OPENINGS & CLOSINGS: HARMON FACE VALUES, WEST SIDE LAUNDRY, GRAND SICHUAN, SUBWAY, DOUGHNUT CAFE

We’re getting a little dirtier but more beautiful too. Another laundromat shut its doors, but we’re about to get stocked with beauty supplies.

Harmon Face Values, the beauty and cosmetics store owned by Bed Bath & Beyond, is indeed opening at 90th Street and Broadway in the former home of Food Emporium, as we’ve previously reported. The sign went up this week. Thanks to Elizabeth for the photo.

West Side Laundry Service is closing on July 31 after 15 years at 2418 Broadway between 88th and 89th Streets. An employee there told us that the business had been there for a little over 15 years, and that they were closing because the “Landlord unfortunately upped the prices.” Laundromats have been closing at a rapid pace in recent years.

Grand Sichuan, the Chinese restaurant at 307 Amsterdam Avenue (74th), is closed with a note on the door saying it will reopen with a “new concept.” Stella calls it “one of the local treasures” and has been ordering takeout there for years. “It was quite definitely the most consistently interesting and nicely done Sichuan style cooking we’ve encountered in the less costly end of the market.” She adds that “The two other two branches of the Grand Sichuan at 229 9th Ave. and at 1049 2nd Ave. have been similarly shuttered although an impending ‘new concept’ has not been mentioned.”

The Subway sandwich shop on Amsterdam between 70th and 71st Streets has closed. Thanks to Stuart, Mary B and our anonymous tipster for the photos.

And today is the official opening of Sugar Factory Artisanal Donuts and Coffee Bar at 1991 Broadway (68th). At a tasting on Thursday, we tried the triple-layer rainbow squared, which is an Italian cookie, wrapped in an Italian cookie doughnut and topped with cotton candy. We also tried a gold-frosted bacon and chocolate doughnut. The doughnuts sell for $2.50- $3.95, said chef Max Santiago.

@Chef_MaxSantiago displays a triple-layer rainbow squared doughnut @sugarfactoryny. Yep that's cotton candy on top! #upperwestside #food #doughnuts

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FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 58 comments | permalink

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    1. bill says:

      Seems like that laundry has been there longer than 15 yrs

      • B.B. says:

        That laundry has been in business for at least 33 years; though perhaps at some point there was a change in ownership.

        https://www.yellowpages.com/new-york-ny/mip/2418-broadway-laundry-corp-2400010

        2410 – 2418 Broadway was sold back in 2013 for nearly 50 million. It does seem as if the new owners are seeking to maximize their investment by raising ground floor commercial rents.

        Space on corner was Georgia’s that never came back after a fire, and now is Cibo e Vino.

        • Young Sally says:

          Actually Georgias has a new spin just around the corner on Amsterdam between 89/90…and a branch at 59th street turnstiles.

          Its more desserts and lighter fare…..so perhaps less ambitious…but Aliou is just a delight.

      • Mary Jones says:

        I’ve been using them for almost 40 years

    2. Ish Kabibble says:

      The woman at Grand Sichuan was about the most obnoxious person I have ever spoken to. Seems a prerequisite to be employed by a Chinese restaurant on the UWS.

    3. Mark Moore says:

      I’m fine with Subway closing.

    4. Mark says:

      I read the news of the laundry closing and of Sugar Factory Artisanal Donuts opening, as a loss for the community and a win for the tourists.

      Nabs being sold.

      P.S. What other Artisanal shops can we expect?

    5. Paris Wyome says:

      Grand S. was “rather” overpriced. A “new” concept for Chinese food! That will be interesting to find out if it materializes. It opened a few years ago replacing something that been there for much longer. I live a few blocks away. Yet another empty retail space on the UWS, joining over 30 others. Very sad. How will the trend to closings be reversed?

    6. Jeff Berger says:

      Why do restaurants close and then put up signs saying they’re closed for renovations or for a new concept. Is there some rule against just admitting that you are out of business? Or is closed for renovation/new concept some sort of real estate code?

    7. Tostonesfix says:

      At the risk of sounding like a jerk, I’m not upset to see Grand Sichuan go. I was so happy when it opened only to be disappointed every time I went. I was tired of the indifferent and mistake-prone servers and their attitudes toward non-Chinese or non-regulars. They put you in that horrible room that wasn’t even a dining room. More like a storage room. From my experience they treated you like they didn’t want you there. Maybe I just went on 20 bad days but I tend to doubt it. Thankfully the other similarly named “Grand Sichuans” in the city are mostly very good and friendly. This one stunk, quite frankly. I’ve only been once since Han Dynasty opened and it was glaring how much Grand Sichuan just didn’t care.

