OPENINGS & CLOSINGS: GRANDAISY BAKERY, ARTISANAL DOUGHNUT BAR, THE VIAND, BAZNGA

A great bakery has closed its doors, but you can commiserate with some doughnuts and delicious Kosher frozen custard.

Grandaisy, the fantastic little bakery at 176 West 72nd Street near Gray’s Papaya, closed on Sunday. Owner Monica Von Thun Calderon told us her 10-year lease was up and she decided to close up shop. Don’t blame the landlord, she insisted; he was very accommodating and did everything he could to keep her there.

Monica said the shop was popular, but she had trouble generating new business in part because the storefront was blocked by a newsstand (and lately some scaffolding), and the Landmarks Commission had not allowed her to put up an easily visible sign to draw customers even though they allowed a nearby Dunkin Donuts to have an awning. But she loves the neighborhood and may open a new store here eventually. “We wanted it to be a neighborhood spot, and it became one. People met each other here.” Grandaisy’s bread is still available at Fairway and Whole Foods in Columbus Circle. The store’s TriBeCa shop will remain open, and employees at the UWS location are expected to get jobs there. Monica left a note to the community on the door.

Oh how we’ll miss their cauliflower pizza and pizza bianca! Thanks to Louisa, Tony, Lisa, Paolo, Jesse, Jennifer, Jacqui, Allison and others for the tips.

Sugar Factory at 1991 Broadway (68th) is opening an artisanal doughnut-emporium inside, according to Eater. “The Drake- and Kardashian-approved chain will start by opening a nearly 80-seat Upper West Side doughnut bar called Sugar Factory Artisanal Doughnut and Coffee Bar at 1991 Broadway…The UWS location will open in June says a spokesperson, with plans to open several more doughnut and coffee bars across the city. All creations will be by Max Santiago, a longtime Miami pastry chef whose doughnuts regularly drew long lines when he worked with the team at The Salty Donut.” See a selection from The Salty Donut below.

Brighten up someone's day with a box of donuts 🍩 Don't forget, were also open on Uber Eats now Tuesday-Sunday 10:00am-sold out! #thesaltydonut Thanks @holinkaj for the photo

A post shared by The Salty Donut (@thesaltydonut) on

The Viand is opening at 517 Columbus at 85th Street, the former home of Jackson Hole. As some commenters had speculated in our previous post, it is indeed a spinoff from the Viand at 75th and Broadway. Manager Erick Kontogiannis tells us “We are planning on making it a more upscale diner. Still serving breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner.  Serving some of our customers favorite dishes and new options we are working on. The menu will be similar in concept but more select. Customers will still be able to get eggs or pancakes in the evening if they fancy it, with a nice cocktail or glass of rosĂ©.”

BaZnGa, a new Kosher cafe, has opened at 426 Amsterdam Avenue (80th-81st), the former home of Poulette. The decor is science-nerdy fun, with pictures of chemical symbols and DNA. BaZnGa serves healthy adult and kid-friendly food, from salads and avocado toast to the Bazngawich (a cheddar, muenster and mozzarella grilled cheese sandwich), and desserts like frozen custard. See a photo of the menu here. They say they’ll have craft beer and wine soon too. As for the name, co-owner Jane Potter’s dad was a biochemist who worked with DNA, and her business partner is a doctor. They both like The Big Bang Theory. “We wanted it to be educational and fun for kids,” she said. (That’s Potter in the photo above.) Thanks to Zoe, Kevin and others for the tips.

All My Children Daycare opened a new location at 101 West 85th street (Corner of Columbus).

Empire Szechuan Columbus between 68 and 69th lost its backroom, according to Sunny. “According to the hostess, the landlord didn’t renew the lease for that section of the restaurant,” she wrote.

Have a tip? Email westsiderag at gmail dot com.

NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 46 comments | permalink
    1. UWSHebrew says:

      the almond cake at Grandaisy was incredible. did not care for their pizza.

    2. Tony Brown says:

      Closings of favorite eateries on the UWS — in particular Spiga and Grandaisy — are very sad. It seems a shame that such well-loved companies couldn’t find a way to survive.

      The concern is that so may of these jewels are being replaced by big box tenants, chain stores, banks and drug stores. What effect will this have on the quirky, artisanal, artistic brand image that the UWS is so well known for? Seems we need to go to Brooklyn for that! Pity.

    3. Jeff says:

      The Grandaisy news is really surprising, I’ve been a regular customer for like five years and it’s almost always busy. The veggie slices are heaven, hopefully it reopens nearby.

    4. Sherman says:

      I love Grand Daisy. I go there quite often. Very sad to see it go.

      That little stretch of 72nd and Amsterdam really needs to be cleaned up as it’s very grimy. The city needs to sandblast the sidewalk or do something to spruce it up.

      • Janet Healy says:

        The sidewalk is the landlord’s responsibility. And very costly to “spruce up”. Can’t fault the city on that.

        • B.B. says:

          Actually keeping sidewalk clean is the responsibility of property owner, and usually pushed onto whoever is renting the commercial space in case of retail.

