The Upper West Side is getting its first Panda Express, and several other new eateries.

Chinese food chain Panda Express is getting closer to opening in the space between Mel’s Burger Bar and T-Mobile at the Southeast corner of 111th and Broadway. It will be the first location on the Upper West Side, although Panda Express has other locations throughout the city. Here’s the menu. Thanks to Ron and Rich for the tips and photo.

Japanese restaurant Izakaya Ida is getting closer to opening at 141 West 72nd Street, the former home of Communal. As we previously reported, it will have 60 seats and will be open daily from 12-11 pm Monday-Sunday. Its website says it will be a Japanese gastropub with “fresh and innovative tapas-style plates.” Thanks to Lisa for the tip and photo.

Another new Joe & the Juice is moving into the space next to Chop’t on the East side of Amsterdam between 76th and 77th. It’s the same block as Tessa, new Levain and Dunkin Donuts. Thanks to Tom for the tip and photo.

The former Starbucks on 67th and Columbus has actually been split into two spaces, so health store Saje will only be taking a portion of the space. It’s not yet clear who will be taking the other space. Thanks to Diana and Tom for the tips and photo.

We have heard from several more readers that the former Food Emporium on 90th Street and Broadway will become a Harmon Face Values, the “health and beauty” store owned by Bed Bath & Beyond. Bed Bath & Beyond itself may also take a portion of the store.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 38 comments | permalink
    1. Rochelle katzman says:

      Hi I was told weeks ago (I emailed you) by the builder that food emporium on 90& broadway will. E a bed bath and beyond . Your reader may also want to know that club Monaco on 87 and broadway will be closing. Popped in to purchase something and they told me. Also J. G Melon is opening on Amsterdam and I. Elie e 81 st street

    2. Jason says:

      Love Panda Express!!!

    3. Giulia says:

      With so many better Chinese options on the UWS, I can’t imagine Columbia’s Chinese student population will fall for Panda Express.

    4. Bill T says:

      Cheap lousy Chinese food for the Columbia students
      Yet another health and beauty supply store. Which will shut down first??
      Joe and the Juice will likely meet the same fate as all of the frozen yogurt places that opened a couple of years ago.
      And so it goes

    5. Dan says:

      I think you mean 67th and Columbus.

    6. pokeman says:

      there’s also a poke/sushi place opening up on Amsterdam in the 80’s (don’t recall the exact cross streets)

      • Carlos says:

        It is on the west side of Amsterdam between 84 and 85, just north of West Side Kids and south of Kitaro.

    7. There’s a dim sum place opening soon on the Upper West Side. Do you have any info on it?

    8. UWSHebrew says:

      Panda Express is goop. Go to Han Dynasty for some good chinese.

      • Cato says:

        They’re not comparable. Panda Express’s website defines their cuisine as “American Chinese” (whatever that is), while Han Dynasty is more authentically Sichuan.

        Panda Express is likely to be much less expensive and quicker. Also, unlike Han Dynasty, you probably will not be required to have a reservation, regardless of the number of open tables, which you must make no later than two hours before you plan to appear.

        Dismiss it as “goop” if you like, but Panda Express will appeal to an entirely different market from Han Dynasty.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          panda appeals to college kids and construction workers who eat on the cheap. but han dynasty has lunch specials and you do not need a reservation because the place is huge. panda is goop. goop goop goop.

        • Michael G says:

          I’ve never gotten a reservation at Han Dynasty and they always seat me and my partner.

          But I grok that they’re not quite comparable; it’s like pitting a nasty diner (Panda Express) against a gastropub (Han Dynasty).

        • Tostonesfix says:

          I have never made a reservation at Han Dynasty and have eaten there two dozen times. Maybe you went on a Friday or Saturday at 8pm with five people? You need a reservation at that time for any restaurant in Manhattan.

          The only time it was a little tight was a night when the chef had a special menu and even then our two-top was seated immediately for the regular menu without a reservation.

      • UWS-er says:

        Or Legend 72.

