OPENINGS & CLOSINGS: MAISON PICKLE, SPIGA, AMAZON BOOKSTORE, ROMA LIQUORS

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One restaurant opens, another closes, and Amazon is apparently ready to join the Upper West Side bookstore renaissance.

Maison Pickle is open mostly for “friends and family” on Broadway between 83rd and 84th, in the former home of Ouest. It’s “a limited opening on a partial menu at this point and we’re only serving walk-ins while we refine our service,” a press person tells us. The restaurant probably won’t be fully open for a few weeks. The restaurant is run by the same folks behind popular Southern-style restaurant Jacob’s Pickles, and it specializes in French Dip sandwiches, but has lots more on the menu too. “People were sitting at the bar and at tables,” wrote Jodi, who sent the photo above. “The staff was happily greeting patrons at the door and mentioned they opened on the 31st. The menu is extensive and looks like a great addition to the neighborhood.”

Italian restaurant Spiga at 84th and Amsterdam is closed. One of our tipsters and a commenter on Spiga’s Facebook page mentioned a rent increase as the cause. The phone has been disconnected. Thanks to Roger and Roger for the tips.

An Amazon Bookstore is set to open in the Time Warner Center, according to our anonymous tipster, who saw a sign on the door. We’re still trying to discern which floor the store will be on. As far as we know, this is the first East Coast store for the online retailer; last we heard they were planning to open at Hudson Yards in a couple of years, but nothing had been announced about a Columbus Circle store. A Borders store closed in the Time Warner Center a few years ago.

roma-liquors

Roma Wines and Liquors just opened on Amsterdam between 95th and 96th Street, in the former home of Gotham Burger. Thanks to Ashley and Rob for the tips and photos.

Effy’s Cafe on 96th Street is no longer serving breakfast. It now opens at noon, says Natalie. “More in line with Grill than cafe. I will miss my breakfasts with neighbors there.”

Please send all openings and closings tips to westsiderag at gmail dot com.

NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 38 comments | permalink
    1. dannyboy says:

      “Spiga’s Facebook page mentioned a rent increase as the cause.”

      …let the Deniers begin!

      • what do you expect them to say, Dannyboy??

        uh, our food is awful…no one liked to eat here…the health dept shut us down….our prices were too high…our staff was horrible….etc…

        who’s being naive now? it’s like you have your conclusions and want to work backward to find the facts. you might want to get some money back from Colombia (sp)

      • dannyboy says:

        “uh, our food is awful…no one liked to eat here…the health dept shut us down….our prices were too high…our staff was horrible….etc…”

        Please read the Comments BEFORE replying:

        “Nooooo, i loved Spiga!” – Jack Apple

        “Spiga is a big loss to the neighborhood! One of our favorites.” – Mike Solo

        “Spiga was a great “secret” tucked away on a side street (84th st) up a couple of steps. At times you felt like you were in Italy (and other times – Brooklyn!)
        I found the food to be great to good. It was noisy and crowded. Sorry it’s gone.” – Cozmocharlie

        “Spiga was my favorite Italian on the upper west. I hope they find a new location. Not even sure if there is anything comparable” – Tomtom

        “Spiga was truly unique. When you walked in there, it always felt like you made a great “find”, even if you had a reservation! Wish we had more of these side-street joints.” – Paul RL

        “Incredibly sad to see Spiga go. It was ALWAYS my wife’s pick best romantic date night in the neighborhood – birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Really sad news” – Rico

        “So sad about Spiga! After living in the West Village for 20 years and having great restaurants on every corner, we moved to the UWS and mourned all the little special restaurants we had downtown…until we went to Spiga. It reminded us of our old hood and had the service to match. Please try to re-open in another space! Further uptown, perhaps?” – RebNYC

        “SPIGA?! Nooooooooooooooo. This place was a gem. What a total drag it’s closing.” – Iz

        • Tim and Karen Gordon says:

          Yes. Can’t believe it. We loved going to Spiga. Food always excellent and service amazing. Hope Luigi and the team set up close by- please!!
          Tim & Karen

    2. Mark Moore says:

      Dear Effy’s owner: Put up a menu outside so people can see what you have to offer. A full menu.

    3. LucyF says:

      Effy’s, WHY??? What were they thinking?! I walked past the restaurant the other evening and was shocked and appalled at what I saw. The interior is brighter than a doctor’s office, it looks cold and unappetizing. I loved Effy’s for breakfast and coffee. Hopefully this new incarnation will fail and they will return to what they do best.

      • B.B. says:

        What a horrible thing to say.

        You may not be thrilled with Effy’s new “incarnation” but to wish them ill will is just wrong.

    4. Jack Apple says:

      Nooooo, i loved Spiga!

    5. Marie says:

      Amazon bookstore -looking forward for a physical store!

      • EricaC says:

        I’m actually dismayed to see this. Amazon not only has benefits of scale, but it is known to be pretty aggressive in squeezing suppliers – which means it is likely to be a fierce (and if you feel, as I do, that suppliers should only be squeezed to a certain extent, unfair) competitor. I want to see these other bookstores in the neighborhood survive and thrive.

        I’m probably one of five people in the world that doesn’t use amazon because of the issues with amazon, but I don’t want them coming here and eliminating my favorite alternatives!

    6. Mike Solo says:

      Spiga is a big loss to the neighborhood! One of our favorites.

