OPENINGS & CLOSINGS: HEX & CO., SPUNTINO BAR, FLOATING MOUNTAIN, RECOLTE, 16 HANDLES

A “board game cafe,” wine bar, and new bakery are coming to the Upper West Side, along with some frozen treats.

Hex & Co., a “board game cafe”, is set to open at 2871 Broadway between 111th and 112th Streets. According to the website, it has afterschool clubs and camps for kids centered around games. There are actually two websites for the spot — the other one, hexnyc.com, has a countdown clock on it at the moment indicating it will open in 9 days. Thanks to Matthew Perlman and Sarah for tips and photos.

Spuntino Bar has replaced Vai on Amsterdam between 80th and 81st and is set to open this week. It’s apparently owned by the same people, as there’s a Vai Spuntino in the Village. “They’ve got some brand new dishes and some old favourites and we enjoyed everything,” wrote Simon, who attended a pre-opening a few days ago. It’s got “crudo” (raw meat and fish), vegetables, fish and meat dishes on the menu.

Floating Mountain, a tea room, is open on the second floor of 239 West 72nd Street. A Yelper explains the offerings. “An out-of-the-way little tea room on the 2nd floor of a building on 72nd, Floating Mountain offers a serious menu of teas, personally imported by the owners. For now they have Chinese teas but the plan eventually is to broaden out. Not that there’s any shortage felt in limiting themselves to China–the menu has maybe 50 teas, from white to green, to oolong to black (or red, as they call it here), and more. They prep the teas for you, giving you a perfect cup. Relaxed, airy, with comfy floor cushions for seats and some street views from the windows, Floating Mountain is lovely and unexpected.”

Récolte, the Taiwanese-French bakery and cafe replacing Josie’s at 74th and Amsterdam (201 West 74th or 300 Amsterdam Avenue), now has its signs up and is hiring. “Fingers crossed for great bread. Since we lost Grandaisy in this section of the UWS, and since it’s impossible to buy bread at Levain on 74th anymore because of the cookie lines, this may be a welcome addition to the neighborhood,” writes Brian, who sent in the photo. We last wrote about it here.

16 Handles is opening at the Turnstyle subway mall at Columbus Circle in the next few months.

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FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 39 comments | permalink
    1. OriginalMark says:

      “…and since it’s impossible to buy bread at Levain on 74th anymore because of the cookie lines…”.
      Sorry, but that’s kind of silly. The new location on Amsterdam is very close to the 74th St. location and doesn’t have the same lines. And if you go to either in the morning you can buy your items very quickly.

    2. Jerry says:

      Brian,

      If you walk a block to Broadway, you can take your pick of the breads at Fairway, Citerella and the internationally renowned Maison Kaiser. Knowing rents in the area are sky high, I wouldn’t think the new place will offer bargain prices.

    3. Darren says:

      bread is pretty easy to buy at Levain now – not sure another bakery is what the neighborhood needs

    4. Vince says:

      Well, we do have Maison Kayser in the area for great bread, and Levain has opened a second store close by with no lines… maybe you should consider re-writing the article.

    5. Carmennovia says:

      Bread at Orwashers is very good. Didn’t even know Levain sold bread

    6. Mark says:

      Bread is what made me obese. I need to avoid it anyway.

    7. Paris Wyome says:

      Bought bread at Levain (at previous location) once. Quite pricey and small compared to Fairway, etc. Also not very tasty. Never bought bread there again. Thankfully there are so many better bread choices on the UWS. Levain = overrated. Maybe the bakery explosion on the UWS will have the same ending as the frozen yogurt shop trend did.

      • Achacun Songout says:

        Re Bread @ Levain: This may be a matter of personal taste (or lack thereof). But the first time I bought one of Levain’s country boules, I ate half of it on my walk back home. I hadn’t had anything that amazinglyh delicious since I left Paris. I ended up returning later that day to buy another, only to be disappointed that they were sold out. Moral of the story: Buy early, buy more than you think you’ll need.

        I am sure that there are plenty of consumers for whom delicious bread is not a life priority, and I bid them hasten to Fairway, “etc” and buy their inferior abominations.

        Levain may, in general, be “overrated”, but NOT because of their bread products.

      • Fred DuBose says:

        Paris W, you’ve obviously never tasted Levain’s Whole Wheat Walnut Raisin rolls, indescribably delicious and only a buck each — though the price may have gone up a bit. I say so because I bought a scone at Levain last week ($3 for many years) and the price had gone up to 3.25.

    8. Liz says:

      Brian will be pleased to know that Levain has a new and larger store on Amsterdam bet 76 and 77th and that Ohrwashers is open at Amsterdam and 81st, both selling good bread.

    9. Mary Jones says:

      No one has mentioned Zabar’s for bread, so good! Also Kirsch at 87 st and Amsterdam has superb milk bread

    10. Kathleen Treat says:

      Will Floating Mountain also offer ‘little somethings’ to nibble
      with their tea?

    11. Cathy says:

      Still no responses on the name of the restaurant that was managed by Than Robbins, husband of Mary Traver, of Peter, Paul and Mary? Think it was on West 72 and think, but am not sure, that it was Scandinavian.

    12. Christine E says:

      If Hex & Co is anything like The Uncommons in the West Village, it will be awesome — great place to pop in with a friend or 2 (or your child, if you want to get out of the house) and try new and old board games. It might sound hokey, but it’s nice to get away from the electronics, even for a bit.

    13. patrick says:

      the bread at Mayson Kaiser is out of this world!!

    14. Brian says:

      Perhaps Brian lives below 72nd St.

      If so, yes, he could walk a few extra blocks for *great* bread. He would still be beyond privileged for that opportunity.

      And he could go to the Fairway bakery counter, which stocks a limited selection of some great bread.

      But if he desires a bread bakery experience that Fairway cannot provide…less frenetic perhaps… a closer connection between the baker and the bread, perhaps…some unexpected experiments from time to time, perhaps. And if he really just wants to roll out of bed and into that incredible bakery, he might be forgiven for being unreasonably hopeful that a new bakery might be great, and would be at least more convenient to him than the alternatives.

      This is a silly uptown problem. But that won’t stop a bread-loving uptown man from dreaming, from what I can tell of this fellow.

      • Jennifer says:

        If Brian hasn’t already done so, perhaps he might enjoy trying Breads Bakery on Broadway between 62/63. I think they’re a great addition to the Lincoln Square area.

    15. susan cohen says:

      fairways kosher breads are best taste and best price second to none
      cant beat it

    16. Christina says:

      Man shall not live on bread alone

    17. Christine says:

      Why did Vai close?? I loved it so!

      • UWS Dad says:

        It didn’t really close, just slightly changed the concept. It’s the same chef / owner, with some menu items that look very similar to Vai’s.

    18. Noal says:

      I finally feel like a true Upper West Sider by saying and believing that the quality at Maison Kayser has gone downhill.

      Best bread in the neighborhood for me is She Wolf Bakery at the Sunday farmers market.

    19. Lyri Clark says:

      Westside Market at 76th &Bway has the best breads and rolls. Beats Fairway by a mile. Great place to shop. Calm and stocked with all varieties.