We tend to like to check out tips before posting them. But sometimes the truth proves elusive, or we get lazy and want help. So we’re posting a couple of rumors we’ve heard recently below and we encourage anyone with more information to come out of the woodwork and divulge the real story.
So yes, we’re rumormongering, but it’s fun and we’re confident no one’s feelings will get hurt. Below each rumor, we’ll post our guesstimate of how likely each rumor is of being true.
1. The Trader Joe’s rumor
We have heard from two people that a Trader Joe’s is opening a new location in the West 90’s. One said he heard in his elevator at a building on 92nd that it would be going into the commercial development under construction on Columbus between 92nd and 93rd (we’ve also heard a Bed, Bath & Beyond rumor about that block. Party City is expected to move in too.). Another person in a separate building in the 90’s also heard this rumor in the elevator. Are there people just spreading rumors in elevators these days, or are elevators where all of the best-placed sources hang out? The basis of this rumor is unclear, and Trader Joe’s never ever confirms or denies where it will be opening a new location. We have been sniffing around to find out more, but so far have gotten no clues. If anyone has a solid lead, pass it along (or tell someone in the elevator)!
Chances of this actually happening: 10%. I so want this to be true, but as George Costanza said “God would never let me be happy.” TJ’s on 72nd is close enough that it’s hard to imagine they’d open a second location so close by when other neighborhoods in New York don’t even have one.
2. The Robert De Niro/Cafe Mozart rumor
Two tipsters tell us that Robert De Niro has looked at renting the space formerly occupied by Cafe Mozart at 154 West 70th street. We got one tip secondhand (friend of a friend). This person said DeNiro would be opening a restaurant there. A firsthand source, however, says it’s not likely as De Niro just looked once and hasn’t been back. In any case, it looks like something’s going into the space, which Cafe Mozart vacated in 2008. There’s lots of construction materials inside. A broker marketing the space did not respond to questions about the space.
Chances of this actually happening: 20%. De Niro has a place nearby (where there was a fire a couple of years ago) and is now renting out Alex Rodriguez’s old pad at 15 Central Park West. He’d do well up here, and that space is in a great spot. Even if it’s not a De Niro restaurant, we’d put up even money that some eatery will open there in the next 12 months.
If you’ve got any solid evidence on either of these issues, let us know be emailing info at westsiderag dot com.
Thanks to all our tipsters. Keep ’em coming!