    9. Jennifer says:


    10. NS says:

      Panda Express, just another sign that this neighborhood is becoming one giant mall. #UpperWestchesterSide 😕

      • lynn says:

        I’ve never heard of Panda Express. Why is this a sign of the UWS becoming a mall?

        • lynn says:

          Sorry, just now saw Cato’s description of PE. Thank you. I’ve tried all of the Chinese places on the UWS and haven’t found anything exceptional. I do like Shun Lee but I wouldn’t mind a place that had consistently good food with lower prices.

        • NS says:

          Have you never set foot in a mall?! Panda Express is in nearly every food court across the country. I haven’t found anything exceptional either and agree w/ you re: Shun Lee and a cheaper place but the opening of this particular place, of a chain, is not something to be celebrated.

    11. David Collins says:

      Wait, so we now have five, six, …Japanese restaurants on West 72nd Street?!

    12. Lisa says:

      Panda Express is a chain and there were many in Dallas where I lived. I would much rather have a Pei Wei. It’s a chain but much better. It seems there are so many places opening that aren’t needed. Other places that are needed are driven out by landlords raising prices. I wish they would bring in better grocery like Central Market or H.E.B. A girl can dream.

    13. Margaret says:

      Did Baznga close for good? I thought it was great for salads.

      • RF says:

        I’d been wondering the same thing. I live nearby, and every time I’ve walked past there has been a “temporarily closed” sign posted on the door, which I found odd since they haven’t been in business very long. Their website says they are closed for construction and will reopen soon.

    14. Dr. Benelli says:

      Panda Express?
      The menu has pictures of the food!
      The UWS is not Roslyn LI, we are not a mall.
      With any luck it’ll close within a year.

      • Cat says:

        Nice comment. And how exactly does Panda Express failing within a year benefit you or anyone else in the neighborhood?

      • Stuart says:

        Dear Dr. Benelli

        According to the Panda Express website, there are no locations in Roslyn or anywhere on Long Island.

        I hope your medical express does not rely on the same faulty research you used here.


    15. Gianella says:

      Any news on when H-Mart will open?

    16. GG says:

      Normally I wouldn’t really care about Panda Express but….come on!! This is NYC. What’s next? a P.F.Changs??

      Are they going to replace the authentic pizzarias with Sabarro’s and Pizza Hut??? At some point what is the point.

      I don’t usually join the chorus of complainers here but with this one I have to agree…This isn’t the food court of a mall…(or is it?)

      • 92nd Street says:


        The UWS is very generic, we already have fast food big box such as Subway, 7Eleven, Domino’s, Dunkin Donuts, etc.

        I think you are confusing us with Downtown, where cool is.
        We are not cool, those days are past.
        We are lame, save Central Park, the one thing that places us over every other neighborhood.

        • GG says:

          I hear ya but none of those are actual restaurants. Just places to grab something, I don’t even think you can eat in those places.

          Anyway, you are right, it’s a meaningless distinction I guess. This one just rubs me the wrong way. And I remember when the UWS WAS cool, especially in the ’80s.

          But hey, at least downtown they have a Chick-fil-A! lucky SOB’s! (I know, I know..I’m a hypocrite)

          I couldn’t agree more about the park though. My daily run around the Loop or the Reservoir is one of the reasons that I will never leave this neighborhood. Well, that and my mortgage.:)

    17. Tom D. says:

      The Junzi Kitchen at Broadway and 113th is sort of open as of today. Not so much a soft opening as a test opening, as they are just opening for five hours per day the rest of this week week. Maybe they’ll go to a full schedule next week.

      I walk past the location of the Panda Express about 4-5 times a day, and I am so not excited.

    18. EGF says:

      I have such a problem reconciling all the complaining about “big-box”, “generic”, “chain”, “mall”, and “suburb” like businesses coming into the UWS and yet SOMEBODY is shopping/eating at all of these places or they would not be setting up shop here. I’ve said it before, where you choose to spend your hard earned dollars is what helps shape the neighborhood. Evidently there are enough UWS residents who neither praise or complain about where they shop/eat to draw in these sorts of retailers/restaurants.