NEW RESTAURANTS, AND THE CIRCUS, WIN APPROVAL FOR LIQUOR LICENSES


Twin Palms is expected to go into this space on 84th Street.

By Michael Wakin

New restaurants are on their way to the Upper West Side and the circus is coming back.

Community Board 7 accepted, postponed, and denied several bids for liquor licenses and sidewalk cafes in a packed meeting last week that did not lack for drama and conflict.

A restaurant called Twin Palms plans to open at 200 West 84th Street, the former home of Spiga. The owner is Tim Harris, who also owns Australian restaurant Burke and Wills and the Manhattan Cricket Club bar. His bid for a liquor license was approved by the board. The restaurant hopes to seat 50 people, as well as 9 people at the bar. Harris says he plans to completely renovate the space. He stated that there will be oyster happy hour and that small plates will be priced at around $30, large plates $45.

A Greek restaurant, which has yet to be named, will open at 2350 Broadway near 85th Street (it’s not immediately clear which storefront space it will take in the building). The hours will be 11:30am-12am on weekdays, 11am-12am on Saturday, and 11am-11pm on Sunday. The restaurant will only play background music.


The Big Apple Circus, before it initially shut down. Photo by Lauren.

The Big Apple Circus is returning to Lincoln Center after a short hiatus under new owners, a company called BigTop Works. The board approved its application for a full liquor license. The circus plans to open October 27th and end January 7th with performances Wednesdays through Sundays.

There is some controversy over the new circus, because it plans to use public space at Damrosch Park, a plaza in Lincoln Center that some community members say should be open to the public and not utilized for a for-profit endeavor. The company says it will make multiple community outreach efforts, including at least one show a week where tickets are $10 as well as shows for autistic children, the deaf, and the blind.

Kureiji, now open at 506 Amsterdam near West 84th Street, is kosher and will be equipped with a full sushi bar. The hours are 11am-12am Sunday-Thursday. Kureiji is a tight space seating roughly 14 people.

Guacamole Taqueria plans to move into a previously vacant space on 786 Amsterdam near West 98th Street. The owner plans a complete renovation. However, an application for a liquor license was postponed because of the many unknowns surrounding these future renovations. The restaurant plans to open in September.

The board rejected bid by Jumbo Bagel’s at 472 Columbus Avenue (82nd-83rd) bid for an unenclosed sidewalk café because the owners did not show up to the meeting.

Café 21, which plans to open at 21 West End Avenue, was approved for a two-year liquor license.

The board rejected Jazz on the Park’s application for a two-year beer and wine license. The board said Jazz on the Park, a youth hostel, has been subject to an overwhelming amount of complaints because of its guests’ reckless behavior and a beer and wine license would only exacerbate the problem. Furthermore, the hostel is zoned in a residential area, making it illegal for Jazz on the Park to receive such license.

The climax of the meeting came when Jacob Hadjigeorgis, the owner of Maison Pickle, made his bid for an unenclosed sidewalk café with 10 tables and 20 seats on the side street of 84th between Broadway and West End. Side street sidewalk seating requests are normally refused, but the board appeared sympathetic to the Mr. Hadjigeorgis because of his deep ties to the Upper West Side, philanthropic work, and enthusiastic patrons.

However, when the board opened the discussion to the public, speakers vehemently opposed the owner’s request. Members of the Congregation Ohav Sholom and residents of 255 West 84th issued a barrage of objections, including the potential for garbage pileup, increased noise, the abundance of rats, congested foot traffic, and disruption of services. One resident stated it would “change the character of the street.” Amid the wave of disapproval, the owner of Maison Pickle withdrew his application, which was met with applause.

The board did state that they would approve an unenclosed sidewalk café for Maison Pickle on Broadway contingent on it not jetting out past 5 Napkin Burger’s café.

We have corrected some addresses in this post after initial publication.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 56 comments | permalink
    1. Jens says:

      We already have a long-timebGreek restaurant at Broadway and 82nd. Cafe 82. It would be nice if they all weren’t on Broadway.

