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OPENINGS & CLOSINGS: PAPA JOHN’S, LALA SAHAB, LAGOM GOURMET DELI, DUANE READE

papa johns

Never fear, pizza-lovers, Papa John’s is on its way! That and more local openings and closings are below.

A new Papa John’s pizzeria is opening on 104th street and Amsterdam in the former location of Dani Cleaners. Thank goodness tourists now have a place to go for authentic pizza! This is the second Papa John’s in the neighborhood — there’s one on 89th and Amsterdam. Thanks to MikaElle for the tip and photo.

Lala Sahab Exterior

A new Indian restaurant called Lala Sahab has opened in the former location of Savoury at 489 Columbus Avenue between 83rd and 84th Street. Chef Lala Sharma also ran Savoury. “The menu will feature mostly small plates perfect for sharing that are influenced by Northern Indian cooking. The menu is divided into small plates, Mumbai Bites, Bhatti Se (from the Tandoor) and Choolah Se (from the pan).” Thanks to Kelly and Connie for the tips.

lagon

Lagom Gourmet Deli has opened on 79th street between Broadway and Amsterdam in the former Alex Sutton Dry Cleaner, Michael tells us.

duane reade6

Several tipsters say that the Duane Reade on 72nd between Broadway and West End is closing in the coming months. “This has kind of always seemed inevitable because there’s a modernized DR like 100 yards away on Broadway,” Jeff notes. “Should be good for small businesses like Joseph Pharmacy and Gartner’s Hardware and the bodega at West End & 72nd.”

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 60 comments | permalink
    1. UWSHebrew says:

      I do not understand the success of Domino’s, Papa John’s, etc. in Manhattan. Who buys this pre-made / frozen, very artificial tasting pizza (that is not cheap!), when there are freshly made pies of pizza everywhere? I love pizza and Domino’s is disgusting, the one time I had a slice at some function.

      • josh says:

        And Papa Johns is THE worst of all of them…

      • denaliboy says:

        I’ve wondered the same thing. With so many pizzas (some good, some OK) who in Gods name would buy Dominos, Papa John etc. Even the $1 slice is better.

        • David Collins says:

          TOURISTS

          Same folks who go to other chain restaurants like TGIF or Olive Garden or Buffalo Wild Wings.

          Mostly tourists, people from out of town on a budget. People who just moved to NYC.

          • CTP says:

            I disagree that tourists frequent these spots. I walk by the Dominos on Columbus and 88th every day, more or less, and they are very busy. It is not exactly a touristy neighborhood. Of course you and I would never eat this food, but there are plenty of people who would and it is very, very, very inexpensive and they offer lots of coupons/deals. Growing teenage boys who can eat whole pies in a sitting love places like this. I know too, schools, athletic teams (practicing) and party places order from them for the low cost and ability to order many pies and other items (wings) with fast delivery. Trust that a corporate restaurant chain would never open a store or maintain a store in an area that could not turn a profit, they do their homework and they make sure they are seeing quarterly profits or the stores close.

            • Michael G says:

              Yeah it’s the low-cost/accessibility combo more than “tourists.”

            • KJ says:

              Kids love this pizza. It is easy and cheap, especially when feeding a crowd. They have clearly done the research and figured out what blend of sugar and chemicals will appeal to the masses. See also, Subway, McDonalds.

          • B.B. says:

            That simply is not true.

            A walk down any street when recycling is out for DSNY collection would show plenty of Domino’s, Papa John’s or whatever chain pizza take out boxes. Ditto you see Domino’s delivery guys biking up and down the streets/avenues day and night in all kinds of weather.

            We thus can assume a great many local residents are consuming and not all are “new arrivals”.

            In fact two of the most frequently seen bike delivery persons are those from Domino’s and Zombie Cookies.

            • Rob says:

              Its mostly people who have just arrived in NYC or people just out of college used to eating at these places.

