        so true Scoots.

        lots of nostalgia for the key holders.

        Personally i look fondly back on the Key Master – Ghostbusters Central Park West ..

        Look I have had rude service from old-time store owners and amazing interactions with chain store employees. and vica versa.

        Enough with looking back with rose colored glasses.

        and reach out to your neighborhood chain store employee, some are very very nice, happy to have jobs, and maybe they would hold your key.

    6. DMac says:

      Dani Cleaners on 104th and Amsterdam shut down suddenly, apparently for non-payment of rent. They have an attorney contact number posted for anyone whose clothes are still in there.

    7. Lisa says:

      A related comment…as more and more New Yorkers, particularly Manhattan residents, purchase online and get purchases delivered (Fresh Direct, Amazon or Google Shopping Express etc) rather than walking to local stores (small or large) to shop, there is increased delivery truck traffic. What are the environmental and traffic implications?

      • jeremy says:

        It’s probably pretty zero-sum. Less truck volume delivering to stores, more truck volume delivering to residential buildings.

        Google Express and Ebay Now generally don’t use trucks.

    8. Sean says:

      Sounds like these stores have outlived their usefulness and do not serve the neighborhood’s needs as such anymore.

      • ruth says:

        In the 50 years that I lived, brought up two children and taught at PS 87, – The UWS was my favorite place in the entire universe. It was exciting….the shops were interesting, the people were interesting, the sidewalks were interesting, the type of merchandise and food and interchange of ideas in the aisles of Fairway were interesting….etc.
        Now its all white bread.

        • WombatNYC says:

          Ruth- I find this statement hard to belive.. UWS is boring ..sounds like you;re describing Greenwich Village

          • Cato says:

            Greenwich Village actually was interesting, once. Bookstores, record stores, (real) coffee shops. Then it got mall-ified — just like the UWS is becoming now.

            I agree with Ruth entirely.

        • Kate says:

          Ruth, the UWS was also a crime-ridden hellhole in those same 50 years. I’d rather it be a little “white bread” than go back to constant murders, rape, theft, and drugs.

    9. Bruce Bernstein says:

      noone seems to mention what is driving these stores out of business — outrageous commercial rents.

    10. Outback says:

      Having relationships with store proprietors is so . . . suburban!

      • Cato says:

        Nonsense. It’s a hallmark of a neighborhood. New York City has been that way for generations.

        Besides, in how many suburbs is there a dry cleaner, or grocery, or hardware store immediately down the stairs, or around the corner, from the entrance to where you live? Heck, in how many suburbs is there a retail store within walking distance at all?? And if there is — is that really a suburb?

      • Christina says:

        It’s not Suburban, it’s more Small Town Country. And I like that. In a city of 8million +. It’s nice to be in a neighborhood where people will know your name. I grew up here and always loved it. Always felt the same way when I used to go to Maine too.

    11. webot says:

      One of the reasons commercial rents are as high as they are is commercial and market rate tenants are forced to bare the burden of the City’s increases in expenses – property taxes, water sewer, new legal requirements, repairs, tickets – which the City raises every year – and the same City limits the rent charged to the subsidized RC/RS/SCRIE/DRIE tenants. Everyone else is forced to cover the higher costs.

      but you will never hear a politician or a “tenant advocate” give the whole story. They just keep flying the flag of the failed socialist/communist regimes.

      • Christina says:

        webot ahh please. This is not about communism or socialism.

      • yoyomama says:

        Frash Direct and all that online bs can’t make fresh, hot muffins every morning like Gotham deli.

        Here’s what I don’t get about landlords raising the rents. Would they prefer that their storefronts sit empty for years without any business whatsoever (the Cafe Tallulah space was unoccupied for years,the old Lanskys…the Cafe Lalo site is still empty after the hardware store moved out… Footlight shoes… Jalapeno…also all those storefronts at what used to be the Reebok store) No business is worse than some business, right?

        • Sean says:

          You don’t have to provide heat or electricity to an empty store.

        • Kenneth says:

          I believe when an owner has multiple properties the ‘lost’ rent on an empty property can be used to offset the the taxable gross income from the other properties – thereby lowering the tax otherwise due. It an owner expects that in a period time that the same property will increase in value and may be sold in the future, the additional value unlocked by deliverig a vacant property on sale can wipe out the lost rent losses while still having provided a taxable gross revenue offset in the preceding years. It helps explain why a property like the old PayLess shoe store at Broadway and 93 remains empty for so many years. It is possible the owner is waiting for Radio Shack’s lease to expire and then the whole parcel can be up for redevelopment / new construction. It is only a two story building and it is right at the subway entrance. If there is proper zoning and air rights (all unknown to me) a multistory building could go up there, the profit from which would make the lost rent seem insignificant in comparison. (It someone knows more about this tax strategy, please chime in or correct me – I’m conjecturing on what makes logical sense – I’m not a CPA)

      • RICHARD HEALY says:

        Re Webots comment on rents being high because of city taxes and fees. Partially true but I believe the main reason rents increase astronomically is that buildings change ownership and equity is exchanged for debt. The new owner now must charge usurious rentals to cover his debt expenses.

        • webot says:

          Richard, note I wrote, “ONE of the reasons rents are so high..

          All these issues are not black and white, but shades of grey – like life itself.

          It is just so easy to say,at least in NYC, “landlord bad, tenant good”

    12. UWS Resident says:

      Westway closing is a very depressing piece of news. I wish that there was some way to keep it afloat. The people there, the workers and owners are all very friendly – I know them, they know me – duane reade doesn’t compare. This is a shame – a real shame!

    13. Susan says:

      So very sorry abut Westway — my son’s favorite place to go for lunch when he was a student at The Computer School around the corner. The owner is SUCH a nice guy…when I finally got in there with my son after he’d been going there a long time, he took the time to tell me how much he liked having my son as a customer. I am always sad when great neighborhood places like this close — this one strikes close to home.

    14. We Love Westway says:

      Westway, our beloved deli on the corner of 78th St. and Amsterdam, has served our neighborhood for more than 30 years. We created a Facebook page for Westway fans to post photos and express their sentiments. Please visit and post:

    15. Franke says:

      Will there be any Cold Stone stores in a couple of years? So many of their stores are closing down even though they seem to be busy. That’s the sign of a failed business model if you ask me. Seems the franchise owners can’t make money even though they’re busy so they’re closing their stores.

    16. angel says:

      westway deli on Amsterdam and 78th street was a family deli opened my 2 great men waleed and hassan asous,people that went to the deli from day one know them, the tall man with a mole on his face and the short man , 2 brothers ,those 2 men opened this store from money they were saving . they came from a poor family, they supported and raised there young orphan brothers , mousa and khaled who eventually grew up and stole the store from there brothers. its a very sad story actually. so the reason the store closed was because khaled and mousa wouldnt give the store back to there brothes. they sold it and went and opened another store with the money that belongs to tehre brothers.