old ollie's

A new sugar emporium with a public carousel is set to open in a former Ollie’s Chinese restaurant, and a bagel shop is set to close.

Sugar Factory, a national chain that serves candy, sweets and cocktails, is coming to 1991 Broadway (between 67th and 68th), the former home of Ollie’s next to the Apple Store. We broke this news last year, and a broker confirmed it to DNAinfo, along with the news that the public space in front of the restaurnt will be filled by a carousel. “In addition to bright Sugar Factory signage at the entry, the 1,500-square-foot public space will also feature the 12-foot-wide carousel, according to preliminary plans submitted to the Department of City Planning on Feb. 4. A Sugar Factory staffer will operate the ride whenever the public plaza is open and the store will maintain it, the plans said. The decor of the public space, which the developer said became overrun by homeless people, will be updated, with new marble and cast-iron tables, wooden brasserie-style chairs, two fabric-covered benches and moveable Japanese holly planters.”

Crafted Bagels, the Kosher bagel and sandwich store at 676 Amsterdam Avenue (93rd), will close after today and reopen as a restaurant called Sunflower Cafe, according to several tipsters and a website about Kosher restaurants. The new spot is expected to open on February 29. Crafted had just opened in 2014.


Anne & Valentin Eyewear is moving into the old Le Sportsac spot on Columbus between 71st and 72nd street. Thanks to Swati for the photo.

FOOD, OPEN/CLOSED | 32 comments | permalink
    1. wombatNYC says:

      Strange the Sugar Factory would open so close to It’s Sugar which is on Broadway in low 60’s .. I guess the movie theatre across the street from Ollie’s would help.

    2. John says:

      New Saigon, formerly Saigon 98 (and other names) looks closed as of very recently, and without a note. I hope they’re just renovating or something, but the place looked gutted last night with plastic sheets hanging in front of all windows.

    3. Steve says:

      Excellent! Sunflower Cafe does quite well on Kings Hwy in Bklyn

    4. Pedestrian says:

      Public space is supposed to free and open to the public. Building developers and owners receive significant benefits from the city for “providing” these spaces.

    5. WombatNYC says:

      New Saigon 99 or whatever it was called made a very bad business mistake . They should have kept it as Human Balcony and just spruced up the place a bit. I enjoyed the time warp of the place ( old celebrity pics with the owner of the place on the wall) Reminds me of the Babu episode of Seinfeld

    6. susanjane says:

      New Saigon (aka SugarCane) should have staffed their kitchen with someone who actually knew how to prepare Vietnamese food.

    7. Sean says:

      The only people who ever sat in that pubic space were presumably homeless. Also, the building and the restaurant often used it for their own purposes and limited access. No great loss here.

    8. 98th Street says:

      There was a Szechuan Chinese sign up at New Saigon this morning!

    9. dannyboy says:

      Those homeless people are also the Public.

    10. AC says:

      Whenever, I pass this place, I can’t help but remember Tom Cruise’s movie ‘Cocktail.’ Scene where he gets drunk and gets tossed from the art exhibit, which was taking place in this public space. Pretty cool scenes of the area (before SONY, the old post office) in this scene.

    11. UWSHebrew says:

      Worst bagel I’ve ever had in NYC was at Crafted Bagels. Tasted like re-heated frozen bread that was too chewy. It only lasted as long as it did because it was kosher.

    12. Paul says:

      I kept telling myself that anything would be better than the rundown eyesore that is now the former Ollie’s, but now I’m not so sure.

      So our neighborhood, which long age sold its soul to the tourist trade (Apple, Century 21, Banana Republic, Gap, Magnolia) is now going to be home to yet another opportunity for gullible visitors to be separated from their hard-earned dollars, buying $16 burgers and $15 banana splits.

      Let’s hope that the inevitable queues fit inside the carousel-space, lest we become like the poor poor souls on East 60th who have to run the gauntlet between sugar-craving children and their iPhone obsessed parents crowding the sidewalk in front Serendipity III.

      I predict an ugly altercation on the first day Sugar Factory opens, when some dog-walking West Sider, after getting hit in the head with a selfie stick, seizes it and bludgeons its owner to death.

    13. Sean says:

      Any truth to the rumor that Lincoln Towers will be putting in miniature golf for the kids?

    14. joe says:

      Crafted had, ironically, the worst crafted bagels on the UWS. No surprising that a dairy kosher (5.5-day a week) place failed in a high rent area. But I am notsure that reopening as a kosher dairy-only restaurant in its place will succeed. $14 for a kosher vegetarian panini is a bit much…

    15. TV says:

      I can see you’re a glass half empty kind of guy Paul.

