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.