    8. MF says:

      Any suggestions for a laundry like this one in the eighties?

      • KL says:

        Park West laundry on 84th just west of Columbus (behind Gristedes) is my favorite! It’s a no-frills kind of place, but I’ve found them to be friendly and efficient – just what I need. Same day wash and fold, I bring my own detergent and leave it with them, and are open until 8pm on weekdays. Vivian is very kind. Dry cleaning prices are great in contrast to Aspen and other places nearby, but the pick up situation is a bit more chaotic. Strong recommendation from me!

        Also the cobbler next door is also great if you need shoe repairs (cash only and shorter hours).

        • Christine E says:

          Love Park West laundromat. Just schlepped there today! No frills is putting it mildly but it does the job and I am glad they are still hanging in there.

        • CB says:

          I second this! We have been entrusting our laundry to Vivian and her crew at Park West for @20 years now. Very very occasionally something gets lost, but it’s usually located afterwards. They do an excellent job in a very tight space.

      • Carlos says:

        I haven’t used it in ages but the one on 85th between Broadway and West End was very good and is still there.

      • Cato says:

        85th Street laundry, between Broadway and West End, does a great job, reasonably priced, quick pick up and nearly always delivery by end of the day. But there’s no do-it-yourself.

    9. Sean says:

      That Chinese restaurant was filthy. As for laundromats, they are leftovers from another era. This isn’t a working class neighborhood anymore. It’s affluent. Rich people don’t do laundry.

      • Cato says:

        OK, now, all you people with laundry: Up and out! Now now now now now! You don’t belong here anymore! Go! Shoo! Skedaddle! Scram!

        And there, Ladies and Gentlemen, you have it in a nutshell: The rich newbies don’t want us anymore, and we have to leave our long-time neighborhood so they can continue to distort it to meet their own suburban-mall image.

        Ah, well. Go if you will. I’m staying. Laundry and all.

      • B.B. says:

        SMH! Sean, Sean, Sean… With all due respect you don’t know what you’re talking about.

        First and foremost you are aware that “not working class” area or not many apartment buildings (condo, co-op and rental) do not allow washing machines in apartments. Some have communal laundry rooms in house, others do not offer any such facilities. Given the vast number of rent controlled and stabilized tenants on the UWS, not to mention various subsidized housing where do you propose these people wash their clothes? Take a bar of soap and wash board then head down to the Hudson River?

        In response to changes in the real estate market (washing machines and dryers have become the new “in demand” appliances from renters or buyers), certain buildings have loosened up and allowed laundry appliances in apartments. This and or they are included with new construction/renovation. But this still leaves out a huge number of persons.

        Then there are items that nearly every household in Manhattan sends out.

        Unless you have a very good maid or an obliging wife willing to wash and iron, shirts are universally sent out to laundries. Do the sums; one man per apartment will generate at least five to seven dress shirts per week. Multiply that by number of apartments in a street or area and there alone you’ve got a ready made market.

        • Sean says:

          There are pick up and delivery. You can Google them. If a building is stuck in the past, then a resident or owner needs to address. There are now small apartment sized combo washer/dryers that can fit in a closet. When you live in a rent stabilized apartment in a rapidly gentrifying area you have to expect not to afford much that’s around you. Unfortunately that’s the way it is. The retail landscape is changing. Yes supermarkets are on the way out too. Malls are closing. Macy’s is in deep trouble. I didn’t start the fire.

        • GG says:

          I always love your comments, B.B. but this really made me laugh….

          “Do the sums; one man per apartment will generate at least five to seven dress shirts per week.”

          Most men these days wear 5-7 dress shirts….per YEAR!! The reality is that people don’t really dress like they used to and it is yet another thing that is disappointing about things these days. People work from home, people don’t dress for the office in a formal manner anymore. It’s even worse for women.

          I was just reading an article about the supposed “Retail Apocalypse” and many apparel companies and retailers were complaining that the demand for dressy clothes in general just isn’t there anymore. Casual Friday has turned into a week long thing these days.

          It seems all I see these days is t-shirts and yoga pants.:)

          • Sammie@L says:

            You’re definitely looking in all the wrong places. I work in the medical field and everyone still wears dress shirts, ties, suits, and shoes. I have to dress accordingly and can’t imagine wearing gym clothes, not even on a Friday. We couldn’t get through the week without a laundry service, not to mention we keep Brooks Bros and Paul Stuart in business. 😉

            • Mark says:

              The Medical, along with the Financial fields are the only ones with the money to dress from Paul Stuart. The rest of us are just paying those bills.

