The Ding Dong Lounge, a beloved Manhattan Valley dive bar, is closing, as are a few other local businesses.

The Ding Dong Lounge, a dive bar on Columbus between 105th and 106th  that’s been around since 2000, is closing on Thursday, July 31 after losing its lease. The bar, which has live music and comedy, hopes to relocate, although not likely in the immediate area. Said one tipster: “For anyone who lives in Manhattan Valley, the ding has been the glue and a beloved mainstay since opening in 2000. End of an era in a city that is losing and has lost most of its identity.”

Here’s the notice from the bar via Facebook:

“ATTENTION ALL DING DONGERS!: The Upper West Side has been a great home. We have laughed here, we have cried here we have fallen over drunk here. But alas, It’s time for a change. Ding Dong Lounge will be relocating. Our last day of business on Columbus and 106th street will be Thursday July 31st. This is due to us losing our lease. This week is what we’re calling LOL week. We wanna go out in a blaze of glory. So come out tonight. Come out tomorrow. Come out every F**KING night. Thank you for years and years of fun…it ain’t over. We’re just going on vacation.”

zalesZales on 80th street and Broadway also closed this week. The store is inside a building that is being demolished to make way for a new development. Thanks to Jeff for the photo.

A Children’s Place at 77th street and Broadway is closing on August 24. It’s one of several kids’ stores that have closed this year. Items are selling for 50% off. Stuart, who sent in the tip, lamented the loss:

“Yes, I know it’s a chain store, but where else can you buy reasonably priced (not designer) children’s clothing on the Upper West Side? This store (and another location since closed on Amsterdam and 70th – replaced by a brokerage) have become neighborhood fixtures. Since kids grow so quickly, you need to buy replacement clothes before the old size wears out. And, kids fashions don’t really change, so everything is always in style. Can’t remember the name of the local store that sold kids clothes and uniforms on Broadway at 84 st (somebody help me) but that location is now a Chico’s. So I guess the Upper West Side needs national chain women’s clothing stores (Chico’s, Marshall’s, DSW, Victoria’s Secret, even Talbots which has been there forever) more than we need a chain children’s clothing store. Btw – there are two other closed storefronts on the same block as The Children’s Place.”


A store called Toys on Broadway between 84th and 85th street (next to Game Stop) is also closing and selling off its merchandise, with discounts of 20% to 50%. Another toy store just five blocks North is also closing. Thanks to Jeff for the tip and photo.


NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 39 comments | permalink
    1. Ruth says:

      Morris Brothers.

    2. Barbara says:

      name of store that you are trying to remember was Morris Brothers

    3. Anne Larsen says:

      Years ago, there was also Morris Bros., first at 98th & Bway., then down at 85th. When our children were young (they’re now in their early ’40s), we bought many a winter coat there, not to mention socks, underwear, pjs, jeans, etc. Now, in that beloved space, stands something called Games . . . .

    4. Ruby says:

      Good news for West Side Kids that both these two stores are closing I guess, although they really didn’t compete in the types of merch they carried.

    5. Wendy says:

      The toy/card stores on Bway and 85th and Bway bet 89th and 90th, are owned by the same person, Nassir. Maybe he is retiring the business……

    6. Joy says:

      I used to work at Morris Bros. (which was where the Game Stop is now) and my mother shopped there for me when I was a little girl. It was a great store. Kid Are Magic was another nice store and that was on the opposite side of Broadway, near Florsheim.

    7. Martin says:

      Yay! More room for another Duane Reade or Starbucks or a bank…

      • Kenneth says:

        Next thing ya know, there won’t be a single place left on the UWS to even get new horseshoes. We must stop closing all the blacksmith shops.

    8. David says:

      No people where Morris brothers was at is now game stop where Chico is at now was a baby Gap store

    9. lmx says:

      Such a bummer about Ding Dong. One of the only punk rock bars in the UWS that had any edge or character. The neighborhood is now 100% vanilla instead of 99% vanilla.

    10. Alan says:

      Goodbye mom and pop stores, you cannot make it in Manhattan!! Greedy Landlords just don’t care!!

    11. Stuart says:

      Thanks everyone who reminded me that the store was Morris Brothers.

    12. Frank V says:

      Morris is where my mom got my clothes and where we got children’s clothes , we left nyc in 1999 for greener pastures

    13. Andrew Matthew says:

      I know both toy stores have the same owner, at least in 2011.

    14. Stores close because landlords raise rents, which means retailers either raise prices or go out of business. So the real losers are residents of the city, which is increasingly becoming a playground for the affluent.

      • webot says:

        Stores go out of business for all sorts of reasons.

        Rent is one factor.

        Easy scapegoat and simple explanation from the left is landlord greed. Yes, of course there are more then enough bad landlords in the City . But most rely on rents to meet their own costs, its not so simple.

