Openings And Closings: West Side Comedy Club, Warby Parker, Cibo E Vino, Giggle

A new comedy club and a fast-growing eyeglass chain are opening on the Upper West Side, as a children’s store closes its doors.

The West Side Comedy Club is opening at 201 West 75th Street, the basement level at restaurant Playa Betty’s. Co-owner Eugene Ashe explains the backstory: “West Side Comedy Club is owned by Eugene Ashe and Thomas Wilson, the duo who brought you Playa Betty’s… and is not separate ownership. West Side Comedy Club has roughly 100 seats and occupies the basement space of Playa Betty’s. Eugene is a native of the Upper West Side and he and his wife Nina worked in the comedy business in the mid 1990’s — they met while working at Caroline’s Comedy Club.” Opening weekend is October 6-8 and the Facebook page is here. Thanks to Marina for the photo and Bobby for the tip.

Warby Parker, the hip eyeglass chain, is moving into the old Maille mustard shop at 185 Columbus Avenue between 68th and 69th Streets. Thanks to Arie Kim and Sharoni for the tips and photos.

Cibo E Vino at 2418 Broadway (89th) is expanding into the former laundromat space next door. It will have a new bar and an additional 20 seats, according to the Post. Thanks to Mildred for the photo.

Giggle, the children’s store at 352 Amsterdam Avenue (76th-77th Street) is closing with a liquidation sale. Two of the company’s other stores closed suddenly last week, but a customer service rep had told us the UWS location was expected to remain open. That’s clearly changed. Although a sign says that the sale is up to 50% off, that’s only for “seconds,” Allison tells us. They are not accepting gift cards, and all sales are final, she added. Thanks to Tom and Allison for the tips and photos.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 44 comments | permalink
    1. Matt says:

      I welcome Warby Parker with open arms. I’ve been to all their stores in Manhattan and have gotten two pairs of prescription glasses just a few months ago. You can expect 100% professional service including an in-store eye doctor if you need a fresh prescription – all at online prices. Robert Marc across the street and See a block up should be very afraid.

      • OriginalMark says:

        That certainly sounds like adspeak.
        I assume you represent Warby Parker.

        • Minx says:

          OriginalMark, how is that adspeak? I have also been to Warby and gotten new glasses, they do offer onsite eye exams, the staff are friendly, follow up online/phone customer service was excellent for me and all at a very reasonable price.

      • jsc says:

        I needed a fresh prescription and the person at Warby Parker downtown could not figure it out, saying she did not have the right equipment to determine the lenses I need.

    2. AC says:

      And don’t forget the impending closing of West Side Market on 77/78 & B’way.

      Employees were recently notified that November 30, is their last day. As a frequent customer of the place, I’m hoping some last minute deal can be worked out.

      • Lyri Clark says:

        Everyone has been trying to save our Westside market. Please call and write….yet another greedy landlord. We depend on them for fresh rolls, produce, cooked food and just about everything. An air of calm civility exists here unlike awful Fairway. Btw, the cooked food in fairway is unidentifiable….strange combinations of odd things. Very few customers risk it.

        • DavidT says:

          Out here on the West Coast (The Far Upper West Side) – please don’t let Westside Market close. Best grape leaves and eggplant spreads. We always go to WSM on our trips back to New York. What a bummer! (Maybe they can open one out here, though – the food can certainly use a New York upgrade – when the “New York Style Deli” in my neighborhood specialized in Tacos.)

    3. Carlos says:

      Warby Parker is a great addition to the neighborhood. Great glasses at reasonable prices.

    4. Rachel says:

      How can they not accept gift cards? That is like theft.

      • BMAC says:

        If you hold a gift card from a company going through bankruptcy, you’re basically an unsecured creditor, and those are the creditors who take it in the shorts during bankruptcy/reorg.

    5. Eln says:

      You can submit a claim for gift cards.
      You need to go to the store for the info on the
      Website where you can download the claim application.

    6. Keely says:

      Warby Parker is the best.

      • Nelson Aspen says:

        …for basic prescription glasses, I agree. However, for bifocals or progressive lenses, not so much. A curse of Middle Age!

    7. Jose Habib says:

      Closing or not, how can they just not accept gift cards that people paid for? Is that legal?

      • UWSHebrew says:

        I was thinking the same thing Jose. I have only heard of not accepting gift cards when a store/chain has filed for bankruptcy. This appears to be “you don’t like it, shove it” policy. If I had a gift card and they would not accept it I would contact the DA.

      • Jeff Berger says:

        Holders of gift cards are basically a short term loan for the retail store. As such, they are considered to be unsecured creditors and have to get in the back of the line for payment during bankruptcy.

      • EricaC says:

        You can file a claim and get whatever percentage of claims the unsecured creditors get. It may not be worth the trouble, but you can do it for free if you can figure out the paperwork.

    8. Parker says:

      Happy to hear about Warby Parker. I’ve been a customer for a number of years, and have always been impressed with their selection and service. $295 for progressive lens glasses? Great.

      • Cat says:

        Isn’t that just a starting price? I paid close to $1300 once it was all said and done (included transitional sunglasses though).