          • B.B. says:

            Sorry, but no, that is not correct.

            While yes “dress casual” has perhaps taken over to some extent; even those shirts often have to be washed and ironed. Then you have the hundreds of professional men employed in areas such as finance, law, government, and various other careers who aren’t going to work each day looking as if they just crawled out of bed.

            On any given morning you can see men, their wives or maybe housekeepers with arm or bag of shirts heading to this or that laundry. This or watch all those Latino-Hispanic or Asian delivery guys doing same.

            If you Google “shirt laundry New York City” you’ll get pages and pages of hits.

            Will give you hand laundries (French, Chinese or whatever) is a dying service. Most guys won’t pay more than the $1-$3 per shirt that is the going rate from drop off services. However there are still men who can and are paying $6-$12 or more per shirt for “French Hand Laundry” service.

            • OhHonestly says:

              Actually, a lot of modern shirts are no-iron. You put them in the washing machine (cold) and hang dry. The only time we ever break out an iron is formal weddings.

    10. T says:

      Never been to Grand Sichuan. It always looked dirty. I remember the shark bar being there.

    11. Marci says:

      I’m so sad that West Side laundry is closing. We’ve been using them for 10 years, and they always did a fantastic job. They got to know all our preferences, and when my husband had surgery, they insisted on picking up and delivering our laundry during his recovery. There aren’t too many Wash & Folds that do the laundry on-site anymore, and none that become such an extended part of the family. I wish them all well.

      • B.B. says:

        Yes, the small “mom and pop” hand laundries are going the way of Dodo in NYC.

        https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/17/nyregion/laundry-service-in-new-york-city-brooklyn-san-toy.html

        Nearly all of these places must send some or all work out to contract wholesale laundries. They just cannot process (wash, dry, and maybe iron) the amounts of laundry per day that would pay bills. At best some will iron shirts and some linens in house.

        IIC by NYC zoning going back years the largest washing machine allowed in a residential building is 20lbs. That is not a very large capacity to process the hundreds of pounds of washing per week required to make money.

    12. Eric says:

      Still waiting for a decent grocery store in my neighborhood, but I’m relieved to know there will be improved access to eyeliner.

    13. EricaC says:

      I really like sugar way too much, to the detriment of my health (and appearance), but that donut looks and sounds awful to me. Was it good?

      • West Sider says:

        It was quite sugary, but really good, we can attest. The bacon chocolate one was also surprisingly tasty.

    14. tim says:

      Just a bit off-topic, but does anyone know if the recent turnover at Hunan Balcony (Bway at 98th) will end soon. Great location and decent layout for a restaurant. Just need a stable tenant with quality food. Fingers crossed.

    15. SGC says:

      Grand Sichuan on 24th and 9th is still open. I called panicked that they were closed after reading this piece. The woman who answered the phone was alarmed. She repeatedly stated emphatically that they were not closed, her voice shouting to be heard above the sounds of a busy restaurant. It is one of the best Chinese local places in Chelsea, in fact It is a destination place. Great food at a great price and patrons from all over the city.

      • Mary says:

        Very helpful to hear that about the Grand Sichuan in Chelsea. Thank you for checking. I was also alarmed after reading this erroneous information.
        This UWS branch never managed to make it work. The space and employees were unwelcoming and the food was much less appetizing that in their Chelsea location, although that has also declined.
        For the best Sichuan option on the UWS I would recommend Szechuan Garden on 105th, just off Broadway.

    16. Mia says:

      For all of you lamenting the change in the neighborhood-I wonder who you think is selling their apartments for a million dollars and up-it’s YOU-the origins UWD folks who bought for nothing and are now profiting fro
      off the “rich newbies” who have to take massive mortgages and eat ramen to barely afford a tiny one bedroom if we want to live in the city. Not every new person is some obnoxious obscenely wealthy person. Many of us are barely making it in this city and it is in part because ALL real estate is absurdly priced. Be thankful if you were fortunate enough to buy here years ago.

      • Cat says:

        Good God, someone call a Wah-bulance. Who forced you to move here and take out a mortgage and eat ramen noodles in a tiny one bedroom? I never understand the point of these posts.

        • GG says:

          Wow, Cat. You sound like one of those heartless multi-millionaires…have some empathy for younger people that are trying to make it here in the big city.

          Either that or you got your rent controlled apt years ago and are locked in for life. Whichever it is…you sound like a real insensitive and unlikable elitist. Think about it.