      • za says:

        Have you had Dominos recently? While its fun to poke fun at the chains, the food is actually pretty decent. It’s not frozen or pre-made. The one on 72nd street is lightning fast with deliveries, and it always arrives hot and correct. When feeding a large group or kids, its very affordable for NYC. I also support the independent pizza shops in the neighborhood when I want a slice (shoutout to Francesco’s) but for delivery and price, Domino’s is a solid alternative and I’m glad they’re in the neighborhood.

        Related: We once had a coupon for a free pizza from that Papa Johns. The pizza arrived after 1.5 hours, the order was wrong, and best of all, the box contained the baking screen the pie was cooked on. We called and they didn’t want it back.

        • Sean says:

          I love their pizza.

        • Bootes says:

          I have, multiple times, and it was honestly disgusting. I love pizza and while some are better than others, Dominos and Papa Johns are the only ones that I’ve had that I would turn down a free slice/pizza from in the future.

      • Jason says:

        Why can’t pizza hut open in the city, that’s the best! I like pizzaria uno but for delivery and various stuffed crust options, nothing better than pizza hut.

      • jor says:

        Who buys Pap John’s, Domino’s, etc.?

        Same ones who love Citbikes — tourists and the post-college grad transients who don;t want to grow-up and live their life like they’re still in college. Jeah!

      • Mark Moore says:

        For the first time ever yesterday on Columbus I saw a guy with two take out pizza boxes from 7-11. I did a double-take.

    2. Amm says:

      Anybody know what’s going into the old One World Cafe spot on 80th and Columbus?

    3. TAD says:

      It’s Lagom Gourmet Deli, with an M (not N).

    4. lyriclark says:

      Sorry to see DR closing on W.72nd. It’s more personal, has better housewares and certain cosmetics, and is closer to many of us. In addition, the pharmacy at DR on 72nd & Bway is CARELESS! Be careful there. They have given me the wrong generic and they neglected to put stickers on prescriptions such as “sun sensitivity” and “alcohol warning” etc. If you fill anything there–check it out before going home.

      • Bronx Boy says:

        I hope the news about the 72nd Street DR isn’t true. It’s often less busy than the one on Broadway, and would be way more convenient for people on West End, Riverside, and Trumpsville. It also has a Western Union cash-sending service, good way to get money to people in a hurry.

    5. josh says:

      I was always wondering what would open when Dani Cleaners closed. Papa Johns. I would rather the location remain empty. What a disgrace. Considering the hostel is right across the street, I would think there would be some decent opportunities to cater to them. Ironically, you can get fantastic brick-oven pizza right around the corner on 103rd (Bucetta).

    6. Naomi Fein says:

      I don’t think the UWS should be cheering Papa John’s. “Papa” John Schnatter is one of the key Koch brothers’ partners in dark money in politics, i.e., buying politicians. Toward the end of the ACA debate, Schnatter became notorious for claiming the costs of the program were so high, he’d probably have to cut workers’ salaries. His comments suggested borderline racism. His politics and profits don’t belong on the UWS.

      • Cato says:

        “I don’t think the UWS should be cheering Papa John’s. * * * His politics and profits don’t belong on the UWS.”

        Absolutely. No business should be allowed to open in our neighborhood unless the proprietor has first been interviewed to determine that his or her personal politics is fully in synch with those of our more vocal neighbors, representing the homogeneous leanings of everyone who lives here.

        Proprietors should also submit copies of their recent tax returns, so that we can know that they support organizations of which we all approve and do not support organizations we do not support.

        Or, you could just not shop there. Your call.

        • Jake Lewis says:

          You are kidding, right? You want anyone who opens a business here to pass a political orthodoxy test? Why stop there? Why not make it a requirement to live here? Who wants to live around people who disagree with us? This is really what you want?

      • ScooterStan says:

        Ms. Fein:
        THANK YOU for posting a LOGICAL and SOCIALLY-CONSCIOUS reason for anyone who considers her/himself to be progressive politically to NOT support Papa John’s.

        It is certainly a better reason than some peoples’ {we-are-so-superior to everyone else} knee-jerk Manhattan-snob reaction to “chain” businesses.

        Your posting is the kind of information that we would have expected from CERTAIN parts of the media BEFORE they became mouth-pieces for corporate America.

