OPENINGS & CLOSINGS: GAZALA’S, PURE BARRE, MICHELLE’S NAIL SALON, LAUNDRY ROOM PLUS

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A Middle Eastern restaurant has shut its doors, as new beauty and workout spots come to the neighborhood.

Gazala’s, the Middle Eastern restaurant on 78th street and Columbus, closed a couple of weeks ago. An employee at the Gazala’s location in Hell’s Kitchen confirmed the closing but wasn’t sure why it closed. A few months back, the Post had reported that the restaurant would close because the building was going condo, but it’s not clear why that would affect Gazala’s — the owners are renovating the apartments in the building, not tearing down the whole structure.

Exercise studio Pure Barre at 412 Columbus Avenue (80th) will have its grand opening on Saturday, and has already posted its schedule. Thanks to Melissa for the tip.

Michelle’s Nail Salon has opened in the former home of Radio Shack on 72nd street between Broadway and West End. “Prices seem similar if not identical to the other nail places on the block,” writes Melissa. Thanks to Gretchen and Melissa for the tips.

Laundry Room Plus on Columbus between 85th and 86th is closing, part of a recent trend in the neighborhood that has some locals without laundry service in their building alarmed. “Only real laundry for blocks,” wrote our tipster. “And yes, really sad. So many folks use this place. Elderly & families.”

laundromat closing

NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 43 comments | permalink
    1. james says:

      real shame about Gazala’s. it was really one of few very good restaurants in the neighborhood.

      • Dale says:

        …for me to poop on! Seriously, Gazalas was an awful excuse for Middle Eastern food–and another example of the inherently mediocre cuisine available in the UWS. You would be better off going to Soom Soom, or really even Maoz, which isn’t saying much.

        What the UWS is missing is an authentic Lebanese restaurant, not another Israeli-style knock off.

        • Paul RL says:

          Do you remember Eden Rock Café, back in the early-mid ’90’s? It was located on Broadway between 83rd & 84th Streets and was a bona fide Middle Eastern joint, run by Lebanese. It was outstanding. I can still taste the lamb shwarma and tabouli salad.

      • DMH says:

        Too bad about Gazala’s. I think the Columbus Ave scaffolding on this property is perhaps the worst in the Upper West Side. It’s just awful.

    2. D.R. says:

      I’m sorry to see laundromats close; there are so few. Some charge as much as $10 to buy a card: there ought to be a law.

      And aren’t self-service laundries violating their license as self-service establishments when they place “out of order” signs on machines so they can hog them for drop-off service usage?

    3. SM says:

      Its such a shame about The Laundry Room! I dont have laundry in the building and its a huge pain. I send out some things, but this was my go-to spot for the stuff that needs extra care. And the storefront will probably sit stagnant for months like the other empty spots on Columbus and Amsterdam. Awful.

    4. Mike says:

      I am fortunate to have laundry in my building, but I will miss seeing Animal General bring their soiled linens to that laundromat. Yes, an animal hospital does their laundry there.

    5. Cozmo says:

      oh yeah, another nail salon on W. 72nd Street! So happy about that.
      I think the entire block should just close and open as the “manicure destination” of NYC.

    6. Donna says:

      Find it quite suspicious that all the nail salons are able to stay in business but not other establishments such as laundromats that are highly needed. Something fishy is going on and c’mon — how may nail salons does a neighborhood really need in the first place? Most of them are empty with a few people in them at a time so how can they afford the high rents?

      • aaaa says:

        there was a NYT article recently that says they pay their employees next to nothing and had scared most of them into accepting it since many of them had illegally immigrated into the US

      • D.R. says:

        I look the other way when I pass by, hating to think of all the health problems that the fumes impose on the manicurists and their yet-to-be-born children.

      • Cato says:

        It’s simple, really. The demographics of the neighborhood have changed so that fewer (and fewer and fewer) people do their own laundry, while more and more get their nails done professionally.

        Looked at differently, once his or her manicure is done, he or she ain’t gonna wreck it on a washing machine.

        Besides: Laundry?? ee-eWWWW! That’s for *peasants* to do.

        • D.R. says:

          I’m a peasant.
          Beside actually wanting to do the wash “my way,” so I can starch and iron (while watching YouTube) my husband’s shirts that he wears at work, I have to make sure that our funds don’t run out before our life does.

        • Nj says:

          Cato,
          What’s wrong with you?

