By Margo Lemberger
Five businesses won approval for liquor licenses from the Community Board 7 Business Committee at a meeting this week, and two others got the go-ahead for sidewalk cafes.
JG Melon was approved for a liquor license for its new spot set to open in the former location of Joe’s at 480 Amsterdam at 83rd this summer. We wrote more about it here.
Borja, a new restaurant going into 2020 Broadway at 69th Street will serve Mediterranean cuisines and wines, including Turkish, Greek and Israeli food. It’s owned by Guillermo Lesassier of East Side Italian restaurant La Gioconda, and will operate from 11 am to midnight Monday through Thursday, until 2 am Friday and Saturday, and 11 pm on Sundays.
The new version of Gina La Fornarina is opening at 2028-2032 Broadway next to Borja. It will feature American-style food with ground and mezzanine seating from 11am-11pm Sunday through Thursday, staying open until 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Amelie Wine Bar is opening at on Amsterdam at 87th. Like its West 8th Street location, it will offer French fare, and hours will be 10 am-12 am daily.
Hiro Sushi at Ollie’s at 160 Freedom Place (68th), an independently-owned franchise of the chain, was also approved for a liquor license.
Three applications—for Café 21 at 61st and West End Avenue, The Viand at 517 Columbus Avenue at 85th, and Jazz on the Park Hostel at 106th and CPW—were postponed and will be heard just prior to the meeting of the full board on June 6th at Fordham University.
Businesses also need approval from the State Liquor Board before serving alcohol.
Some sidewalk cafes were also approved. Outdoor seating will continue at 73rd and Amsterdam in the form of Salumeria Rosi, and return to Bagels & Co. at 172 West 79th Street.
The committee also discussed efforts to foster stronger partnerships between cultural and other institutions and local restaurants, and to use digital media more effectively to boost Upper West Side commerce in an effort to combat empty storefronts.
As committee co-chairperson Michele Parker pointed out, there are more big-box stores, but smaller businesses are struggling to stay open. And when those box stores do go, an entire block can be vacant for months or even years.