There’s big news about new restaurants and major retail spaces in this edition of Upper West Side openings and closings.

Polpette has opened a new location in the former home of Bella Giardino at 71 West 71st Street. It features Polpette’s signature meatballs and other Italian dishes. Thanks to Michael for the photo.

Cedra Pharmacy, a high-end pharmacy with plush leather couches and its own juice and coffee bar (as well as the usual pharmacy stuff like prescriptions), opened on Monday at 2268 Broadway (81st-82nd) opens today. Thanks to Sue for the photos.

Scottish pub Caledonia opened last month at 424 Amsterdam Avenue (80th-81st). The menu’s got burgers, sandwiches, fish and chips and a quinoa salad, among other items. See it here. They also have a sense of humor with their chalkboard out front, which recently offered 5% off Tinder dates.

WovenWell, which sells good like belts, baskets and beads, and donates 20% of its profits to organizations helping the mentally ill in developing countries, has opened a pop-up kiosk at TurnStyle, the underground marketplace that runs between 57th and 58th Streets on Eighth Avenue, just below Columbus Circle.

Asbestos abatement has begun at the old Loehmann’s store on Broadway between 73rd and 74th Street, Richard tells us. We had heard a rumor that it will become a Saks store, but then got some more intel last week. A tipster say she saw “three women enter the premises this morning with architectural plans labeled ‘preliminary design’ and Sephora Logo on the sheets.It’s a huge space, hard to imagine even a mega Sephora, even if the little one on 76th is closed, can take up the entire volume – perhaps they are splitting it up.” A Sephora spokesperson wrote to us that they “don’t have any details to share at the moment.”


A new gym called the Fhitting Room is opening in the former home of Bella Luna at 584 Columbus Avenue (88th). Fhitting Room offers “high intensity training in a luxe class environment.” Bella Luna is moving a block away to 87th and Columbus, and its new space is still under construction. Thanks to Connie for the photo and Lauren for the tip.

Gracious Home on 67th Street and Broadway is having a massive liquidation-like sale. After an exec told us they were simply “reinventing” the brand, the Commercial Observer came out with a story that says the store owes its landlord $1.3 million and faces possible eviction. “Landlord Lincoln Square Commercial Holding Co. is seeking judicial intervention from the Supreme Court of the State of New York County to obtain the $1.3 million it says it is owed for monthly rent, real estate taxes, etc., at 1992 Broadway at West 67th Street. Gracious Home, a New York City-based luxury home goods company, has leased the Upper West Side space, which spans three floors at the base of the residential building, since April 1998.”

A pop-up holiday bar called A Midwinter Night’s Dream has opened at LOCL Bar on 77th and Broadway. They apparently serve drinks out of snow globes (if you get one, send us a photo!). “Also on tap is a ‘Love in Idleness’ cocktail that transforms “from white to purple in the presence of love… or in this case, in the presence of holiday spirit… The space is meant to evoke winter forests, fairy kingdoms and seasonal magic, and will operate until January 1st,” wrote Time Out.


A new locksmith and hardware shop is opening in the former home of Golden Sound on Broadway between 78th and 79th on the East side of Street. Thanks to Sue for the photo.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 37 comments | permalink
    1. RK says:

      Polpette was opened by the owner of Bella Giardino (“Nicky Meatballs”) so I think it’s more of a rebranding. I assume they’ll keep the eponymous garden open?

    2. Steven says:

      Nothing says “Scottish pub” like a quinoa salad! Who can forget that stirring scene in Braveheart where William Wallace and his men chow down on a hearty quinoa salad before going into battle?

    3. Eva Yachnes says:

      I was in Cedra the day it opened. Good and healthy juices but very expensive. I noted that the front door opens the wrong way. According to fire laws, a front door must open outwards for easy egress in case of fire. I told an employee who said he would tell the owner.

    4. Mark Moore says:

      Anyone try out that new bar on Columbus yet, Bodega 88 I think it’s called? Looks like an interesting bar menu.

      • Jennifer Taylor says:

        Bodega 88 is awesome! Great food, drinks and atmosphere!

      • AC says:

        Mark, good place being managed by the same team from Calle Ocoho.

        Dishes are delicious and you’ll find the service to be attentive. Give it a shot.

      • eric says:

        i’ve been. it’s a nice spot for drinks, staff is welcoming. a welcome addition imho

      • UWS92 says:

        A couple of friends and I went there in August for my birthday; we sat at the bar. Really nice owner, who is present on the floor interacting with customers. Great vibe inside, the food was good (menu options went beyond the typical bar fare), and the bar service was very nice. Nice spot to congregate.

    5. UWS-er says:

      That locksmith place should read “between 78th and 79th,” I think. (Right now it’s 78th-78th.)

    6. Evan says:

      Bello Giardino and polpette are owned by the same person. I think it’s more of a renaming/rebranding of bello than a replacement.