        • UWS-er says:

          Why on EARTH do you CAPITALIZE certain words? Anyway, Papa John’s anti-Obamacare stance was widely covered by the media, so not sure what you’re going on about.

          Thanks to Naomi for the reminder. I’ve never ordered from Domino’s because of the founder’s support for anti-choice groups, and I won’t support Papa John’s either. But that’s up to individuals. There’s no reason they shouldn’t be on the Upper West Side. There are people with all kinds of beliefs who have the right to go there.

      • H says:

        I understand that the Koch family gets a lot of heat for the money they put into politics but they also put their money into endeavors that many people benefit from (public television, the arts, education, etc.)

        I’m a registered Democrat but my views range from liberal to conservative depending on the issues so when we paint people with one broad brush or only see what we perceive/interpret as bad we miss out on the whole of a person and thus society and the many benefits they do offer. The owner of Papa John’s is within his right to make business decisions he deems necessary as any of us would do according to what we feel is best. As for the ACA, I am of the opinion that employers should not be involved in health coverage. I believe in universal health coverage which eliminates that whole debate of what employers pay or don’t pay, while also eliminating the entire religious debate of providing coverage that some organizations (Hobby Lobby) believe are against their religious rights. Some people want the perfect person or a utopia of sorts and that doesn’t exist and likely never will. We could be imperfect and still do some good in life.

      • Jones says:

        At least the Koch Bros. don’t run a phony charity that is really just an illegal super-PAC. Ahem . . . .

      • UWSHebrew says:

        “His politics and profits don’t belong on the UWS”. Those are dangerous words. Contrary to what you believe Ms. Fein, the UWS is not your personal “safe space”. You want to know who behaves like you? Your fellow progressives who do not allow Israeli products their food market (Park Slope Food Co-op). You call yourself liberals but you act like fascists.

        • H says:

          Well since you didn’t share the full reasoning behind why the Coop doesn’t allow Israeli products. The Coop has a stated stance on human rights and justice which it deems is lacking in Israeli based on the treatment of its neighbors (Palestinians) so the Coop is aligned (either officially or unofficially) with the BDS Movement. People may agree or disagree with the movement or the actions of the Coop. All should research the issues and make up their own mind based on facts. I personally think the BDS Movement has effectively used the same tools and influence available to them as Israel and Jewish people have done for ages in bringing attention to an issue, influencing people to support their claims. It seems there exist a double standard to some degree where it is ok to use the tactics that BDS utilizes only when it benefits Israel or its citizens but not when those tactics are used to condemn or shed light on injustices perpetuated by Israel itself. Hypocritical? The US is just as guilty in this hypocrisy as well.

    7. Catherine arcure says:

      I hope the new Indian restaurant carries some of the menu favorites like chicken Kerma from Savoury.

    8. Don says:

      Every time I hear that a chain pharmacy or bank is closing, it brings a smile on my face. We need variety of stores, not just the same ones over and over

    9. dannyboy says:

      A trend that I find disconcerting (among many) is the ethnic restaurants that are run by different ethnicities. Not authentic, but what is in NYC these days?

    10. Jake says:

      The politics of Papa Johns is basically irrelevant to the fact that their pizza tastes like cardboard. The tourists, especially the ones at the Hostel across the street will recognize the brand and they’ll create a booming business. And Amsterdam between 102 and 110 is inching closer and closer to a haven for drunk 20 somethings on the weekends and they’ll certainly appreciate the cheap pizza from a brand they recognize. It’s all whatever to me.

      In the past, I used to call the Dominoes on Amsterdam around 107 but the service was lousy. Haven’t called in years but always liked their pizza.. although they’ve changed the recipe (for the worse, I think) since I was in college. But, admittedly, that was in Minneapolis in the 80s soooooo my expectations are not realistic for it to taste the same.

      I’m OK with chains overall if there’s a balance … the morningside area only has KFC, McDonalds, Dominos and now Papa Johns. That’s not too bad and it could be worse.

