OPENINGS & CLOSINGS: GRISTEDES, ROBERT STUART SALON, RECOLTE, SUSHI KAITO

Another supermarket above 90th Street is closing, as a new sushi spot opens.

Gristedes on the southwest corner of 96th and Broadway is closing on June 17, according to a sign on the window. It directs people to the Gristedes on 103rd and Broadway. Thanks to George Byars, Rebecca and others for the tips.

Robert Stuart Salon at 461 Columbus Avenue (82nd) closed on May 28. “It has been 34 years and it is time,” they wrote in a message to clients.”We aimed to beautify New York one haircut at a time and we believe we did.”

“Some of our staff is like family to us and we will gladly let you know where they will continue their talented career. Please respond to this email (info@robertstuartsalon.com) with your request and we will give you their information. Robert will be cutting hair in his own private salon which is part of a salon collective called Salons by JC located at 124 West 24th St. between 6th and 7th.” Thanks to Elisa and others for the tip.

The former Josie’s space at 74th and Amsterdam (201 West 74th) will be turned into a Taiwanese-French bakery called Recolte. It “will offer sandwiches and salads, along the lines I believe of Maison Kaiser on Broadway,” wrote our tipster, who is on the board of the building. “They have done a very thorough renovation, with an all new kitchen, all new everything, and the enclosed café is being removed. It is expected to open in July.”


Click to enlarge.

Sushi Kaito is having a soft-opening on Tuesday (yesterday) and Wednesday (today) at 244 West 72nd Street between Broadway and West End. The Omakase Sushi Dinner generally costs $75 plus tip, but they’re allowing people to pay what they wish for the soft opening. To attend, email info@sushikaito.co (not com) and follow the instructions in the sign above. “$75 is fairly high-end omakase by UWS standards — Gari is only similar price point — but it will likely be seen as a very good value by most NYC gourmands,” wrote Jeff. Thanks to Lisa, Rachel and others for the tips.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 76 comments | permalink
    1. Paul RL says:

      The Gristedes had been quietly thinning out their inventory for months, but none of the employees seemed to know what was going on. The girls at the registers were always very friendly and I hope they find work elsewhere soon.

      While the prices were expensive I still shopped there (as well as at Associated and West Side Market) and was willing to pay a few pennies more with the faintest hope that I could do my share to keep a supermarket in the neighborhood.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        for once, we agree. it’s a loss.

        actually, not all prices at Gristedes were expensive. i did comparison shopping several times vis a vis West Side Market and at the Associated.

        you just had to be CAREFUL at Gristedes. if something was on special, it usually was a good deal. but some of the stuff on the shelves was a huge rip off.

        even in comparison shopping with Associated, on most of the staples i buy (laundry detergent, bottles of ginger ale, butter, tv dinners, Bran Flakes), Gristedes had prices that were basically the same, at least a few years ago, when i last checked.

        on cereal, Gristedes is better than West Side Market, and had the Shop Rite generic brands, which are cheaper.

        as Paul said, they have been thinning the shelves for months now, so we could see it coming.

        • Paul RL says:

          Food always brings people together!

        • ScooterStan says:

          Re: ” the staples i buy (laundry detergent, bottles of ginger ale, butter, tv dinners, Bran Flakes)”

          Ummm…do you have a recipe using:
          1. laundry detergent,
          2.ginger ale,
          3. butter,
          4. tv dinners, and
          5. Bran Flakes

          sounds delicious!

      • BillyNYC says:

        I would not shop in any supermarket in NYC… The worst and never have what your looking for – head to Westchester if you have a car.

        • GG says:

          Ughhh….everyone knows the produce in Westchester is decent at best.

          I will not shop anywhere on the east coast. What I do is fly out to the heartland to get the good stuff. Fresh off the farm. But I have a private jet and a very strict diet.

        • ron shapley says:

          But the A&P checked out of Croton…Your comment is spot on !!

        • Mark Moore says:

          Uptown Fairway. Five minutes away, has a covered parking lot. Better than your average supermarket.

          • Johnny NYC says:

            Your right. This is such a great market. Not too crowded, great variety, laid out well, and prices are good. I walk from 86th it is well worth it.

        • Juan says:

          The amount you pay for gas and tolls to get to Westchester makes it a very expensive trip to get groceries. Plus not a very efficient use of your time.