    7. Beth says:

      I got nervous when I saw Polpette in the Openings and Closing section. So glad they’re opening a new restaurant and not closing on Amsterdam. They make a mean Chicken Milanese, and if you’ve never tried their roasted peppers with pignoli nuts–heaven on a plate.

    8. Wendy says:

      I hope Haggis is on the menu at the new Scottish Pub. 🙂

    9. Wendy says:

      also, Gracious Home is def. going out of business. Same fire sale at their east side location…. definitely bankrupt.

    10. Jim says:

      One of the staff members told me the store is closing. Big loss for the UWS.

    11. RHNYC says:

      Why do UWS restaurants like Bodega 88 feel the need to put up TV’s? I read the comments about it being a great spot, looked it up and saw a row of TV’s. TV’s lower the quality instantly; it’s an immediate turnoff to us when we see that and we’ll go somewhere else. UWS, learn from downtown dining and just make good food and a good ambiance. People can stay at home if they want TV!

    12. ScooterStan says:

      Re: ““Landlord … is seeking … to obtain the $1.3 million it says it is owed for monthly rent, real estate taxes, etc., at Gracious Home,….”

      $1.3M in unpaid rent and R.E. taxes !!!

      So what exactly did Gracious Home do with all the profit it made by charging EXORBITANT PRICES for all those years?

      Don’t bother to reply; we can surmise.

      Except for the impact it will have on under-paid employees (and maybe that’s the reason so many had such bad attitudes) no store deserves a comeuppance more than ‘Gracious Home, whose unspoken slogan was “You’re not the equal of our Upper East Side clientele, but we’ll take your money anyway”

    13. bravo says:

      Plush leather couches would be more like it. Not sure “leather coaches” are such a good idea.

    14. Kate says:

      Any update on the Sugar Factory in the former Ollie’s space on 67th and Broadway?

      They were supposed to open this month but so far the Ollie’s sign hasn’t even been taken down…

    15. Nra says:

      Gracious Home on Third Avenue is also having a massive sale.

    16. B.B. says:

      Stopped by the GH on UES earlier today, and the place was picked clean. Had no idea Miele appliances could be sold at discount but apparently they were. A few were on the floor with huge “SOLD” signs.

      Basically like the UWS store not very much left, mostly odds and ends but perhaps something could be found. If you are looking for cleaning/laundry products, forget it; they are long gone.

      Oh and GH is only taking cash, Visa or MasterCard, no Amex.

    17. Michael Palmer says:

      Bella Giordino didn’t take credit cards. It was cash only.. Polpette takes credit cards. Will the New Polpette take credit cards??

      • Liz says:

        Yes! Nick (the owner of Polpette – both locations) just decided to begin accepting credit cards at the new Polpette location (old Bello). So amazing! I live upstairs and it was a huge pain to always have to pay in cash. Their best dishes are penne a la vodka and this veal stuffed pasta special…crazy good.

    18. UWSSurfer says:

      Gracious Home is expensive but their buyers for bedding, Christmas and Halloween decorations,kids decor, silk flowers and lighting are superb.

      I always found their employees nice. The guys in hardware knobs are pretty patient.

      The owners helped out Fishes Eddy when he lost his lease by letting him have a sliver of dish area. Hoping that they’ll get that goodwill back now that they need it.

      I hope they are able to restructure and get rid of that stinky house perfume oil!

      Gracious Home, Lee’s Art supply + Fellisimo were the last of real NY retailers. Bendel’s
      went boring.

      RIP Lee’s. RIP Fellisimo. RIP old Bendel’s. Hang on Gracious Home!

      The winter bar at LOCL looks really fun.
      We need more things like this.

      • UWSSurfer says:

        Lee’s Art Supply may still be open.

        Christmas was always the best there…
        Bah hum bug on resin ornaments, though.

        • lynn says:

          What have you heard about Lee’s? Do you mean that they just haven’t closed up shop yet, or they may be staying open?

      • B.B. says:

        Here is GH’s problem in a nutshell.

        While wondering around yesterday was taking note of the “sale” price versus GH’s regular. For most items I saw with the discount of 40% price came down to what I’ve seen online or perhaps elsewhere. In particular

        We all knew GH was pricey, but often sucked it up because they had what was needed and there was no where else to go. That is no longer true and GH cannot get away with charging such huge markups.

        It is the employees you feel sorry for; all this going on right before the holidays. East Side location employees kept repeating “they haven’t told us anything….”. Will say having gone to that store for >15 years did not see one familiar face yesterday. From the employee conversations one over heard GH is down to a pretty slim remaining staff, at least on sales floor.

        You wonder how stores like Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table and others who pretty much are like GH remain in business.

        Anyway the place is most certainly shutting down; signs in window give a telephone number if one is interested in purchasing fixtures with “no reasonable offer refused” IIRC.

        For a store that has been around for over fifty years (founded in 1963 by Cuban immigrants)GH seems will be gone in less than two months. Highly doubt any of the locations will be open by year’s end at the rate things are going.

    19. John Haracopos says:

      There was a Sephora in The Ansonia years ago between 73 & 74……