Several new restaurants have recently opened on the Upper West Side, as a Mexican spot that opened just six months ago, has already closed its doors.

ChicoJulio, the  seafood-focused Mexican restaurant on Amsterdam between 97th and 98th, closed after being open for barely six months. The restaurant’s website says “It is time to SAIL for new shores and new waters. See you very soon in our new location!” No word yet on where that location will be. Thanks to Rich for the tip.

Lincoln Square Steakhouse on West 70th street had its official opening on Thursday, with four working fireplaces and nightly piano music. It’s “a classic steakhouse designed with a nostalgic decor, offers steaks that are dry aged to perfection, succulent seafood dishes and an extensive global wine list that features 30 bottles for under $30,” said a rep for the restaurant. See photos of the interior below (photo of private dining room provided by the steakhouse). Click to enlarge.

Loi, the Greek restaurant that Lincoln Square replaced, is now opening a new location at 132 West 58th street between 6th and 7th avenue. Loi Estiatorio will be more casual than the old spot. “It looks like she’s simply moving in to the existing space that was recently vacated by the Austrian restaurant Seäsonal, rather than doing any major refurbishments. The new venue is much smaller in size than the Loi’s massive previous establishment,” writes Chantal McLaughlin, who sent in the tip. “I hope Loi does well here as I really liked their food, albeit now they are in somewhat of competition with other top Greek restaurants Milos and Molyvos nearby.” We wish Maria Loi all the best too!


Italian chain Serafina is expanding again. “A Morningside Heights outpost of the Italian restaurant group Serafina is slated top open this Spring on the corner of Amsterdam and West 122nd in the former Sezz Medi space, which has been vacant for several years,” writes Chantal.
Friedman’s Lunch is also on its way, Chantal notes. “Just a few blocks south from there on Amsterdam near 118th street, a new Friedman’s Lunch location is slated to open at some point in the former Haakon’s Hall space, across from Columbia University’s main campus. Friedman’s, which has locations in Chelsea Market and on West 31st street, features a menu of farm-to-table and gluten-free fare.”

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Sushi Shop opened yesterday on Broadway between 77th and 78th streets. Their rep wrote in: “Lunch Special combinations, prepared mere minutes prior at the sushi counter, at two affordable prices of $12.95 and $14.95.  Dinner offerings, both for take-out and to dine in, include a variety of boxes (such as the luxe “Black Box” filled with 56 pieces for $79.95) as well as individual Maki and Hand Rolls, Tartares, Tataki, Ceviches and Chirashi bowls filled with bounties of fish, vegetables and rice.” Gotta appreciate the tight packing of the Box for 2 above.

Pure Barre has put up its sign in the window at 412 Columbus Avenue (80th), the former home of HomBoms Toys. The workout spot, which we first wrote about here, uses ballet techniques.

Thanks to everyone who sent in tips. Keep ’em coming!

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 16 comments | permalink
    1. Sheryl says:

      We live next door to Lincoln Square Steak and have been eagerly awaiting their opening. We had a lovely dinner on Monday night and then went back for a burger the next night. Very warm and welcoming! We hope folks give it a try and that it becomes a neighborhood favorite. We love Cafe Lux, but it is nice to have a choice!

    2. Mike says:

      I went to Lincoln Square Steak on Wednesday night. The place looked great, had a nice atmosphere and the porterhouse for two was delicious. The staff was great as well. Glad to have this addition to the neighborhood.

    3. Joe says:

      We predicted a quick exit for Chicojulio. That spot hasn’t done well since Pampa. It’s been one overpriced place after the next. And there is an abundance of Mexican options above 96th…

    4. Tom says:

      Off topic, but does anyone know the status of the old
      Banana Republic space at 86&bway. Rumor that Chase
      Bank was moving in freaked a lot of people out a few months ago but space has been quiet since. Anyone have an update?

    5. Evan Levine says:

      Would be fascinated to know what the heck happened with the ChicoJulio space because I never thought they needed to close Cafe Frida…which was our neighborhood mexican spot and was always busy. Perhaps chef got bored but I still miss the original place, let alone the two short-lived spots that have come after.

    6. Edward says:

      Is something coming after ChicoJulio? The revolving door of Mexican restaurants may be ending…but I hope not. They all have been pretty decent, actually, especially the one that was there for a brief time last year.

      Wonder why the struggle, they all seemed relatively full…

      • nj says:

        Rents are so high that a regular price meal and full house doesnt cover it if you dont do a heavy take out and heavy catering business.

    7. Evan Bando says:

      Do any of these restaurants above have an actual address? “Lincoln Square Steakhouse on West 70th Street”

    8. Otto says:

      It looks like work is finally being done on that empty bank storefront on the NE corner of 91st and Broadway. Any idea what’s going in there?

    9. Eli says:

      When is the bareburger openinging on columbus square? It’s been over a year.

    10. Scott says:

      I’ll never figure out the restaurant business. Indian restaurants are always empty and never close. Pampa was always busy and closed. That was the best restaurant between 96th and 116th.

      • Paul RL says:

        Agreed, Scott. I miss Pampa – I plaqued so many of my arteries there! Really loved that place.

    11. Isabella Wagner says:

      Chicojulio was a fantastic restaurant – great food, scene and service. This is a real loss for our neighborhood!!

    12. chuck says:

      chicojulio is the 3rd mexican place in that spot in a year or so. Obviously the same own is just changing the name and getting loans to “redo” the space over and over. Shame.

    13. Jay says:

      I walked by the new space on Columbus between 92/93rd today and there was a pallet addressed to Party City. So that rumor can be confirmed.