      Think of it this way: it could be way worse. My boyfriend lives on E. 116 and that whole street is about to turn over and be completely unrecognizable (and un-affordable) to the people that have been living there for decades. We’ve, collectively, kept that from happening on the UWS and there are still many local businesses. If we keep shopping at the local pizza place, we’ll keep it in business. Let the tourists play it safe with Papa Johns. Sadly, theyll never know just how close they are to pizza greatness.

    11. B.B. says:

      Now that Walgreen’s (parent company of Duane Reade) got their mitts on Rite Aid there probably will be more consolidation. You don’t need two of the same within blocks of each other.

      • dannyboy says:

        and just after I consolidated my customer loyalty cards.

        • B.B. says:

          Haven’t really shopped at Duane Reade lately but still have my rewards card. RiteAid dropped their excellent rewards program and now are part of Plenti which IIRC is something cooked up by American Express.

      • HelenD says:

        There are already 3 DR’s and a Rite Aid within 4 blocks of each other, and none of them are clean or well stocked (the DR by Rite Aid smells like a sewer). I’d love to see a CVS like the one on 86th in this neighborhood.

    12. Nadine says:

      Great news! We lose the only affordable dry-cleaning & tailoring in the area, only to make way for yet another unremarkable chain store that makes me wonder whether I’m in fact at a rest stop someplace in the Midwest. Is this what I’m paying rent through the nose for: Duane Reades, banks, chain pizza, fast food? The UWS (as with the rest of the city) is dying; if you don’t believe me, you either haven’t lived here long or haven’t read the (the magnificent blog) Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York.

      In response to the people who will say we can’t control what businesses come to our neighborhood: of course we can’t, at least not as government is currently set up. But if we could, our neighborhood would be a better place for sure.

      RIP Dani Cleaners, where nobody spoke much English (making my requests hard to communicate) and the floors were filthy, but I got my $6 pants hemmings and loved being a NYer.

    13. B.B. says:

      Going by what one sees persons carrying home for dinner after work, deliveries, and so froth Manhattan residents eat perhaps far too much pizza or similar foods. All those carbs perhaps explains the increasing weight gain.

      Cannot speak for anyone else but for our building the paper recycling bins are filled with empty pizza delivery boxes on a daily basis. Some were stuffing them down the compacter chute until the building sent around a stern memo…

    14. Pumpkinpie says:

      The Duane Reade on W. 72nd St. between West End Avenue and Broadway used to be what the neighborhood desperately needs: a supermarket. I cannot remember whether it was a Gristedes or a D’Agostinos.

      • Sean says:

        It was a dump. What this neighborhood needs is not what it is going to get.

      • nycityny says:

        It was a Gristedes. But it was one of the “old-style” small cramped ones. That space probably can’t accommodate the size of grocery stores that are built today in Manhattan.

    15. Upper West Side Restaurant Goer says:

      We ate at Lala Sahab on opening night. They’ve changed the menu: it’s great! The appetizers are set up to share with a group, and the main meals as well. The service was excellent. We met the owner and the chef. They now have a wine bar in front and another bar in the back and happy hours, so that the appetizers work perfectly for catching a quick nosh.

      • dannyboy says:

        It was nice of Kelly and Connie to share the announced opening and of you to share your experience.

        Thanks for the review!

    16. Liz says:

      Sorry to see this DR closing. I like shopping there. Actual had bigger and better food section than one on Bdwy & 72d St.

      • B.B. says:

        Cannot be sure but if you look around many large chain stores are shortening hours, closing locations, and so forth.

        Some of it obviously is due to economics but from what one has heard the other reasons stem from all the new (and future) minimum wage, OT and other employment law/rule changes.

        IIRC Duane Reade pays minimum wage or barely above for a bulk of their positions. That will reach $15/hr. soon. After you add in rent and other costs there probably isn’t a very large incentive to keep that store open, especially when there is a brand new, multi-level full service DR just 100 yards away.

        • Bootes says:

          Sure higher wages play a role, but rent is probably a much bigger deal. They hardly have any employees manning these stores and have 3 right by each other in this area.

          They’d almost definitely be better off paying less rent and moving employees to the newer and nicer location so that they can have more than 1 or 2 cash registers open at a time. I often go to the Broadway location and walk out after I see the line to checkout.