      • Liza says:

        While I’ve never dined at Cafe 82, I did look it up, and it’s not a Greek restaurant, it’s a diner. I would love another real Greek restaurant on the UWS, and if it can compete with Kefi (Col. & 84th), which I think is one of the best, all the better for Broadway!

      • ws says:

        This new place will be higher end.

      • EricaC says:

        There’ should Kefi on Columbus and (I think) 84th. I like it.

    2. Lunabee says:

      Where is 786 W 98th street? In the river?

    3. Sean says:

      That circus is a scam. If it is a for profit business it should not be in public land period. Just televise Community Board meetings on a big screen if you want a circus.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        I loathe the circus. Elephants are very sensitive animals and they are severely abused by the circus. Same goes for lions and tigers, terrible abuse that goes on behind the scenes. I hope I live to see the day when all circuses and seaworld gets shut down.

        • Anon says:

          UWSHebrew,

          The Big Apple Circus has never had elephants, lions or tigers. They have used dogs and ponies in their shows.

          • Montgomari says:

            Beg to differ Big Apple Circus most definitely had Elephants at a show I attended in the Early 80s

          • Sean says:

            Oh yes they did have elephants. I worked a catering job for them in the 90s and they had elephants and very strange clowns.

          • Stuart says:

            UWSHebrew never has anything nice to say about anything…

            • OriginalMark says:

              I agree with him. Circuses are notorious for mistreatment of animals and are hopefully destined for the dustbin of history.

            • UWSHebrew says:

              here are some nice things I have to say about NYC: 1)The people who clean up Central Park are wonderful 2)The museum staff at the MET are always polite and friendly 3)It’s really nice to go to restaurants during “Restaurant Week”, just recently was “French Restaurant Week”, and I went to a beautiful place on East 57th st. 4)If I have the time, I will take one or two buses instead of the subway, I love the buses. 5)The NYPD in Manhattan is great overall, all races, both genders, they have my utmost respect. Same of course for the FDNY and EMS.

        • UWS-er says:

          But the Big Apple Circus never had any of those. Most circuses don’t anymore.

        • Leon says:

          Big Apple Circus was mainly rescue animals, and no big animals. They did an incredible amount of community outreach and were a major positive for the community. This was very clear if you ever went to see it.

        • StopTheMadness says:

          So you loath the circus, it seems you loath just about everything! I suggest you move to the UES where you won’t have to worry about the circus.

    4. Ish Kabibble says:

      Is it 84th or 85th? You list both. 🙂

    5. David says:

      506 West 84th Street — no such address, would be in Riverside Park

    6. AP says:

      The Greek restaurant is opening on 85th b/w Amsterdam and Broadway right next to Han Dynasty, where Prime KO used to be.

    7. Crab Shaq says:

      The upper west side needs a crab shaq

      • Lulu says:

        Would that be a seafood restaurant run by a basketball player? Or would he just be crabby?

    8. Cleo Dana says:

      Lincoln Centre violated terms of Settlement Agreement which threw out Fashion Week and other for profits. It did not consult with CB7 and plaintiffs as required. LC secretly subleased public property for 1/3 of each year (add 6 weeks of set up and take down) to a private entity for its own gain. A private circus does not belong in a 2.4 acre newly landscaped park. It could go anywhere — the community does not want it.

      • Jay says:

        You speak for only yourself. Most of the neighborhood doesn’t care.

        • Independent says:

          Cleo Dana speaks /only/ for himself? You’re certain of that?

          Wasn’t your statement just as presumptuous as the one you were calling-out for being presumptuous?

      • Sean says:

        You tell ’em.

    9. RedRaleigh says:

      The only empty space at 2350 Broadway is the former Kosher/Japanese Steakhouse space in between French Roast and HAN Dynasty on 85th St. A good, authentic Greek restaurant would be welcomed.