    7. JL Rivers says:

      Glad to see that Maison Pickle has finally opened. They were supposed to open by last April, according to the folks at Jacob’s Pickles, but delays with city permits, among other things, delayed them until now. I think it will be a great addition to the neighborhood and one that comes from a seasoned (pun intended) team.

    8. Cozmocharlie says:

      Spiga was a great “secret” tucked away on a side street (84th st) up a couple of steps. At times you felt like you were in Italy (and other times – Brooklyn!)
      I found the food to be great to good. It was noisy and crowded. Sorry it’s gone.

    9. jeff Berger says:

      Borders Books is driven out of business by on line shopping courtesy of Amazon and now they are replaced by a physical version of Amazon? Talk about the Circle of Life! Ouch!

    10. Lsilver212 says:

      While I do a lot of shopping at Amazon online, I won’t go to their bookstore – I want to support the local bookshop on Columbus Avenue in the low eighties. No more giants forcing small stores to close. Enough already. The Upper West Side looks very different with all the big box stores.

      • uneasy reader says:

        Amazon continues in its quest to take over the world! I’ve boycotted buying books from them (in any format) ever since they put the squeeze on publishers a few years back. They are NOT the publishing industry’s friend.

    11. Tomtom says:

      Spiga was my favorite Italian on the upper west. I hope they find a new location. Not even sure if there is anything comparable

    12. bob says:

      Amazon Bookstore. Do you think they might deliver..? 🙂

    13. Paul RL says:

      Spiga was truly unique. When you walked in there, it always felt like you made a great “find”, even if you had a reservation! Wish we had more of these side-street joints. That said, I’ll plug the following: Whispers and Vino Levantino (West 94th) and Buceo 95 (West 95th.) Enjoy!

      • Chris says:

        I’ve actually been meaning to check out Whispers but always thought the name made it sound like gentlemen’s club. Glad to hear that its actually good.

        • Paul RL says:

          @Chris, Yeah, they could have picked a better name and signage, although I think it becomes a quasi-lounge during the later hours. The food is decent, Latin-themed with a heavy Puerto Rican emphasis. The staff is very friendly and eager to please, and the owner Carlos grew up in the neighborhood so this place is as local as they come. Great to have it in the area.

        • eric says:

          wish we had a gentleman’s club in the area

      • Mark Moore says:

        No Acqua? I like Acqua.

        • Paul RL says:

          @Mark Moore: I like Aqua too, bring my family there all the time. I was focusing on small, semi-hidden midblock joints (like Spiga) in my post.

    14. josh says:

      Maison Pickle. Hope they do well. Its a pretty high price point ($9 just for a bread basket!), so I hope they bring their ‘A’ game.

    15. Rico says:

      Incredibly sad to see Spiga go. It was ALWAYS my wife’s pick best romantic date night in the neighborhood – birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Really sad news

    16. Maggie says:

      Effy’s was the worst breakfast experience I have ever had. The food took forever, takeout orders were given to customers who arrived well after U.S., but we waited forever and the server would not even pass us our coffee while we waited as the order had to come all together. It was loud, crowded and unpleasant. I never write a poor restaurant review, but this place really stood out.

    17. West88 says:

      Attended Maison Pickle on Jan 1 post movie at AMC (LOVE that it’s across the street) to grab a drink with friends. Thought it would be more of a bar (really it’s a restaurant with a bar) but apparently you needed a reservation to sit their as well. So we got a table in the back next to the window that looks onto 84th St.

      Can say that the decor looks and feels very high end but the menu is reasonable in price. We got a lovely table and the staff were impeccable. We had some delicious cocktails from their extensive menu and although they ranged from $13-$15, were worth the price. Would have ordered one of the sandwiches, duck fat fries, or many of the other delicious menus items if we hadn’t just stuffed ourselves with popcorn. Think of it as Jacobs grown-up with refinement. One item did stand out that I wanted to go back and try – a dinner for two of “Half Pig Head Confit” which included coconut rice and more. YUMMM!!!

      This venue will be a staple on our restaurant outings (need a change from Hi Life, as much as I love them).

      • Lorraine Varjabedian says:

        Wait, what? A reservation to sit at the bar?? For real?! 😮

      • Mark Moore says:

        Your definition of reasonable prices may be different than mine but the menu is on Yelp and doesn’t seem all that reasonable, IMHO.

    18. RebNYC says:

      So sad about Spiga! After living in the West Village for 20 years and having great restaurants on every corner, we moved to the UWS and mourned all the little special restaurants we had downtown…until we went to Spiga. It reminded us of our old hood and had the service to match. Please try to re-open in another space! Further uptown, perhaps?

    19. Iz says:

      SPIGA?! Nooooooooooooooo. This place was a gem. What a total drag it’s closing.

    20. Nelson says:

      The Maison Pickle staff is OTT friendly and accommodating…esp to neighbors. The bar is more comfortable than when it was Oeust, but something needs to be rigged to keep it from being flooded with cold air everytime someone comes in/out. The space is beautiful and the breads and cakes, baked on premises, are the best fare they have to offer. I don’t think I’ll be rushing back, but it’s a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

    21. Kate says:

      That’s awesome about the Amazon bookstore. More bookstores is always a good thing.

    22. Jennifer says:

      SO SAD to read about Spiga closing. It truly was a neighborhood gem and will be terribly missed. Hoping they are able to find a new location.