Openings & Closings: Lucciola, An American Craftsman, Prelude Cafe, Rita’s Ice, Montmartre

A new Italian restaurant and a cafe are getting ready to open on the Upper West Side, along with other local openings and closings.

A new restaurant called Lucciola is opening in the long-vacant space at 621 Amsterdam Avenue, off of 90th Street on the east side of the block. Lucciola apparently means “firefly”. A sign in the window says it will serve brunch and dinner. Thanks to Kenneth, Margaret and Matthew for the tips, and to Margaret for the photo.

An American Craftsman, a shop that sells artisan jewelry, home decor and clothing, has opened in the former home of Rain at 74th and Columbus. “We have everything imaginable & unimaginable for the holidays. Including one of a kind woman’s wearable art featuring Meiko Mintz,” wrote Richard Rothbard, executive director of An American Craftsman. “If all goes well we will sign a long term lease,” he wrote.

Rita’s Ice has closed its location at 2486 Broadway (between 92nd and 93rd), with a manager citing increasing rent and expenses. “We can’t increase the price of the product. No one is gonna pay 6 bucks for Italian ice. We tried as much as we could but we couldn’t make it work.” They are still available for catering at the same phone number.

Lincoln Center and its official coffee sponsor Nespresso will open the Prelude Café & Bar Curated by Nespresso, inside Alice Tully Hall’s glass lobby at the corner of Broadway and 65th Street on November 14. The cafe will serve coffee, light bites and larger dishes like braised short ribs and Nicoise salads. It will be open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Montmartre, the clothing chain that closed its location on Broadway between 71st and 72nd a couple of years ago, has a new storefront on Broadway between 68th and 69th. “Currently the store is selling super reduced nice clothing – seems like some sort of pre-opening warehouse sale,” wrote Alice.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 22 comments | permalink
    1. joe says:

      There are indeed people who will pay 6 bucks for Italian Ice. Just add the words “Artisinal” and “Locally Sourced”.

    2. Sean says:

      Is the Prelude Cafe replacing what was already in the Tully lobby or is it an addition?

    3. R says:

      Prelude Cafe Is the former American Place. Changed some seating and “sort of” enclosed the dining area. Still cafeteria style ordering BUT ,and here’s the big but, they don’t serve coffee anymore!! Can you believe? Only cappuccino, latte, & Americano at $5 a cup. The food is good most of the time, but this is America! I want my coffee. No coffee- no me. And I ate there once or twice a week.

    4. Juan says:

      I will miss Rita’s but I assume they had a lot of seasonality in their business so I can see their problem.

    5. Elizabeth says:

      Rita’s might have fared better if they hadn’t gotten a B. No one wants to think about dessert having critters near it!

    6. Jacqueline Santiago says:

      I live on W. 90th and stopped by to see the new Lucciola spot after reading about it here this morning. I was excited that there is going to be a nice local place to go. There was a man inside at a counter looking at a computer screen. I knocked on the window and gestured with my hands to ask when they would be opening and he pointed to his headphones and shook his head as if he couldn’t hear me. Went right back to his screen. Very impolite. Welcome to the neighborhood ass….

      • Kenneth says:

        …or maybe he was just a guy an IT service setting up a computer and who had nothing to do with the restaurant.
        …or maybe you were the10th person to tap at the window that morning
        My experience was on a Saturday afternoon when they were assembling the tables and chairs – and they couldn’t have been more excited to say hello and tell me about the restaurant – so don’t be so quick to judge.

      • lynn says:

        Maybe he was there setting up a computer system and had nothing to do with opening the store?

      • jbucko says:

        …perhaps he was on a skype phone call; one should not immediately be so judgmental.

    7. mome says:

      Mandee’s on 96th and Broadway has closed down and Chase Bank will be taking over that building, right next to AT&T. Chase bank next to McDonald’s will be closing down in February 2018.

    8. Bruce Bernstein says:

      2 weekends ago, on a Sat, i walked from 96th to 86th on Bway and back, to count the number of stores that are vacant, and the percent of vacant space.

      this is a VERY ROUGH estimate. the percentages are based roughly on frontage on the street, which i “paced off”. so it is only good as a “rule of thumb.” also, some things might have changed since i did this, and with one or two stores, i wasn’t sure if they were just closed on a Sat afternoon or vacant. and of course i might have made a mistake or two.

      also the percentages are thrown off by non-store space, such as churches… this would make the vacant percentage a little higher than my count.

      the percentages also differ because the vacant storefronts had various widths.

      West Side of Bway:

      95 – 96: 3 vacancies, total 50%
      94- 95: 0 vacancies
      93-94: 4 vacancies, 37%
      92-93: 0
      91-92: 1 vacancy, 12%
      90-91: 1 vac, 8%
      89 – 90: 0
      88 – 89: 0
      87-88: 1 vac, 20%
      86 – 87: 0

      total West side: 12.7% vacant

      East side of Bway:

      95-96: 0
      94-95: 3 vac, 25%
      93-94: 1 vac, 15%
      92-93: 0
      91-92: 1 vac, 15%
      90- 91: 0
      89-90: 2 vc, 22%
      88-89: 1 vac, 7%
      87-88: 0
      86-87: 3 vac, 65%

      total E Side of Bway: 14.9%

      total both sides: 13.8%

    9. fsoyer says:

      If the Rita’s sold their Cantaloupe Ices more than once every 4 months, they would still be in business.