Latin-Asian fusion restaurant Citrus at 75th street and Amsterdam Avenue is set to close in the next couple of months and be replaced by a Mexican restaurant from the owner of French Roast, 5 Napkin Burger and Nice Matin.

Simon Oren, who owns 5 Napkin and more than a dozen other restaurants around the city, said at a community board hearing on Wednesday night that he wants to open a new restaurant, and is expecting this one will be Mexican. He has a “proposed deal” to lease the Citrus space. It would most likely open in March or April.

Oren’s lawyer said that Citrus’ owner is looking to “retire.” It’s not clear when the restaurant is expected to close. Citrus’ general manager said “I know nothing of that” when we asked about it. He said the owner had been looking to partner with someone else and possibly do renovations, but he hadn’t heard anything about a sale or closure.

Louie Lanza, the owner of Citrus, did not respond to a message left at the farm he runs with his wife in upstate New York.

Lanza has already begun a new project outside of the city, according to news reports. He has purchased five buildings in Peekskill, New York with the intention of opening multiple restaurants.

The community board business committee recommended approval of the proposed Mexican restaurant’s liquor license.

The committee also recommended approval of a liquor license for Lincoln Square Steak, a steakhouse set to open in December in the former home of Loi on 70th street just West of Broadway. Neighbors said the space has been very loud in the past, and the community board imposed conditions on the license that demand adequate soundproofing. We wrote about it here.

Cafe Tallulah on 71st and Columbus also received approval to stay open until 3 a.m. on weekends and have live music in the basement level as long as it complied with requests from neighbors to reduce the impact of noise and smoking outside the restaurant.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 14 comments | permalink
    1. Brad H says:

      I don’t live in NYC but have made many trips to Manhattan and frequent the UWS. I went to Citrus for brunch on one trip. The food was great, but ended up sick for the remainder of that trip with mild food poisoning. Not impressed with that experience! Hopefully next tenant will be an improvement. Anything for the betterment of UWS!

      • Lauren says:

        The whole family got food poisoning there as well -no longer a great place – time to close it down.

    2. Rebecca Elise says:


    3. Kate says:

      Nooooooo! Citrus was one of the best delivery spots on the UWS. Fantastic fajitas, great apple pie, quick delivery, lots of extras included all the time (chips + salsa, cookie, piece of bread, etc.)

      • james says:

        i’m weary of any restaurant known for their fajitas and apple pie.

        • Kate says:

          Are you really “weary” or were you attempting to say “wary”?

          And it’s not “known” for either of those things. They just happen to be well-made there.

          • james says:

            yes, wary…i must have been weary at the time of posting.

            fajitas and apple pie are a weird combo and it’s totally indicative of why i don’t dine at Citrus. it had no identity. Sushi, tacos, roasted chicken, paella, duck, pasta, and burgers. places that do everything do nothing well.

        • Christina says:

          And so what if a place is known for Apple pie and Fajitas! Are you so above that?! I happen to love homemade Apple pie and a well made fajita!

    4. WombatNYC says:

      Should have happened years ago. They were always hiding their letter B or C grades from the DoH NYC .

    5. SRH says:

      Close Josie’s instead. Great Sushi!

    6. Lucien Desar says:

      Great, another over-priced bland-tasting Mexican restaurant that gets it’s profit from liquor sales opening up on the UWS. I was really hoping that it would be a bank. 🙂

    7. JDUWS says:

      I don’t think I can go on living without the Citrus salad with lime shrimp!