playa bettys
Playa Betty’s is getting ready…

The tequila glass is half full. We’ve got some sad news about a local grocery store, but promising news about a new beer bar and a California-style restaurant.

Matt Gebhard, the owner of Hell’s Kitchen beer bar Beer Culture, is planning to open a new spot at 228 West 72nd street, the former home of Mike’s Bistro. Gebhard will be going before the community board on Nov. 23 to try to get a liquor license for a bar he’s calling Gebhard’s Beer Culture. Beer Culture has 450 kinds of beer in stock, so — if you’re a drinker — he’ll probably have something for you. “We are still in the early phases, but are excited to be a prospect in your neighborhood!” he tells us. Gebhard says he’s hoping to open in April or May. The Wall Street Journal wrote about Beer Culture here.

A new restaurant serving “California-style beach food” called Playa Betty’s is getting set to open in the former home of Citrus at 320 Amsterdam Avenue (75th street). “Saw the painting on the Wall inside as they were doing construction an unloading kitchen equipment,” said Edith. A Craigslist ad for the restaurant says it’s connected to Reunion Surf Bar in Hell’s Kitchen and they’ll serve Mexican street food and “strong tequila drinks.” Playa Betty for President!

Meanwhile, a neighborhood grocery store is apparently closing, Charles tells us. “In case you haven’t heard, Sing & Sing – corner West 96 and Columbus Ave, lost their lease and being forced out to make way for a “big retailer.” S & S has been a staple neighborhood grocery and part of our community for over 25 years in the same location.  We’ve relied on them for everything at nearly anytime of day! They are now moving locations, across the street to join the Health Food store, closer to West 95 on the East side of Columbus Ave.” Charles, fed up with big box stores, suggests starting a petition to keep the store open.

Photo via Playa Betty’s instagram.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 22 comments | permalink
    1. Erica says:

      Has anyone figured out what’s going into the Food Emporium space on 90/Broadway? No info online about the corp listed.

      • Marci says:

        Maria at the Food Emporium said that the space is going to become some kind of dry goods store. The new people had been in taking measurements and spoken to a few of the employees about possibly staying on.

        • Mary Jones says:

          A few weeks ago someone here was very sure it is going to be Anytime Fitness. He didn’t say how he knows that. We do know that AF Norwich LLC is taking over the lease…but no one seems to know who that is. I would not assume anyone at the Food Emporium really knows.

    2. WOmbatNYC says:

      Great bread/rolls and coffee in the morning at SING SING .. Nice they will just be moving across the street

    3. Jeff says:

      As a craft-beer lover from California who lives in the West 70s, this post really, really made my day.

      Welcome to the ‘hood, Gebhard’s & Betty’s!

      • Wolf Hill says:

        Man, you gotta move a lot of suds to pay the rent at that location. I hope they’ll have a section for kosher beer.

    4. John says:

      I hear a bank will be moving into that space. Several rich people in that area have been complaining about lack of safe deposit boxes in that area for their gold bars and diamonds.

    5. carran says:

      Will sign petition to keep store open

    6. Pedestrian says:

      Sing Sing is closing…..there must be dancing into the aisles at City Hall. Small business is middle class and working class business and City Hall says they have got to go! Don’t believe it look at the city policies that incentivize billionaire developers and do nothing for small businesses as their locations become too expensive and their businesses are demolished. It appalling but then we must serve our most important constituents developers and billionaires.

    7. Stuart says:

      Wasn’t there a Mexican restaurant with a surf motif on Columbus in the 1980s – I think I had a blind date there…

    8. CuriousGeorge says:

      So Mike’s Bistro is going to be a bar? There are apartments over it and on both sides of it. No one else thinks this is going to be a problem?

      • m.pipik says:

        You’re not the only one. I love craft beers, but I hope this place will be more adult friendly than catering to overage frat-boys with a menu of real food, not tapas.

        The old fashioned bars in the West 70’s were nice places with decent food. Few are left.

        • Wolf Hill says:

          Since when are tapas not real food? I think you are confusing the term with bad fried bar snacks.

      • Barfly says:

        I think you just described about 90% of the bars in the city.

        • m.pipik says:

          I know exactly what I wrote. I am hoping that they will serve lunch/dinner food, not over-priced bar snacks (which is what tapis is). Think pub not “bar.”

          • Wolf Hill says:

            I hope we both get our wish. You can sit down and have a good meal and I will have some small plates at the bar.

    9. lucette says:

      Sing and Sing is just a wonderful place to buy flowers,baked goods produce and all kinds of groceries. The owner Paul and Lena are really good and understanding people.
      How will they have all the stock they currently carry in the store across the street?

    10. Doug G. says:

      Stoked for the possibility of Beer Culture! This would be an amazing addition to the UWS.

    11. Michael Milken says:

      The only thing I really like about Sing and Sing were their flower displays in the street on big holidays like Mother’s Day and Christmas. But what’s going to open there? The old H&R Block space across the street is still vacant as is Food City.