Openings & Closings: Demitasse, Recolte, Big Bang Burger, Drybar, La Sirene

A new cafe, a new bakery and burgers are on the menu of Upper West Side openings. Who could ask for more?

Demitasse Coffee & Tea has been open for a few weeks at 973 Columbus Avenue (108th Street). The shop has all sorts of  “options for specialty brews (chemex, pour over, French press, perc) and classic espresso and iced coffee,” writes one Yelper, who also likes the food. “Two things really set Demitasse apart from nearby coffee places: the food and the price point. They have both a kitchen menu and a bakery case, and unlike Oren’s, JOE, or Up coffee, there are several healthy options. There are both vegan, fresh veggie-heavy options and more indulgent things like a biscuit sandwich and a steak sandwich.” Thanks to Alexandra R. for the photo.

Recolte, the Taiwanese-French bakery and cafe replacing Josie’s at 74th and Amsterdam (300 Amsterdam Avenue), is now open. “During our soft-opening period (10/5~10/9), everything will be 15% off from its original price,” they say on Facebook. Thanks to Yael, Gretchen and Tom for the tips and photos.

The short-lived restaurant Baznga on Amsterdam between 80th and 81st that celebrated the CBS Show Big Bang Theory has morphed into another restaurant paying even more direct homage to the CBS show. Big Bang Burger looks like it will be Kosher too, though it’s not clear when it will open. Thanks to Corrie and Keith for the tips.

Drybar, a chain that blow-dries women’s hair, is opening a new location at 243 West 99th Street. Thanks to Maria, Robert and Me for the tips.

French bistro La Sirene at 416 Amsterdam Avenue (West 80th Street) looked like it was about to open as of a few days ago. Lauren says the tables were set with napkins and silverware. There’s another La Sirene downtown. Thanks to Lauren for the photo. (If it is indeed open, let us know in the comments. We haven’t been able to get through on the phone.)

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 27 comments | permalink
    1. Tony Brown says:

      Spoke to the Broome St location today. Yes! This is the same resto specializing in the cuisine of Southern France. Hoping to open in the next “week or two”, as soon a final inspections have been completed.
      Looking forward!

    2. Paris Wyome says:

      Bakeries — another UWS food fad until we are saturated and their sales head south. Froyo fad. Mostly over. Millennial, expensive salad places — 3 in 10 blocks. How long will they all last? And for a while, there was a minor tea store fad. I think there is one left. Some retailers must be big risk takers with access to tons of cash. I wonder if other areas of NYC experience such food retailing fads.

      • patrick says:

        Bakeries are not a fad! Froyo and specialized tea stores, yes, but how many bakeries are there in world compared to froyo places?

    3. Julie Borla says:

      finally somebody got smart…


      • Hyman Rosen says:

        Then it’s a pity no one patronized Bazinga, isn’t it?

      • neighbor says:

        DO WE?!?!

      • Realist says:

        They never last…never

      • Lorraine says:

        Kosher anything except burgers! Burgers need cheese!

      • Wendy says:

        Really? I can think of at least 5 existing restaurants off the bat, besides all the kosher bagel places and min. two kosher supermarkets. (Is Maoz kosher? didn’t count them). You need more than that? For those of us who are non-kosher, those places charge a lot of dough for a rabbi to say the lettuce is kosher…… they’re a ripoff,in other words.

    4. UWS-er says:

      Baznga had a small menu (a lot of grilled cheeses and ice cream), but it was very good. (And besides being kosher, it was nut-free, which more places realllly should be!) But if the new burger place is kosher too, that means no cheese, and a burger without cheese is, well, sad.

      • Lorraine says:

        Exactly! I’m all for kosher whatever, but no kosher burger joints for me. Unless I get delivery and slap on my own darn cheese! But it would have to be some great burger to go to that trouble. 😉

      • Independent says:

        Without conceding your contention (I believe that plenty of people enjoy hamburgers just fine without any cheese), I would just point-out that like ice cream and other originally dairy-only products, faux, parve versions of cheese have come a long way. Of course, nothing can ever compare to real dairy but many find substitutes quite satisfying in their own right.

    5. Steven says:

      I saw that Grand Sichuan which closed about 2 or more months ago will be reopening on the 16th as a new chinese place. They’ve had a sign on the door since the closing saying “new concept coming soon” which I have seen when many places close but usually never happens. I have to say, I really liked Grand Sichuan & feel the only thing they needed to change was their prices. Within a few months they raised their prices quite a bit & I stopped going solely for that reason. A shame cause their food was really good. The restaurant is on Amsterdam between 74-75th.

      • Kate says:

        That is fantastic news. I’ve been craving their spicy Chang Quing chicken. Do you remember what their new name will be?

        • Steven says:

          I’ll look when I walk by today & post it tonight. Be prepared, it will prob have a totally different menu, so it may not have that dish you like. And who knows if it’s even the same owners. The pizza place on Amsterdam between 79th & 80th STILL has the sign in the window saying “temp closed due to gas leak.” That’s some gas leak then, as it’s been closed for a good 8-9 months.

        • Steven says:

          It’s called Lily’s 74 – Shanghai & Sichuan Style. Hopefully it won’t be overpriced, but it is the UWS.

    6. izzy says:

      DRYBAR?! Holy moly that’s a great addition–I’m excited! A bit random, but a great addition nonetheless. Hope it lasts given that corner and stretch of B’way is one of the dankier stretches in the neighorhood.

    7. Mickey-D's For Me says:

      Re: “French bistro La Sirene”:

      According to Google Translate, the name means “Mermaid”. But it might as well mean “siren”…the kind on police cars.

      Which might become a nightly occurrence once patrons realize this place is a robbers’ den disguised as a frou-frou restaurant, at least judging by the menu prices from the downtown branch.

      Want an appetizer? You’ll lose your appetite when you see:
      $11.75 for Onion Soup, or
      $15.75 for “Sensual” little French Ravioli

      Now for votre entree, Madame:
      $27.75 for “Seared Alaskan Pollock” (fish)
      $29.75 for a Quail with caramelized apples
      $30.50 for a Braised Young Rabbit (no age given) served (ironically) with carrots😱

      and for Le Sweet Tooth:
      $13.75 for a Profiterole made with bittersweet chocolat…obviously Profiterole means big PROFITS.

      • Smithe says:

        Not sure where you normally eat on the UWS but these prices are perfectly in line with the places I frequent in the neighborhood.

        • bob says:

          Ok, but the prices are not in line with the prices at restaurants most readers of this blog frequent.

      • patrick says:

        Enjoy your burger that died a year ago and tasteless french fries.

    8. Janet says:

      Has anyone purchased the property on 86th and columbus where the 3 star coffee shop was. The 4 rent sign is gone.

      • Christine E says:

        Not sure what it will become, but someone is doing a lot of work there, including sub-terranian.