      • SheWrites says:

        $300 for Progressive Lenses? That’s robbery. I get mine for under 90 on zenni online. I use my Warby Parkers when I’m looking for my zennis.

        • jamory says:

          Me too. Zenni, Eyebuydirect,, etc. If I spend $130 (progressive lenses, darkening, etc.) I think that’s a lot.

          • Parker says:

            For my prescription, it was $295. You can absolutely find cheaper online.

            In my case, this was my first time needing progressive lenses. It was great to have a brick and mortar location, with an onsite optician who took my measurements in the selected frames, before placing the order.

            This place met my needs and price point. But I’m glad folks are recommending the online vendors, as well.

    9. Jeff says:

      In case anyone is wondering, sounds like the new comedy club has some decent talent lined up, but it’s the traditional set-up of $20 admission and two-drink minimum.

      Really wish we could get a simpler spot like Upright Citizens Brigade where it’s $10 or $15 for a quick one-hour show, with no requirement to buy alcohol. That’s doubly true because there’s already a traditional comedy club like three blocks away from this new one.

    10. Kath says:

      Da Capo has also opened on Columbus and 75th.

    11. Jeff Berger says:

      It is also official that Firehouse Tavern closed. They are also the co-owners of Good Enough to Eat so I wonder if they will just change the concept for that space. We could really use Nonna back. They had great meatballs.

    12. UWSSurfer says:

      I was told recently that Westside Market is still trying to work out their lease or find a suitable new space (with reasonable rent).

      They need a single floor space. They aren’t interested in the old Duane Reade space on Broadway near 76th due to it having 2-floors
      (and I presume high rent).

      I really hate to lose them. Their produce is better than their nearby competitors. I like some of their prepared foods,especially
      Maria’s Berry Salad.

      They are open 24 hrs. We need them!

      • Lulu says:

        I heard that the Belleclaire wanted Westside Market to update their interior since the outside was going to be newly renovated ( which seems reasonable to me) and they are refusing.

    13. OriginalMark says:

      Looks like the Warby Parker team has been notified of this posting and are commenting.
      Just a hint – if you want to be taken seriously you might try to be a bit more subtle.

      • Carlos says:

        Nope. Just a happy customer. This site has too much negativity and whining (I am occasionally guilty of this) so if I have something positive to say, I will say it.

        If you saw John Oliver this week, you would know that most of the eyewear industry is controlled by a single monopolistic firm. Warby Parker is doing a good job of taking them on. This is a good thing. So please check your skepticism at the door.

      • Sarah says:

        What, don’t you believe I’ve been to all their stores to buy two pairs of glasses and I’ve been going for the many many many years since they started their website?

        You, sir, are a detestable cynic!

      • GG says:

        No offense, Mark but you are starting to sound like you work for their competitors or something.:)

        What’s the personal grudge about? I’ve never even heard of this place until this article. Fill an old guy with 20/20 vision in on the situation here.

        • OriginalMark says:

          No grudge at all. It’s just a bit silly that lots of unrecognizable names come out for certain business postings lauding the business and using classic ad-speak.
          They may be a great business – but it’s annoying when the comments section becomes a forum for hacks.

          • GG says:

            Fair enough. It seems mysterious shilling has become very popular all over the internet these days.

            Somebody was just explaining the new trend called “AstroTurfing” to me which is similar to this…but more about politics than business promotion.

            Here’s a definition I just found online: the practice of masking the sponsors of a message or organization to make it appear as though it originates from and is supported by a grassroots participant. It is a practice intended to give the statements or organizations credibility by withholding information about the source’s financial connection

    14. harry says:

      Warby Parker is the best…paid $1,095 glasses…the best

    15. Milanee says:

      Is there a name and address we can send letters to begging for west side market to be kept open? Or is it too late?

      • Juan says:

        It is likely too late for this, but the best way to get them to stay open is to spend your money there. The owners of their building aren’t going to let them stay open because you sent them a really well-written note on your best stationery.

      • Sammie@L says:

        Yes you can send them to the Westside Market and tell them to renovate their store.

    16. MR BT HEAD says:

      As someone who was tired of getting ripped off by your standard eyeglass store and switched to Warby a few years ago, I welcome them to the hood. And no…I don’t work for them, I just appreciate quality shit at a fair price. PS Who the hell is eating a Cibo e Vino with so many other better places in the vicinity.

    17. your neighbor says:

      My son just got two pairs of eyeglasses from Warby Parker and paid less than I paid just for one pair of frames from a local store.

      My “designer” frames and my son’s frames were all made in China – probably in the same factory.

    18. Karen says:

      As an UWS resident who just opened an independent optical store downtown I can say that Warby Parker is some of the best help to a store like ours. All day long we get customers coming in who have had horrible experiences there and are looking to true skilled opticians like myself who own independent businesses. I can’t speak to other independent opticals but I chose to offer fair prices, much better quality and selection than WP and a fun shopping experience (we’re Broadway-themed!). If you all miss the old NY support local businesses like mine who give you the best customer service. Then you won’t need to complain that chains are moving in because small businesses like mine will thrive.