      • Mark says:

        Mia,

        The concept of your home as an investment asset is often the end of community.I am amazed at the segregation, competitiveness, and commodification of life that results.

        • GG says:

          WHAT?!?! end of community? I don’t even know where to start with this comment. You might be more comfortable living in Russia…about 40 years ago.

          Home ownership is the cornerstone of the American Dream and the best investment (for a variety of reasons) you will ever make. Period.

          • Mark says:

            Stop comments like: “You might be more comfortable living in Russia…about 40 years ago.”

            That would help form community right there.

    17. Wendy says:

      Very sad and shocking news about West Side Laundry (or 88 Laundramat, their official name) closing. Even though my building has laundry machines (very expensive), that was a go-to place for fast and affordable laundry when you didn’t have time to do it yourself, or all the machines were in use or you had special items to be cleaned. That landlord is indeed greedy, but not alone. The previous landlord had more than doubled the rent of the stationery store that used to be on the corner where (Cibo Y Vino is) years ago (they ended up moving around the corner, to Amst. between 89th and 90th – Gold Stationers). And to be replaced by an eyebrow tweaking place, like what happened to the hat store that closed next to it? Ridiculous. Now another storefront on Broadway will sit empty for months.

      • B.B. says:

        Back in 2013 2418 Broadway wanted $25K per month ($300 per square foot), for the corner retail (where Cibo Y Vino now is. Do not know if CYV is paying that number.

        As of May 2017, 2414 Broadway (same block/building right next door to the laundry), owners want $13,500 per month
        $216 per sqft for what was the West Side Barber Shop space.

        https://www.agorafy.com/listing/1400/2418-Broadway-Retail-for-Lease-Ground

        Back in 2013 when 2412-2418 Broadway (aka 214-218 West 89th Street)was sold for nearly $50 million, the building’s residential was about 60% under rent control (mostly if not all stabilized one assumes.

        Am not going to stir those old pools, but if the rents for residential are mostly if not all capped (RS) then property owner is going to look elsewhere to make money. That would be the commercial/retail space on ground floor.

        • Mark says:

          Honestly B.B., if you are not looking to “stir those old pots”, then why all the selective research?

          • B.B. says:

            Nothing “selective” about it; the property is what it is; period end of story.

            That being said do not know the rents RS tenants are paying. Some units could be below (or well) market rate, others well above and or have been decontrolled.

    18. Bob says:

      Love doughnuts but want sugar factory to close. Wonder how long I can hold out.

    19. B.B. says:

      Now for a bit of UWS architectural history and trivia!

      214-218 West 89th (aka 2410-2418 Broadway) is named the Bellguard Apartments and was built in 1915. For reasons unknown true French spelling of “Belle” was not used with the “e” being dropped.

      George F. Pelham was the architect who was also responsible for a vast and interesting number of buildings around Manhattan that are still with us today.

      https://www.emporis.com/companies/101640/george-f-pelham-new-york-city-ny-usa

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_F._Pelham

      True to most if not all similar pre-war (WWI that is) the Bellguard features apartments with generous floor plans; one, two and three bedrooms, no studio apartments. IIRC there are even some “Classic Six” units in building.

    20. B.B. says:

      Is it just me but how is it places like the recently closed LOVE store couldn’t survive with “high rents), but yet every other week is seems some new cosmetic/beauty store is opening on the UWS.

      The new places surely are paying dearly in rent, so what is it they know (or think they do) that old school places like LOVE didn’t or don’t?

    21. JoJo says:

      Landlords are an easy target when it comes to blaming someone for stores shutting down. I get it, but don’t forget, property taxes are up 26% under DeBlasio, minimum wage is $11 and hour, soon to be $15, utilities are up, city licensing fees, fines, parking, other taxes, the list goes on and on for the small business owner. You can’t just blame the landlord. How about some real reform and relief for small business owners?

      • B.B. says:

        In case anyone didn’t notice (how couldn’t they?), pay packets were lighter starting last week as NYC’s withholding rate went up.

        What one finds extraordinary about all these new beauty/cosmetic stores is that nearly all of what they sell can be found online, often cheaper.

        Best “beauty” store on West Side was the now long gone Ray’s Beauty Supply down on 8th Avenue and 45th.

        • Mark says:

          I think that many customers want some advice when purchasing beauty items. Also, they are often a last-minute purchase before a upcoming event.

          I do not feel that every good is a commodity, best bought on the internet. As an example, I just bought produce on the farm.

    22. UpperWestGuy says:

      Really sad to see West Side Laundry close. I do my drycleaning there and they have great prices ($10/suit), are careful, and have really nice people.