Boka fried chicken, via Boka Instagram.

By Mark Bollettieri

Boka, a Korean restaurant and bar with a popular St. Mark’s location, is coming to the Upper West Side.

Boka’s new location at 410 Amsterdam Avenue (79th-80th Street) will open in March, owner James Lim said at a meeting of the Community Board’s Business & Consumer Issues Committee on Wednesday night. The space was previously occupied by the Tolani wine bar, and has been empty since that bar closed in 2015.

Boka, known for its Korean fried chicken and watermelon soju, will be open from 10:00 AM until 2:00 AM Sunday through Wednesday, and until 3:00 AM Thursday through Saturday. Here’s their downtown location’s menu.

Lim has already installed soundproofing in the space and plans to use the property’s backyard for a farm-to-table garden.

The Business & Consumer Issues Committee approved Boka’s application for a liquor license, with one member commenting that “we need something in that space, and this is thrilling.”

FOOD, OPEN/CLOSED | 23 comments | permalink
    1. UWSHebrew says:

      Sounds great! We have two Korean fried chicken places here, and the adding of a third is exciting. The first place, Koko, has great fried chicken (the size of the pieces started out really large, then got way small, now they are an ok size), but people who work there lack civility (putting it lightly). The second place, Mokja, gives you large pieces but the sauces are surprisingly bland and very lightly applied. Come on Boka!

    2. Karen Bruno says:

      What’s the cross street..who knows the addresses anyway?

    3. Christine E says:


    4. Mike says:

      March? What a tease!

    5. Jeff says:

      This is off-topic and I’m sure people have already let WSR know, but Cafe Bee opened Wednesday on 72nd between Broadway and West End. Big menu of coffee, tea, salads and sandwiches. Hours are like 7:30am-10pm, which is quite a big window.

      • Janine Serual says:

        Taken them forever to open!

        Too bad it is right next to a soup kitchen and so most of the time going in or coming out will require side stepping over someone, more so on weekends when the line gets long and people start camping out on the sidewalk.

        72nd Street needs a major face lift.

        • Sean says:

          Nah! It is just a reflection of the area.

        • HelenD says:

          I had no idea why people were lining up there or that there was a soup kitchen in the neighborhood. Isn’t that the also the address for voting in this neighborhood?

      • Cat@lynn says:

        Thanks for the info! I had no idea there was a new shop in the neighborhood. I usually head toward B’way and haven’t gone over to WEA in quite awhile. Which space did it go into (laundry)?

    6. Ethan says:

      Happy dance!

    7. H Lee says:

      Have visited the St. marks location and had wonderful food and service. Looking forward to frequenting it here on the UWS. Welcome addition to our neighborhood. I hope they deliver…

    8. marie says:

      We need Cosi, Olive garden and cheap point point food.
      Rent price is always a factor.

    9. EricGNYC says:

      Mark – any relation to Nick Bollettieri? I spent many a summer as a junior and several weeks as an adult at the tennis academy in Bradenton!

    10. UpperBest says:

      I’m skeptical about a “farm-to-table” garden in a back alley space that gets about an hour of sunlight on a good day…

    11. Diane Park says:

      Boy oh boy!! As a huge fan of fried chicken, this truly is exciting news to me. We could really use some better food options on the UWS!!!

    12. Scott says:

      There are too many restaurants in this town, and not enough hardware stores.

    13. Svetlana Travis says:

      What we really need is a Dairy Queen.