      • Filatura says:

        The new Trader Joe’s, currently under construction a block away, may pick up the slack, and I hope it will provide employment for the Gristedes’ staff. When Gristedes first opened it was the only supermarket in the area with wide aisles, good lighting, and a fresh smell — almost suburban in feeling. But the traditional supermarket model may be fading in appeal, and the UWS has been voting it down in favor of markets like Whole Foods and TJ’s.

        • Ellen says:

          That Trader Joe’s will be at 670 Columbus Ave., near 93rd Street – about 4-5 blocks away.

          This Gristedes, besides being basically overpriced, had a longstanding problem in that their cash register system wasn’t updated with sale prices so you did have to watch every item rung up and question the overcharges…

          However, am sorry for the seniors from the Williams Residence around the block who come there because of proximity. This may present a hardship (not sure how long they will be there, however, because Williams was slated to be moved.)

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            the seniors are being kicked out of the Williams. i’m not sure when they all have to leave. the population in the facility is way down.

            you’re absolutely right, the pricing in Gristedes was frequently wrong.

    2. Mark Moore says:

      That taco truck on Bdwy and 96th put Gristedes out of business. Which will make Associated at Amsterdam and 97th even more crowded.

      • Bruce Bernstein says:

        how the hell did the taco truck put gristedes out of business? that is ludicrous.

        if anything put it out of business, it was the street fruit stands and, more importantly, the West Side Market.

        • Mark Moore says:

          Because I could never get past the taco truck without stopping. Try the tacos de chivo or al pastor.

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            so you spent all your money at teh Taco Truck? or your only daily need was tacos?

            i agree it is a good taco truck.

    3. Penny Pincher says:

      Gristedes leaving? Good riddance!

      Everything in that store was horrendously overpriced.

      • BillyNYC says:

        Gristedes has always been over priced and never have your looking for. So happy ther out of my site walking down the street.Poor family management reminds me of Trump.

    4. Paris Wyome says:

      So now we have a bakery trend. Well I guess the UWS can deal with another foodie retailer trend. After all there have been yogurt and salad shop trends. How long will all the new bakery shops last? Never heard of a Taiwanese-French bakery anywhere before. I think there is a Korean bakery somewhere on the UWS.

    5. Peter says:

      When I see some of these new store/business openings, it makes me wonder what people are thinking.

      Who in their right mind would think that a Japanese restaurant on 72nd right off WEA that serves a +$100 per person menu (when you include beverage, tax and tip) would do well!?

      More so when there is already another Japanese restaurant, Sushi Yasaka, right across the street at 251 West 72nd street.

      Maybe a new place at Pier 72 diner would be nice. That place could use some TLC and an updated menu. Same goes for many spots on that stretch of 72nd street. With all the families living around that area (including all the Trump buildings) having some decent food options would be nice. Instead you have Giacomo, Sugar Bar, Emerald Inn, My Most Favorite, Gebhard Beer Culture, West Side Cafe,… all dumps that are likely barely making it.

      • You obviously do not know Japanese food. Gari has done just fine on the UWS. The Omakase would be the most expensive item on the menu…..and I would welcome a good Omakase for $100. At Gari, it is hard to get away with less than $150-$200 at the counter.

        Sushi Yasaka is excellent for the money but it is not owned and run by Japanese and believe me, there is a huge difference.

        • Peter says:

          Roger,

          Given I lived in Japan for 17 years and that my wife is Japanese I am going to venture and say that I know a thing or two about Japanese cousin – and probably forgotten more than you know.

          Sushi of Gari has not been doing all that well on the UWS. It’s other two locations do much better and with much lower rents (I know the folks who run it).

          Sushi Yasaka is the type of restaurant the neighborhood needs, which explains why it does so well and is often packed in the evenings and why it does a very robust delivery business.

          Why on earth does that stretch of 72nd street need TWO Japanese restaurants across from one another? That area is mostly filled with families and seniors, meaning not exactly the ideal customer profile for a $100 Omakase.

          90% of people who dine at Sushi Yasaka (or Haru, Tenzan, Momoya or Amber) will not notice any difference. Catering to 10% of an already niche diner profile is likely not a great business.

          • Jeff says:

            Peter, I have to politely disagree with you on Sushi Kaito. It’s $75 with service included, so it’s really not very expensive by omakase standards, and the space is quite small, so covering the rent shouldn’t be terribly difficult.