    16. David Collins says:

      There is no way that Sugar Factory will make it – be profitable. The rent on that space given how large it is and its prime location must be enormous. And as some already pointed out, Sugar is a few block down by Best Buy and West Elm. Not sure who buys candy Mon-Fri between 8am and 5pm. Not too many people. Hard to make it work if 90% of their sales will happen on Saturday. In order to be profitable most businesses today need to be making money 7 days a week. And the same goes to the eyewear store moving into Columbus and 71st. There is an Oliver Peoples a couple of block down and another eyewear store across Columbus Avenue (I think it’s called SEE). No way they can make it.

    17. Sean says:

      Personal attacks will not be tolerated.

    18. Martha says:

      Sean, I live in Lincoln Towers – did not hear anything about it. Where are they planning to put it?

    19. guy_on_the_corner says:

      I heard it is going to be next to the water park.

    20. Sean says:

      Personally I would like to see a miniature railroad.

    21. ted says:

      OMG, this is going to bankrupt me.My wife is obsessed Anne & Valentin frames. It was tolerable when they were in the Marais and she could only go every couple of years.

      This could be very dangerous.

    22. sam says:

      as noted, a large section of the space is actually “public space” that they are going to maintain, but presumably they are not paying rent (or at least full rent) for, as they cannot restrict the space to customers.

      Second, the space is directly opposite a giant multiplex. I imagine a lot of people will find their prices at least competitive with the gouging that goes on at the movie theater. Especially now that we no longer have the (also overpriced) food emporium to buy our illicit snacks in.

      Either way, this really isn’t my cup of tea, but just about anything is better than the vacant storefront that’s been sitting there for the last number of years.

    23. LS says:

      Maybe the Sugar Factory hopes to attract the growing SoulCycle crowd….

    24. MamaBearOf2Cubs says:

      IT’Sugar doesn’t serve food so there is no competition for Sugar Factory. The closest spot would be the new Dylan’s Candy Bar Cafe on the east side. They are going to make a killing on the west side. Children are the new consumers (through begging and cuteness) so get used to them being everywhere ?

    25. robert says:

      Knowing the folks that ran Human Balcony, way to well. The would see me walking in and were already punching my order in the computer before I got the order desk. They started in 1979 on the 2nd floor above a tip-top shoe store and then took over the ground floor as well. They stopped being Human Balcony when the owner brought in new biz partners, but the $$$ dropped off dramtically and he fired them. There were a few other very short incarnations and the they brought in the former Saigon Grill folks and went to this Asian fusion BS that is all the rage on the UWS. Folks NONE of what these “fusion” places sell is close to real dishes from Asia, they are made up combinations for NYC/UWS tastes.

      Since even this latest try was not doing well the may have partnered with the folks that had the Empire Szechuan restaurant on 100 and B’way last week. That restaurant was at 97 & B’way in the 70’s & 80’s. Where Texas Rotisserie is now. Hopefully the Szechuan Chinese sign means good affordable food will make a come back, rather than these hip and happening places that are all the rage and then burn out in a couple of years.

      On that note the BEST restaurant on all of the UWS is V&T’s Italian restaurant on Amsterdam and 110. It’s been run by the same family since 1949 in that location. Great food at great prices

    26. Steven R. says:

      Instead of clear menu signs, Crafted Bagels had their selections and prices scribbled over multiple chalk boards . It was such a mess to read that I just walked out without ordering anything. When they reopen as a cafe, they should get rid of those sloppy chalk board signs and post a typewritten menu at the front window like most restaurants have.

    27. Joel says:

      I’m the guy. I’m the one guy who will miss Crafted Bagels. Even my wife wouldn’t stand by me on that one.

    28. WestSider forever says:

      Yes, there will be a miniature golf course (just 9 holes) in area between 180 west end and the old synagogue….just behind the new XX building as some call it.

      It will be free to Lincoln Towers residents and just $2 – $4 for neighborhood residents. The course is in final design stages and will be announced shortly.

    29. WestSider forever says:

      Yes, there will be a miniature golf course (just 9 holes) in area between 180 west end and the old synagogue….just behind the new XX building as some call it.

      It will be free to Lincoln Towers residents and just $2 – $4 for neighborhood residents. The course is in final design stages and will be announced shortly.

    30. Stuart says:

      Human Balcony – is this a typo or a sly joke ?

      A note to all: please check your spelling before hitting the “post comment” button.


    31. Sean says:

      This area desperately needs a Chucky Cheese for
      the kids.

    32. David says:

      New Saigon is being replaced by Szechuan Garden. According to the Maitre D’ who has worked there for many years, the owners are the same who owned Hunan Balcony. He says it will open this week.