      • Carlos says:

        I’m no expert on Greek food, but I think we have a good alternative very close by in Kefi. Nevertheless, I wish this new restaurant good luck and will check it out.

        I wish this space would revert to its prior existence as a reasonably price, good but not great Mexican restaurant – I really miss that place.

        • Stillindisbelief says:

          Kefi is abysmal. They “lost” the entire reservation for our wedding rehearsal dinner (so none of the menu we had worked out with the staff weeks beforehand) and to compensate, after a 40 minute awkward wait, they shoved us downstairs at separate tables amongst other diners and offered a glass of champagne. We used to be regulars there but after such an atrocious incident we’ve not gone back and steered dozens of people who’ve come to visit away to other, better run places

    10. Leon says:

      I live near Maison Pickle and was unaware of the planned café on 84th Street – I’m glad others spoke up. Side streets such as this were not built for sidewalk cafes. As it is, the frequent loading and unloading for 5 Napkin Burger there often blocks things up, as does the endless construction at 490 WEA.

      I am sure the owner of Maison Pickle is a very good person but the fact that he had the chutzpah to even ask for that really leaves a sour taste in my mouth (pun intended).

      • EGF says:

        This is how the process is supposed to work and residents got what they wanted. Can’t fault a business owner for trying to provide customers with what they seek. Personally I would have loved the outdoor addition to an already great restaurant yet I respect the residents for speaking up.

    11. Grandma the Clown says:

      Hooray for the return of the Bog Apple Circus, which my UWS kids and neighbors love. It’s a wonderful circus and had been a family tradition for over a decade! Welcome back!

    12. Izzy says:

      What a shame to hear that Jacob’s bid for sidewalk seating was met with such disdain. Some people are just real kill joys.

      • Minx says:

        I agree Izzy, I was disappointed to see Maison Pickle withdraw its application for sidewalk seating on 84th. Eating outside on quiet streets is a real joy in this city, but alas… This is a great restaurant and it has been packed every time I have been. The UWS needs more places like this, I would like to think the community would encourage them also esp given they are not banks or drugstores.

    13. Westender says:

      Any news on when the Korean place Boka is going to open? I thought it was going to open in March.

    14. Tom says:

      Man, I usually don’t join in on the pricing complaints around here, but am I the only one who did a double-take seeing “Burke and Wills”, and “$30 small plates”? There would have to be a serious uptick in quality to make those prices worth paying.

    15. 92nd Street says:

      Great news about all these new food venues.

      The UWS could use a Doughnut Plant, a Sarges Deli, a Blue Ribbon Sushi, and a Pearls Oyster Bar all preferably on 92nd Street. I also want a Pony.

      • EricaC says:

        No Doughnut Plant! That would end any hope that I will ever get my sugar cravings under control!

    16. UWS Craig says:

      I would like a Westville to open in the space formally occupied by Sugar and Plumm.
      I’d also like a Poke place somewhere. It’s trendy, but also healthy and delicious. And it comes from Hawaii, which last time I checked was one of the 50 states!

    17. Smithe says:

      I find any circus to be an odd and outdated concept. Clowns are off putting, animals trained to perform unnaturally, and dangerous acrobatics are not my idea of entertainment. The circus belongs to a bygone era!

    18. Melanie says:

      Fishtag on W79 between Amsterdam and Broadway is also a really good Greek restaurant. Chef Michael Psilakis is chef/owner of both Kefi and Fishtag. I recommend the grilled Branzino at either restaurant.

    19. Anon says:

      Cafe 21 is the residential amenity at 21 West End, not 21 W 60th. Either way, it’s not open to the general public. http://www.21westendnyc.com/cafe-21.html

    20. Tracey G says:

      I did a segment on Big Apple Circus with a local news channel a while back and saw all the behind the scenes stuff. The animals were in excellent health and were treated like the rock stars they are. I saw one of the horse acrobats stroking, giving treats and murmuring to her horse backstage right before they went on. I grew up training horses in the country and have never seen better.