A Replacement for A Beloved Fish Market and Other Openings Revealed at Liquor License Hearing

By Alex Israel

There’s already a replacement lined up for Joon Westside Fish Market, which closed a few weeks ago after being in business 26 years. That, and other changes to the Upper West Side bar ad restaurant scene were revealed earlier this month at a liquor license hearing held by Community Board 7’s Business & Consumer Issues Committee.

Boru Boru, a Kosher Japanese restaurant at 774 Amsterdam Ave (West 98th St) would replace Joon. The owner, Daniel Zelkowitz, is looking to reach an “underserved market” and believes serving “Kosher food that goes outside of the norm” will draw visitors in from all over the city.

Frank’s, at 425 Amsterdam Ave (West 80th St) would replace McAleer’s Pub, an UWS staple, in name only – it will be owned and managed by the same family who has operated it for the last sixty years, and will continue to serve standard pub fare. Committee Co-Chair Michele Parker was glad to see the business remain in the family, calling it one “one of the anchors” of the Upper West Side.

Dive 106 at 938 Amsterdam Ave (West 106th St) would replace Amsterdam Tavern, which closed in September. According to owner Lee Seinfeld, it will serve as a “neighborhood bar with a pub style menu,” in a similar manifestation as its sister establishments: Dive Bar, Dive 75, and Broadway Dive.

Seven Hills Mediterranean Grill at 158A West 72nd St (Amsterdam Ave) would replace Seven’s Turkish Grill upon final approval, continuing the same operation in service of Turkish food.

The full community board will vote on the four approved applications during the next full board meeting on December 5th, 2017.

At another bar, a group of entrepreneurs are looking to take over. The potential new owners are looking to shake things up at 955 West End Avenue (West 107th St), the current home of The West End, a subterranean lounge with a back room featuring stand-up comedy, live music, and karaoke.

Eric Edlund and two additional partners have applied for Approval of Corporate Change through the New York State Liquor Authority, in a proposed buy out of the current owner, Eric Fisler. If approved, they would gain ownership of the business and retain the liquor license renewed successfully by Fisler earlier this year.

After years of residence across the street from the current establishment and experience as a performer himself, Edlund had “always seen a lot of potential” for the live performance space, and has as a result, alongside his partners, chosen to make a “considerable investment into the business,” starting with buying out Fisler.

While admittedly lacking prior experience in managing a business of this nature, the potential owners expressed their willingness to engage with the community to hear out some of their grievances, in order to take the appropriate steps in fixing them should they receive the approval to move forward with the buy out.

Following more than an hour and a half of testimonial from 20-plus neighborhood residents during a monthly meeting, the Community Board 7 Business & Consumer Issues Committee voted to postpone any resolution for the transfer of ownership, requesting more time to scope out the location and gather additional information on the procedures to date.

Concerns ranged from the unrelenting noise coming from inside and outside the building until as late as 5 AM, constant plumes of smoke from cigarettes and other illicit substances entering their homes, and garbage and broken glass regularly littering the street. Many residents have filed regular reports to 311 and the local police, which they feel have gone unanswered following the apparently unchallenged renewal of the lounge’s liquor license.

“Right from the moment the place opened, it’s been an issue,” said Elizabeth Riley, a resident of one of the neighboring buildings for 44 years.

The committee will discuss the issue in more detail at 5:30 on December 5th, prior to the monthly CB7 board meeting at Fordham University, hoping to come to a resolution to present to the full board.

Photo by David.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 10 comments | permalink
    1. Paul RL says:

      The sushi joint should hire Mr. Revira back and open a fresh fish counter. Win-win for (almost) everyone!

    2. Scott says:

      It’s interesting how stores on Amsterdam get filled quickly, while storefronts on Broadway stay shuttered for literally years. The differences in rent must be astronomical. And for me, as a shopper, I really don’t care which street you’re on.

    3. Mormuse says:

      Being a resident of the block I have often wondered how the tenants of the corner building can tolerate the noise of loud rock music in the late hours!

    4. NotTinaFey, no really I'm NOT says:

      What’s going to replace Mani Market a week after Trader Joe’s comes in?

    5. APF says:

      Kosher Raameeeeeeeeeen! I have been jealous of all these other folks getting their choice of Ramen. It will be nice to have a kosher Ramen option….and it will definitely be different than the norm of what is served at the other kosher restaurants in the area. I hope it is approved!

    6. Tom D. says:

      This is Seinfeld’s second try at the Amsterdam & 106 location. He opened “Amsterdam 106” there about 10 years ago, then ownership ended up passing over to someone else not too long later which is when I think it became “Amsterdam Tavern”. Not sure that I’ll ever patronize the place. In my opinion the Broadway Dive has gone downhill over the past 5-10 years.

      BTW: Panda Express at 111th St opened on Wednesday.

      • Tom D. says:

        There’s also a new Pretty a Manger on Broadway btw 115th and 116th, next to the Shake Shack. Not sure if it’s actually open yet, but if not, it looks like it could be any day. — Okay, BWOG says it opens Friday 12/1.

        It’s in the space that was formerly Vine Sushi. I hadn’t been paying much attention that bock, and with the scaffolding that’s been in place there I never even noticed that Vine had closed and that something else was moving in.

      • Tom.D says:

        On a roll, it looks like Mama’s Too pizza on B’way btw 105 and 106 has finally opened.