By Maya Dangerfield

Three new restaurants are planning to come to the Upper West Side, and they went before a community board on Wednesday to apply for liquor licenses. The State Liquor Authority will have final say over the licenses.

Mughlai, the Indian restaurant at 320 Columbus Avenue at the corner of 75th street, will be making way for another Indian restaurant called Saffron Indian Cuisine. Owner Raju Brahmhatta plans to stay open from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., and until midnight on weekends, and offer delivery. He will be making cosmetic changes to the interior will open sometime between late March and early April. The license was approved by the committee.

barriqueAmber, the Asian fusion restaurant at 221 Columbus Avenue (70th street), is moving to 103 west 70th street, the former home of Barrique. The restaurant is moving following a rent hike that topped rent to $70,000 a month, their reps said at the meeting. The license was approved by the committee.

A liquor license was approved for a company called Singapore Grille NY Inc. to open a new restaurant at 224 West 104th street. That’s currently the home of Malaysia Grill. The name of the restaurant has not been determined yet. It’s liquor license was approved by the committee.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 26 comments | permalink
    1. SC says:

      How can any business afford to pay $70,000 a month rent?

      • Kenneth says:

        By charging $14 for hummus – and then everybody can post here complaining about how expensive it is.

    2. SA_NYC says:

      $70k/month for the Amber space, good grief. It’s a large space, I’m guessing there are 70 seats total in there, including the bar. So $1k/month/seat. That’s $33/day, over 12 hours/day that’s pretty close to $3/hour. In other words, the rent expense is $3/chair/hour, all day long. You figure the restaurant is lucky to be 50% full over the course of the entire day, over a whole month, and that bumps the rent cost up to $6 for an average hour-long seating. And I’m sure a 50% capacity ratio is generous. Yikes. As As Sugar Hill would say, this ‘hood is insane in the brain.

      • SA_NYC says:

        Edit: Yeah, I realize it, I mixed up my Sugar Hill Gang and Cypress Hill references. (Reaches for second cup of coffee.)

        • Jeremy says:

          Sugar Hill Gang would probably say, “So you bust out the door while its still closed, still sick from the food you ate. And then you run to the store for quick relief from a bottle of kaopectate.”

        • Cato says:

          That’s ok — I never heard of either one of them.

      • Sprinkles says:

        And that’s ONLY for the rent. Then factor in the cost of electricity, gas, water, all the food, and the wages of all the employees…what restaurant could possibly profit there?

    3. Lucien Desar says:

      $70K a month for rent? That will be another ghost restaurant for awhile – followed by a few attempts to move in and then eventually become an new restaurant branching out from the West Village but doesn’t-quite-taste-good and making the bulk of their revenue from selling overpriced cocktails during brunches. Oh the UWS restaurant scene is so awful.

      • ST says:

        Gotta love the positivity!

      • big G says:

        I think the UWS resty scene is quite good. Within a 10 minute walk from my condo: pincholine, bar boulud / boulud Sud, the Smith, Lincoln, Rosa Mex, Ed’s chowder, telepan, cassis, cafe Tallulah, and everything in Time Warner. Plus 3-4 nice wine bars. I have a feeling that the “haters” would be unhappy no matter where they lived…..

        • james says:

          most of those spots are considerably pricey for the average person. i’d love to pop into Picholine some night when I don’t feel like cooking, but it’s not my reality.

        • Sean says:

          The UWS really begins at 72nd St. these days. Everything you mention in located in what is now know as Lincoln Square.

        • Cato says:

          And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen — why everything on the Upper West Side has to be torn down to make way for the development of expensive luxury condos, and why every longstanding, popular and accessible restaurant (oops, sorry, “resty”) has to be shuttered to be replaced by an upscale wine bar or hoity-toity small-plates bistro.

          I’ve lived in this neighborhood for nearly forty years. Two professionals (who foolishly opted to serve the public rather than rake in the moolah) doing well, no cries of poverty here — but never been to any one of these “local” places (well, OK, been to Rosa Mexicano — oops, sorry, “Rosa Mex” — a couple of times, as a big-event splurge) and would never consider them for a “hey, let’s go out for dinner” dinner.

          OK, G-d bless the Wall Street bonuses, I suppose, but bye-bye middle class and bye-bye neighborhood. Welcome to the “resty scene”.

          • Sean says:

            You ask why? Ask Michael Bloomberg or Sheldon Silver. This is NYC. You ain’t in Vermont.

          • whatsupduck says:

            Don’t worry; there are plenty of us bohemians still left on the UWS.

          • Big G says:

            Sorry for having good taste, Cato. Please move to the suburbs. There you will have an abundance of accessible “restaurants” like Chilis, Applebys, and TGIFridays.

            • Cato says:

              Been a city boy all my life (and never eaten at Appleby’s or any of the others you mention). No suburbs for me, thanks. I’m vested here, and have been probably since long before you were born.

              What’s telling is that for you, “Big G”, the world divides between Chili’s and Boulud’s. Open your eyes and try someplace that’s been around for a while, someplace that doesn’t have a celebrity chef from a TV cooking contest, someplace that welcomes people for a good meal without the pretensions you seem to need. Try it — you might like it.

              But regardless — hope you enjoy your “resties”. I’ll take a restaurant any day.

    4. James says:

      Wasn’t Totto Ramen said to be moving into Barrique?

    5. Mike says:

      Shame about Amber. Food is good and back room was always comfy. I can’t imagine them being successful in the small Barrique space. Maybe the $70k space will be good for a nice ketchup shop or possibly a mayonnaise boutique. The mustard emporium is itching for competition.

    6. jsc says:

      that’s too bad about Malaysia Grill. That’s my go-to take out place…on a completely different note, does anyone know why the 96th street transverse was closed today (2/13) around 2:30? Lots of NYPD and helicopters.

    7. james says:

      i hope the owners of Saffron Indian Cuisine don’t nickel and dime their customers over rice the way Mughlai did. that little charge cost them a lot of return customers. they got my $3 once but never again.

    8. Dmitri says:

      With all due respect to all of the real estate acumen expressed here, at $70K/month this space will no longer be a restaurant.

      • kgbUWS says:

        Too bad it can’t go back to being a split space like in the mid-late 80’s. The front was the restaurant Columbus then what is now the back part of Amber was my exercise place, aerobics and group exercise back then.
        Would be great if some entrepreneur would split it again. To keep a restaurant of some kind there instead of a chain boutique full of black and white clothing would be nice.

    9. Evan Bando says:

      The $70,000 might not be accurate for several reasons. a) Barrique might have made it up to justify the fact that they never made it at that spot and had to close at any rent; b) Barrique might have been quoted $70,000 by the landlord to get them out so another preferred tenant could move in at a lower rent; c) it’s a misprint. UWS restaurant approx. rent: $10/sq/mo. $70,000/mo is not real.

    10. Yael Leopold says:

      Malaysian Grill is NOT closing/moving/changing name etc- just spoke with them.