        Some recent examples: Tower records (internet), Barnes & Noble (internet), Linens and Things, Daffys, Loehmans, (bad management? over expansion? miscalculations of their customers? increased competition? etc etc)

        You don’t see many horse and buggie stores anymore either.
        I remember Winefred Frocks on 75th (74?) and broadway.. not many Frocks being sold these days either.

        The point is stores go in , stores go out. Sure its sad, but change is part of life. Nostalgia can be a dangerous thing.

        • whatsupduck says:

          To add to your comment, Morris Bros closed bc of retirement.

        • Richard says:

          The fact that stores come and go over time is not the issue; no one’s longing for an anvil emporium. But family-owned non-chain businesses (pubs, stationery stores, clothing shops, book stores, taverns, gift stores, ice cream shops, diners, antique stores, etc.) have largely been replaced by Duane Reade’s, TD Banks and Starbucks – or whatever the next Starbucks is. These replacement businesses limit our choices in shopping, drinking and eating. Worse, they rob the UWS of its warm and human Upper West Sideness.

          • Sean says:

            This ain’t Vermont.

            • Jeremy says:

              Seriously. All of those stores mentioned are of less utility to me than a bank. And, as a customer, do I care if the ice cream store is a chain or individually owned? Nope.

            • Christina says:

              @Sean… and it ain’t Midtown either!

          • The actions of elected officials and community activists are responsible for how the UWS has turned out. We’ve had urban renewal and rezoning, creating smaller business zones and areas devoid of business. Scarcity and high demand for retail space in addition to higher taxes and expenses have made it survival of the fittest. Many of the bigger non chain stores on the UWS don’t want the competition of lower priced stores and alternative businesses. Your choices are limited because of the evolution of the urban ecology of the UWS not the businesses that are there.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              nycissues said:

              “The actions of elected officials and community activists are responsible for how the UWS has turned out. We’ve had urban renewal and rezoning, creating smaller business zones and areas devoid of business.”

              this is a general statement that will receive Huzzahs from the “free market” crowd but when examined is devoid of meaning. Urban renewal took place over 50 years ago!! Somehow small store survived until the recent commercial rent hyper-inflation.

              I would ask which “rezoning” created “smaller business zones”, and when it took place?

          • Cato says:

            Well said, Richard.

          • sue says:

            To Jeremy who doesn’t care if the store is a national chain or locally owned: Were you here after Sandy struck? Only the local stores reopened the next day. And look out of the Safe Haven signs pledging to protect our kids. See any on the doors of the national chains? Local stores support the community in many ways- national stores don’t. Not to mention the loss of any distinction in merchandise and character.

            • Jeremy says:

              Of course. I was here while Sandy struck as well as afterwards. I don’t remember any real disruption in our neighborhood for the chain stores or the locals, although I vaguely recall Murray’s window being broken.

              Fundamentally, do I care that much whether the nice framing store guy or the nice Pinkberry lady get their checks from corporate HQ? As long as they’re nice, no, I don’t really.

              Listen – I’m perfectly happy to support local when there’s a reason to. I love Murray’s because they’re awesome. However owners of crap local stores don’t get a pass just because they’re local. In fact, some of the worst neighborhood citizens are local, because there’s no corporate consequence for bad and unneighborly actions.

    15. Julie says:

      Toys is not closing. They are just selling off some merch.

      • Cato says:

        You mean the place with the sign in the window that says “STORE CLOSING” in big bold letters? (See the picture accompanying the story above.)

        You should get in touch with the owner and let him know he’s wrong and that his store is *not* closing!

    16. NikFromNYC says:

      Unless you attract instead repel strip clubs, you are Mall of America suburbia.

    17. Robin says:

      I’ve asked about the closing at Toy Store twice and both times have been told that they are just clearing out inventory, that the store at 89 Street is the only one closing. Don’t know if that is true.

      Nassir also owns a card store around 113 and Broadway. Does anyone know what is going on there?
      If that is closing, then my guess would be that Nassir is retiring.


      • RobertS says:

        The only card store I know of around 113th & Broadway was the Card-O-Mat. Notice that I said “was”. Been gone a year now.

        Or do you mean the Possibilities gift shop the otherside of Broadway and a half block down?

    18. Cara says:

      I think Corvo Bianco may be going the way of the dinosaur

    19. chris morley says:

      How about Rappaports that used to be at B’way and 82 nd. St. in the fifties ? It’s noe a drug store.

    20. NancyF says:

      Of course it is depressing. We live in an area that has fantastic buildings and beautiful parks and museums and the stores are like a Mall off the Jersey turnpike. But hey, what do you expect when apartments are selling for prices that only the affluent can afford, the rents are going to jump and we are going to get Sleepys and banks and drugstores and Starbucks and Marshalls (OMG what a disgusting store) and Victorias Secret. There is no character anymore. Small is good. Sad

    21. Riva says:

      This is really bad news. With the closing of Gymboree on Broadway and 83rd last year, there’s now no affordable place to buy kids’ clothes on the Upper West Side. I think the real estate market is trying to tell us something.