          Many commercial and residential buildings do more to keep the sidewalks clean than hose the thing down. They use special machines that basically scrub pavement with water and special detergents. This helps remove the grime, filth better than just aiming a hose.

          Others go old school and use a bucket filled with water/cleaner and a scrub brush. The job is finished by hosing down the pavement. In short not much different than scrubbing floors.

      • sam says:

        not that I want this to happen, but I honestly am just waiting for that entire corner at 72nd and amsterdam to get ripped out and replaced by some sort of high rise as soon as gray’s papaya’s lease is up. If you look at the entire corner from the citibank to the end, it’s a combination of really low-rise structures (even compared to the neighboring buildings) and practically abandoned storefronts (that vacant bar?).

        I’ve long assumed the reason that Sleepy’s opened up another location halfway up the block was in specific anticipation of such a thing.

        Again – I’m not advocating it. I’m just expecting it, especially after the same thing basically happened on the SW corner.

        • geoff says:

          Not so fast, folks. The building in which CitiBank resides is an original Horn and Hardart (I believe). Stand across the street, take a look and you’ll note its original shape and Art Deco-style line and adornments. It would make a great eatery, again.

        • CTP says:

          That block is landmarked and cannot be redeveloped as such. The entire eastern side of Amsterdam and 72nd is landmarked and no high rise will go there. I for one am happy to see it stay like it always was (well, more or less, remember Weber’s and Arthur Treachers?)

        • B.B. says:

          As discussed in another thread, all structures on that corner of West 72nd pre-date modern zoning and thus from Citibank down to Gray’s there each building has considerable FAR left on the table. A quick glace shows at least for 176 and 174 there is something like > 10k FAR for each building.

          In theory something could go up on that corner at least tall as the apartment building on other side of Citibank, if not taller.

          Major problem would be individual owners of each property know what their land is worth and aren’t likely to sell cheaply, not in this current RE market anyway.

          Then would come the usual battle from the anti-development groups over “air” and “light”, and so forth.

          Will agree though, that corner of West 72nd does leave much to be desired.

          Here is the history of 174 West 72nd (the Roe Mansion) which dates back 1886:

          http://daytoninmanhattan.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-1886-roe-mansion-no-174-west-72nd.html

          • sam says:

            That’s actually some fascinating history – it just all sticks out like a sore thumb now, particularly in it’s unkempt state and surrounded by architecturally incongruous buildings.

            If they were to replace that corner, I’d certainly want something that “fit” height and style wise with the rest of the block, but even now if you look at the last photo at the link, what is there now is just a mismatched hodgepodge.

            Like I said before – the biggest clue to me was really that Sleepy’s opened a second location on the exact same block. They had to be planning for *some* sort of eventuality.

            Being a landmarked neighborhood is nice, but it hasn’t stopped other buildings on the block from being torn down and replaced (Harson House?)

      • Tostonesfix says:

        Agree with this Sherman. It is slowly becoming the last bastion of old New York on the UWS. I don’t think they should do anything radical, just make it look like somebody cares. I am referring to 72nd St. in particular.

    5. Bob says:

      Grandaisy was wise to close shop because their location was absolutely terrible. It is nothing short of gross and repulsive to walk by that corner. It is dirty, it smells, there are homeless or drunks spread all over the place, cars are always honking, there is always scaffolding.

      I hope they move somewhere else in the neighborhood. Their pizza is the best by far, even though over the past year a number of similar pizza joints have popped up. None are as good and most are more expensive.

    6. Bob says:

      We used to order from Viand at least once per week, often twice or even three times. That was until a Greek salad (with no anchovies) and a BLT on a roll totaled over $25, without tip.

      If they are saying that The Viand is more upscale, does that also mean that in some insane way their prices will also be more upscale?!

    7. Mike says:

      Must be more to the Empire story. What would make a landlord to exclude a back room with no street access from a renewal lease?

      • lynn says:

        What’s located on either side of the Empire? Could another store possibly be expanding into the space?

      • Chase says:

        there actually is a door on 69th that leads to the back room at Empire.

      • sam says:

        or they want to use the space for the building itself? I know the residents in my building are always clamoring for things like bike storage, etc.

    8. Mark Moore says:

      Drake- and Kardashian-approved artisinal donuts? I’ll be 100 percent certain not to go anywhere near that place.

    9. Juan says:

      I am all for news stands and actually think there should be more, but the news stand that is outside Grandaisy really needs to go. As noted, that is a very crowded corner and the space is needed.

      I don’t personally have any affinity for Grandaisy but I am still sorry to see it go.

    10. Clay says:

      Isn’t the backroom the location of the KITCHEN at ES Columbus? EMPIRE is a chain, but very good, and a neighborhood tradition.

    11. Bob says:

      i am 100% against Sugar Factory but I love donuts. Still, 100% against sugar factory. So i’ll have to enjoy donuts elsewhere. DOWN WITH THAT PLACE.

    12. Dixie says:

      Is Empire Szechuan ever going to reopen near its former Broadway and 100th street location? I miss their Sesame Shrimp!!

    13. FoodieK says:

      It is so sad to see Grandaisy close! Excellent bread- and loved their butternut squash pizza! Sigh!