            Yes, Yasaka is across the street, but it’s wildly popular and impossible to walk into without a reservation, so I’m willing to bet there’s enough demand for an elevated and slightly pricier option.

            P.S. I was told by the barber next-door to Yasaka that Kaito is run by Yasaka’s owners — can’t confirm but it would make sense.

        • ws says:

          Gari sushi is closing and the space is for rent.

      • Carlos says:

        I have never understood how Pier 72 diner could close at 7 pm and survive. One would think that to be profitable it would need to be open for dinner. Though I also heard they have a special tax deal with the building, so that might be part of the explanation.

      • Bz says:

        Giacomo’s is a wonderful neighborhood business — A real Upper West Side mom and pop. You know, the type of place we want to see STAY in business.

    6. Gastron says:

      The last thing the area off Broadway between 60th and 76th street needs is another overpriced sushi restaurant. Come to think of it, the last thing the area needs is another overpriced restaurant of any type. Would be great if one didn’t have to choose Hell’s Kitchen for something reasonably priced that isn’t a diner, deli or bar.

    7. UWS40 says:

      Does anyone know if Sushi Kaito is owned and operated by Japanese.

      Hasn’t been any traditional Japanese food in the neighborhood since the early 80s.

    8. BillyNYC says:

      GOOD!!! Gristedes is a very dirty store with rats and smells,real bad management as most supermarket are here in the city. I never shop in any NYC supermarket. I always shop up in Westchester.

      • Paul RL says:

        BillyNYC, if you never shopped at this Gristedes, then why are you so happy that it’s closing? There are other people who may depend on it. Rats or no rats, it’s doubtful that another market is going to replace it and it leaves a void in the neighborhood.

        • Bruce Bernstein says:

          I’ve shopped there for decades and never saw any rats. nor did i notice any bad smells.

    9. Miranda S. says:

      I’m moving to Broadway near 80th. Where do you buy items I normally bought at Sloan’s ,Gristedes , etc. years ago like the supermarkets in every other city!?

      • Sakura says:

        You are looking at a combination of Pioneer (for value), Fairway and Citarella (for produce, meat and fish) and Westside Market (for convenience).

      • Juan says:

        Fairway and West Side Market are right there. Or order Fresh Direct like everyone else does.

      • Ted says:

        While everyone has different shopping strategies that meet their needs we use a combonation of (not in any particular order):

        – Fresh direct

        – Costco (savings avg. 33%-50% even figuring cabs and membership compared to WSM)

        – Fairway

        – Citerella (only for fish and meat, the rest is not worth the premium)

        – Amazon prime pantry

        – Zabar’s

        Enjoy the neighborhood

    10. David says:

      Sushi Katio had best prepare for a historically short tenure on the UWS with those kind of prices! Yes, I know high end dinner prices at UWS eateries are not cheap, but a $75 dinner (presumably for ONE person) is slightly outrageous! Sayonara, Sushi Kaitlin! Love, David

      • Sakura says:

        I think it will do very well actually. We only have 2 omakase places that I know of on UWS and they are always filled. I love Gari but as one poster noted it is very difficult to do omakase dinner for less than $200pp there so I don’t go very often. If it’s good and they have a reasonably priced sake menu I would go regularly.

        • David Collins says:

          You can’t afford a $200 omakase but you can afford a $100 omakase on a regular basis?

          If by regular you mean once every couple of months then I am not sure that is anywhere near enough to keep them in business.

          Gari is not cheap, but Momoya has a sushi tasting for $55.

          You also already have a fair number of good sushi places such as Yasaka, Matsu, Gari, Mido and Blue Ribbon.

    11. Marci says:

      Miranda S, you’re moving to a good area for shopping; you’ll have Trader Joe’s, Fairway and Westside Market. Those should cover all your needs.

    12. Wendy says:

      It did seem a bit redundant to have two of the same supermarket chain within 7 blocks of each other on the same avenue. It works for Starbucks, but is is too expensive for the Supermarket company. They also have a place at Col. and 90th or 91st.

    13. robert says:

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but Chase Corporate list the branch as moving soon as well. Not surprising as its a prime corner and the permits already applied for and must likely issued, Before everybody goes all NIMBY, they can build a build similar in size and scope to the Columbia. This is without a special exemptions and will be an “as of right” building. Which means that when all of the petitioning, marches etc start, they will come to nothing. They can legally build there and will.