    7. Ann Miller says:

      Though I didn’t use the laundry, the Shim family and my family grew up together in the sense that we arrived in the neighborhood, st the same time, in the 1970s. They were the kindest, most hard working family and deserve every bit of success their businesses brought them. They always worked relentlessly through-out the years. I hope they continue to enjoy good health, and I wish them the best. They helped to build the Westside.

    8. Wendy says:

      I’m not sure why folks are saying there are so few laundromats? Maybe in just that section of the UWS? There are at least two laundromats or laundering service in my immediate neighborhood on Amsterdam (w. 88 W. 90), one on Broadway (!) at 88th-89th, plus there’s one on Amsterdam around 85th St. as well. And I believe a couple of these will pickup and deliver.

      • D.R. says:

        Wendy, when you speak of “pick up and deliver” you are not talking about a licensed business for people who want to or have to, for various reasons including economical ones, do their laundry themselves.

        • LMN says:

          If anyone has any recommendations for a decent SELF-service Laundromat in the 70s-80s-90s, please share! I will definitely miss this one.

          • D.R. says:

            About two years ago, I used a laundromat in the Ansonia building, north side, which was very decent.
            Although it had some of those phony “out of order” signs, there were still machines available without a wait. The machines were good; the price was fair.

          • Amanda says:

            There’s a self service laundromat on Amsterdam at 92nd, next to Edgar’s Cafe. I haven’t used it personally but it seems to be popular

          • Deb says:

            79th between Amsterdam & Broadway

          • BMAC says:

            When I lived in an apartment on 84th between Columbus and CPW, I used Park West Cleaners’ self-service machines for years. It looks a little dingy, but it is well-run and the woman who owns it (Vivian) is always there and is very helpful to regulars.

        • dannyboy says:

          Correct.

          Kleen is closing on 94 between Broadway and Amsterdam.

          I use them because the illegal housekeepers in my building are way aggressive about the laundry room.

          • D.R. says:

            Do the laundry before or after they leave — assuming that the room is open 24 hours a day.

            • dannyboy says:

              yes, D.R.

              I do my laundry on weekends in order to work around the schedules my neighbor’s help.

              Your suggestion is another way for me to work around the schedule of my neighbor’s help. Thank you.

            • dannyboy says:

              Reporting that I did my laundry this morning at 7AM. My neighbor was just finishing up. He’s 93. Guess the neighbors’ help have been especially tough.

      • dannyboy says:

        Pickup and Deliver Laundering Service.

        Now your talkin’!

    9. Sean says:

      The UWS is all about nails baby.

    10. amy says:

      Thanks, I’m going to keep going to the nail place on Amsterdam and 73rd. We don’t need so many.

    11. D.R. says:

      I hope that, from of their business, the Shims were able to raise a generation of good children and to pay for their college tuitions, etc.

      Goodbye to the middle class in NYC.

    12. C says:

      Hopefully they will bring back the Evelyn Lounge to the Gazala’s location…

    13. Carol M says:

      Not surprised. Mr. Shim never wanted to be in the laundry business. When he bought the business 20 years ago his intend was to break down the wall and extend his deli next door. When the city said NO. There are enough deli’s in the neighborhood he was forced to do repairs and buy new machines. You may not have noticed but even when you select warm or hot water, only cold comes out.
      There are two alternatives on Amsterdam One between 88-89 and the other between 91-92. Both are on the west side of the street. I’ve used them both and are much happier.

    14. Tasha says:

      Are there any self serving laundry mats in the low West 80’s?

    15. Ho Mee Gee says:

      Gazalas closed because it was mediocre at best. In this neighborhood, restaurants need to be really good to stay afloat. This one did not cut it.

    16. lynn says:

      As for why Gazala’s being affected by a building going condo, if the stores are owned by the building the board decides who/what they want in those spots. In the neighborhood where I work there was a shoemaker, deli, mom & pop office supply store, a laundry, and a camera shop, and they were all wiped out by 2 high end clothing stores. I shopped at those places for 30 years and knew everyone on the block. Really disappointing that this is happening everywhere in the city.

      • dannyboy says:

        You just gotta’ get people for that laundry and boring stuff.

        Then make it to those high-end clothing stores.

        Get with The Program[TM]

    17. Lisa says:

      The UWS was a neighborhood of bookstores,quirky “intellectualism” – a middle income community.
      Now transformed into nail salons and mall chains for the affluent.
      In another few years no doubt Donald Trump will feel at home on the UWS

    18. Sassy Lou says:

      This is why they are making these now..for apartment dwellers without laundry rooms or in home machines.

      No hookup necessary.

      Spin and hang to dry.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSetZK-8aBg&html5=1