    14. JakeB says:

      Grandaisy is a real loss as their Coffee was the best on the UWS. Too bad that the city and Landmarks makes putting up a sign such an ordeal.

      72nd St. used to be fairly stable for local businesses with a changeover of only 1 or 2 stores a year. In the last 3 years I counted over 20 stores that changed over or went out of business and mainly on the South side of the street.

      Most stores now rent for 21k a month and rents went up as the city drove Real Estate taxes for the mixed use Brownstones through the roof. Building owners on that block are paying 90k – 120k a year in Real Estate taxes. And thats pushed up the cost of store leases to unsustainable levels. People complain about the landlords but its really the city that has hurt these small businesses by crazy RE tax increases.

      • GG says:

        YES and YES!!!

        This is such an important point that is so often overlooked because it doesn’t support the “evil landlord” narrative.

        Real Estate Taxes!!! Blame the politicians not the real estate business which is just another business…trying to make a profit, supply & demand, all that….and then the city comes along and puts their thumb on the scale and just blows everything out of the water.

        And that’s why your store fronts are all empty…you think landlords and entrepreneurs want empty businesses?? Think about it.

        • Juan says:

          Exactly. I live in a co-op and it is incredible how much our real estate taxes have gone up over the last 10-15 years. Much of that is to pay for bloated pensions and health care benefits for city employees – those costs have also gone up sharply.

    15. KS says:

      I LOVE Grand Daisy, we buy their flat breads and cakes all the time. Even our grandkids love them as a snack.This bakery is a highlight of our area.
      I really hope they can find another location in our neighborhood very soon.
      That corner where they were located is an eye sore and really needs a clean up. I wish the city required shop keepers to power wash their sidewalks daily. They do business here so they can help keep the place clean. This would improve the quality of life of everyone, from Columbus all the way to West End Ave. Who wants to buy food or go to a butcher shop that has filthy sidewalks filled with dog waste and litter?

    16. Mary says:

      “Upscale”. “Artisanal”. These are mere marketing terms that translate into “Now we can charge more”. I mean, come on. Artisanal DONUTS? IT’S. FRIED. DOUGH. While I can’t say that I blame the newcomers as they must do SOMETHING to make up for the greedy, ever increasing, ultra-exorbitant UWS rents I still want for less commercial homogenization and a return to more practical, needed, neighborhood services. In my opinion, our neighborhood ‘jumped the shark’ with the departure of 72nd Street Bagel. How sad and ridiculous is it that one can no longer get a decent NYC bagel on the UWS? That’s like saying there are no more cheese-steaks in Philly, no more deep dish in Chicago – no more sunshine and beaches in Hawaii. Sigh.

      • Anon says:

        Orwashers on 81st/Amsterdam serves what I contend is one of the best bagels anywhere. Absolute Bagels up on 107th is also amazing. Even Zabar’s isn’t half bad. The neighborhood is definitely set when it comes to great bagels

        • geoff says:

          to that list add Zucker’s on columbus between 72 and 73. good bagels, inexpensive sandwiches. you can even buy sliced partrami etc, by weight. after 3pm, bagels are $1.

      • James says:

        Mary… There is an upscale donut place in the city called “Dough”

        Please go try something from “Dough”, then try a 5 hour old donut sitting on a lonely shelf at Dunkin Donuts, and then tell me they are the same thing.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          Dough doughnuts are good, but if you want great donuts in NYC, nothing beats Doughnut Plant. As for great bagels, Absolute Bagels are terrific. The sesame bagels at Orwashers have a slight honey taste that drives me crazy. Zuckers bagels are fine. The recently re-opened H & H bagels are awful.

      • Sarah says:

        Absolute Bagels on 107th (?) & Broadway is very solid. Stop by Silver Moon Bakery (104th?) on the way and you are all set for your weekend baked goods.

        • Veronica says:

          Silver Moon Bakery – Awful and dirty. Walked in and walked out. Never again,

          • joe says:

            Huh?? Silver Moon is almost unanimously agreed to be one of the best bakeries on the UWS. Sure, its small and can get crowded on weekends and doesnt look like the set of a Martha Stewart Wesport photo spread, but its far from dirty.

            And Absolute bagels are ‘absolutely’ the best bagels on th UWs bar none!

          • Juan says:

            Good – you will reduce the crowd. Silver Moon is incredible.

    17. naro says:

      Don’t restaurateurs and bakers realize that the low carb movement, and the revolt against sugar will destroy their businesses. The “Sugar Factory”? They got to be kidding.
      They will be much smarter to rename their restaurant THE SUGAR FREE FACTORY!!

      • EGF says:

        There is nothing remotely sugar free about the highly popular Sugar Factory empire. The pictures from the menu alone can induce diabetes! Not even remotely my cup of tea, but not everyone is low carb/sugar free these days.

    18. chuck says:

      Andanada closed. Noi Due expanding into the space with a meat restaurant

    19. 92nd Street says:

      It is a bummer that Grandaisy is leaving, but they still are located downtown where all the best stuff is. Most likely it shall be replaced by a Bank, a Starbucks, a Duane Reade, Chipotle, or some other generic trash. UWS is becoming a Mall one closing at a time.