By Carol Tannenhauser
After 26 years, Joons Westside Fish Market, at 774 Amsterdam Avenue near West 98th Street, is closing next Tuesday, November 7th, “because the landlord raised the rent to $12,000 a month,” said manager Polo Revira, “and we cannot make a business out of it anymore.”
Landlord Brusco Realty disputed Revira’s characterization.
“Absolutely not,” said a spokesman from Brusco. “There was no big rent raise.”
“He’s lying,” Revira countered. “We don’t have a lease anymore, we pay month by month. He raised the rent.”
Brusco didn’t return our second call to respond to Revira. In the first call, the spokesman confirmed that Joon’s is closing on Tuesday, November 7th, and said Revira told him he was “being squeezed out by Whole Foods” and the fact that “the new generation of Upper West Siders doesn’t cook fish, they eat out or order in.”
“We can’t make a business of it,” Revira admitted. “There’s no future in it.”
The City Cook site praised the spot as a reliable source of fresh fish (they also say the store opened in 1986 which would make it 31 years old).
“They will cut to order and always have a big variety to offer. On any visit you may find bluefish from Montauk, octopus, wild shrimp, soft-shelled crabs, gorgeous tuna and swordfish steaks, or wild King salmon plus regular choices like sea bass, salmon steaks and flounder. They also have a tank of live lobsters. Prices are excellent and service is warm and friendly.”
Revira said neighborhood tastes are changing.
“I feel bad, I’ll miss my customers,” he said. “Always I think of my customers. I love my customers, but what can I do? The old generation is moving out. The new generation wouldn’t cook fish. They order in. There’s no future in this place.”
And what’s in Revira’s future?
“I’m putting in an application to Whole Foods,” he said.
Photo by @above_96th.