    14. PT says:

      I am a shopper. I have compared Gristedes prices over the years and have found their prices always out of line. More than once I have mentioned to my wife, I don’t now how they stay in business, their sale prices are usually more than the regular price at other stores.
      I won’t miss the store at all since every time I tried to shop there the prices were so out of line I would leave empty handed and walk a block up to Associated.

    15. Sarah says:

      Did I miss something and the UWS get overrun with actual ambitious restaurants, that people should be complaining about what is essentially a $75 prix-fixe?

    16. Carol Fass says:

      Going to the Robert Stuart salon was one of the biggest treats of my essential life. You had to feel pampered and beautiful when you were done and Robert was more of a close friend to whom you could tell secrets and laugh! It feels real bad like losing an old beloved friend!

      • grandmasterbeta says:

        I went one time for a short haired man’s cut. It cost 75 bucks plus tip and I paid out of guilt. After that its strictly the 14.99 Russian on 101 st for me.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          Uch, the Russian (Bucharian) on 101st is the worst. I go to the Spanish barber at 104th and Broadway, and wait for the guy stationed next to the cash register. Fantastic haircut ($15).

    17. Allison says:

      Are people seriously saying the drive to the suburbs to go grocery shopping? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Come ON.

      • B.B. says:

        We went through this in another thread recently (about parking on UWS and driving in Manhattan overall), and yes, while it may come as a shock to *you* plenty of persons do drive to NJ, Westchester or Long Island for grocery shopping. What is more they have been doing so for decades, at least going back to the 1970’s or so.

        If you have a place in the country then it is a no brainer. Otherwise you rent, car share, or get your car out on Saturday and head over to NJ or wherever to get your shopping on. Even allowing for tolls (one way) and gas (cheaper in NJ than NYC), it still is often a better deal.

        There really isn’t a supermarket in Manhattan that can rival those in NJ, Westchester, or Long Island in terms of space, layout, prices, selection, freshness/quality of goods and so forth.

        The high costs of doing business in NYC is passed onto consumers via prices they pay.

        • Mark Moore says:

          Uptown Fairway is the best. Nice big parking covered lot. Reasonable prices that have come down even more lately. Great selection of stuff you can’t find most places. And five minutes away. And no spending a Saturday or Sunday driving around grocery shopping. Out of my house there and back in 60-90 minutes.

          • B.B. says:

            Wegmans in NJ blows Fairway out of the water any day of the week.

            • Mark Moore says:

              Sure if you want to spend your whole day driving to Jersey to shop for groceries. I really don’t.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Actually, I have heard first hand how people from Great Neck ($$$), drive to Rego Park, Queens to buy fruit and vegetables because of the low prices.

      • GG says:

        I have to agree with you here, Allison.

        I mean, then you have to factor in all the expenses, not to mention the time, which is the most valuable. After tolls, gas, parking, etc. and the minimum of a few hours…I don’t know.

        Most NY’ers don’t have cars anyway (like me) so it just seems silly. PLUS, people in the city are busy…you know, wheelin and dealin and just generally making the world go round. Who has time to sit in traffic and drive over the bridge to NJ or where ever to save a couple of bucks on orange juice and cheerios.

        Loading up a car with groceries seems like a very suburban thing to me. That’s just me though. I prefer the more European style of lots of small trips, on foot, to a bakery or a butcher shop, etc.

        People in the city also don’t have those huge refrigerators and pantries that they have in houses.

    18. Sylvie says:

      The building has been purchased — and the air rights — to build a multi- story structure.

      https://therealdeal.com/2017/05/31/extell-in-contract-on-key-piece-of-100m-uws-assemblage/

      • Bonnie says:

        Any idea if building permits, etc have been obtained for what ever is planned for that corner? Any plans or concept images for us to start looking at? No mention of Chase…. when will that site close?

    19. Sean says:

      Obviously the customers who would frequent an old school supermarket are no longer here on the UWS in significant numbers to support this. The retail landscape is changing. The area is being developed. It is a magnet for the rich. They simply do not shop like you do and do not require the same services. It is Manhattan folks. One trend you do see is bakeries. Also just stand still on any corner and look around you. You will see nothing but tourists and young people from somewhere else. Where are the New Yorkers? It’s not a neighborhood folks.

      • GG says:

        Sadly, this is a very accurate comment. Hit it right on the head.

        We can complain, bicker, even protest but it is what it is.

    20. B.B. says:

      Gristedes has been downsizing/closing stores for the past few months. They also recently shut a store on Third avenue and 33rd street among others.

      Not for nothing they had two stores on Broadway just seven blocks apart (96th and 103rd at Broadway), in todays tough supermarket *market* one of those stores had to go.

      Don’t forget Gristedes effectively now owns DAG supermarkets after bailing them out a few months ago. In fact where Gristedes closed the aforementioned supermarket on Third avenue, they also opened up the former DAG store about one block down.

    21. Cozmocharlie says:

      Re: Sushi Kaito: Omakase by Wikipedia (if you subsribe) says -” In American English, the expression is used by patrons at sushi restaurants to leave the selection to the chef, as opposed to ordering à la carte.[2] The chef will generally present a series of plates, beginning with the lightest fare and proceeding to the heaviest dishes. The phrase is not exclusive to service of raw fish with rice, and can incorporate grilling, simmering, or other cooking techniques as well.

      Customers ordering omakase style expect the chef to be innovative and surprising in the selection of dishes, and the meal can be likened to an artistic performance by the chef.Ordering omakase can be a gamble, but the customer typically receives the highest-quality fish available at a lower cost than if it had been ordered à la carte.

      >> If and when you go to Sushi Kaito, it only seats 12 persons and it is a very personal service. You must know that is what they do/serve. It is NOTHING like Sushi Yasaka (which is excellent for what they do) and knowledgeable sushi lovers will welcome the price and the new chef on the block.
      I am very excited to see them do well.

    22. B.B. says:

      Gristedes/Red Apple supermarket chain is holding on in NYC because John Castimeties (owner)has more money than God.

      As a multi-billionaire he can afford to “subsidize” and even expand his supermarket chain (as in recent purchase of DAG). This is one of the reasons Gristedes one of the last “old school” NYC supermarket chains is holding on.

      Within the industry and elsewhere however prevailing thoughts are all bets will be off after John Castimeties’s time. That is after his demise will the daughter keep up the supermarket chain or let it go.

      If you look at where Grestides’ supermarkets are surviving (leaving aside being forced out by sale of property), it is because the store is located in a supermarket “desert”. That is they are often the only option on that block or for several around.

      That business model clearly is not working any longer. Younger shoppers today not only are willing to wait in line at a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, but schlepp their purchases home via bus, subway or whatever.

      All this doesn’t even touch upon the phenomenal growth of Fresh Direct and other online retail sites. No, we don’t have Walmart stores in NYC, but Jet.com which is owned by same is doing a bang up business.

      Our building’s lobby/package room is same as others in Manhattan; crammed daily with deliveries from Amazon, Jet, Chewy, Blue Apron, etc… and so forth. That is the big competition for supermarkets.

    23. Wendy says:

      uH OH, A Gristedes closing ? Reminds me of how many Hospitals have closed in Manhattan, N.Y..; esp. above W. 96th Street — during the last 30 years. Too many family farms, inc. century farms, family ranches in U.S.A. have closed. Remember when there was NOT loud music in many shops; when workers spoke our English language; there weren’t so many imports from Poland, Mexico, the D.R., Peru, Chile ?

    24. Emily Nesler says:

      244 is the locksmith on 72nd. Better check your address again on the sushi place. Nuts how there’s Sushi Yasaka across the street

      • Oscar says:

        I believe a couple of store fronts share the same street number.

        But to your point, not the best location by any means. Not only is it way west, where 90% of the foot traffic is composed of either families or seniors, but it’s also stuck between a locksmith and a frame store and sits right across another sushi restaurants.

        Unless rents are dirt cheap on 72nd street and/or unless these guys are buying fish for $0.10 and selling it for $10 a piece, it will be a tall order for this restaurant to do well. They will not have any breakfast business, no brunch business, little if any lunch business and very little dinner business Mon-Thur and Sunday evening. They have a highly perishable product, which only makes things more challenging.

      • Cat says:

        244 is also the address for C.U. Launderette, and next to that is a frame shop, then an empty building between the framer and the Emerald Inn. I was just over there last week and don’t remember seeing a new sushi place. Will have to take another look.