Openings & Closings: Thai 72, Panda Express, Pret A Manger, Turkuaz, Lucciola

A new Thai restaurant just opened on the Upper West Side, along with several other eateries and businesses.

A new restaurant called Thai 72 just opened in the former home of Lime Leaf Thai restaurant on 72nd Street near Columbus Avenue. “Staff was friendly and the menu extensive,” wrote Rebecca, who sent photos. Shots of the menu are here and here. “Food is great, service is excellent and the vibe is very hip. Excellent small bar inside as well. Great date night spot,” Leo added.

Panda Express opened this week at 2852 Broadway at 111th Street and looked to be pretty packed on opening day. See the menu here. Thanks to Flash for the photos, and brokers Cory Zelnik & Jason Turner of Zelnik & Company for the tip.

Sandwich and salad shop Pret a Manger opened last week on Broadway between 115th and 116th. Thanks to Christopher for the tip.

Turkuaz, the Turkish restaurant that closed in August after 17 years on Broadway between 99th and 100th Street for 17 years, has opened a new location at 255 W 55th Street. “We were sad that we hadn’t been able to say proper goodbye to our previous customers and heard that they were asking around if we were opening again,” said Deniz Kocak, wife of owner Ali Kocak.

The old Millennium deli on 96th and Broadway looks like it may get replaced by another deli. Paul sent the photo above showing what look like deli cases.

Momentum Fitness and MICCASS Physical Therapy are moving to 246 Columbus Avenue, the former home of the Columbus 72 nightclub. They’ll be having a grand opening party on December 11. “Momentum Fitness offers one on one personal training and small group fitness classes while Miccass Physical Therapy provides one on one rehabilitation for orthopedic and sports injuries,” wrote Marco Guanilo, the owner of Momentum. His wife owns MICASS so he says they are truly a “mom and pop.”

Lucciola just opened at 90th Street and Amsterdam, and Rag correspondent Krista Carter was on hand last week for a special preview:

“The Bologna-based team behind Piccolo Cafe softly opened the doors of their newest ristorante, Lucciola (621 Amsterdam Avenue), greeting unsuspecting passersby with free wine and buffet bites.

Taking its name from the Italian word for “firefly”, Lucciola is adorned with light fixtures dispersed throughout the modest space that are meant to resemble (you guessed it) fireflies. The decor pays homage to Pupi Avati’s Festa di Laurea, from which Lucciola gets its inspiration. The cinematic and romantic backdrop serves as the perfect setting for an intimate dinner (Date night, anyone?) with every detail, from the silk wallpaper to the repurposed apartment tiles and warehouse door, ornately thought out. The level of craftsmanship is impressive, to say the least. Even more so is the food.

Executive Chef Michele Casadei Massari describes the cuisine as “authentic, but with a twist.” He adds, “If you go to Bologna, you will taste the same dishes, but what makes ours stand out is attention to the market.” Co-owner Erica Monti identifies Lucciola’s signature dishes as the homemade pastas, specifically, the Hand-made Fettucini Bolognese and the Classic Lasagna Bolognese, both of which will run you $17 a pop. Head Chef Gianluca Capozza was dishing out servings of the saucy specialities and this lucky West Sider snagged a bite. The verdict? Molto bene! In a land where bagels and smoked fish are king, we should welcome Lucciola with open mouths.”

The restaurant tweeted out a photo of the menu:

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 24 comments | permalink
    1. John says:

      Wow — Happy to hear Turkuaz has reopened, but sad it’s two miles south! But ya know what?! My wife and I love it so much, we’ll be happy to make the trip if food is still as delicious.

      • Joe says:

        I agree that it’s excellent news that they’ve reopened. Alas, that will be too far for delivery, I bet; they were one of my go-tos for ordering in. I’ll have to schlep to midtown when I want good Turkish food, I guess.

    2. Momentum FItness is offering free classes all day Sunday and Monday, December 10 & 11. Check out their website for schedule and to reserve your free spot!

      • Mark says:

        Thank you Marco!
        How long have you worked for Momentum Fitness?

        • @Mark, I am the owner of Momentum Fitness as well as a personal trainer/group fitness instructor. We would love to welcome all WSR readers to our grand opening with a 10% discount to all WSR who come to the Open House!

      • Arlene says:

        Can’t find anything online about the new Momentum Fitness on 72 St., only the one on 80th.
        More info please.

        • Hi Arlene, our website still has us listed at our 80th Street address as we are still operating here. We will officially be closing up here on Friday and reopening at 72nd street on Sunday, December 10. All the classes and schedules on our website are current and applicable to our new space. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out and we hope to see you there!

        • @Arlene, the website still lists our old address as 180 West 80th as we are still open and operating there. We will be shutting down and on Friday and reopening on Sunday at the 72ns street location so all schedules, prices and other information on the website is valid for the new 72nd street space. As an added bonus, we are offering 15% to all WSR readers for our Grand Opening weekend!

    3. Adriana says:

      Lucciola sounds lovely. If I may, “molto buono” may be more appropriate for a restaurant and food : )

    4. UWSSurfer says:

      I’m happy that a Thai restuarant has returned to the old Lime Leaf spot.

    5. Barbara Hariton says:

      There used to be a great Turkish restaurant on the north side of W 70th at the corner of Columbus that suddenly closed about 3 years ago and has been replaced by several places since.They had the best Tagine I ever ate. Do you know if they are in business elsewhere. Sorry, I forget the name.

    6. SJ Dolan says:

      Is it just me but do sandwich snd salads and soups at Pret a Manger have np taste????

    7. Mark Moore says:

      Anybody try Zen Taco yet where Firehouse used to be?

      Also the Mexican place on 96th and West End that’s affiliated with the taco truck still does not a have a sign outside saying what it is. They’ve revised the menu in some good ways, but the place is always empty it seems.

      • Uwsider says:

        Always empty. Have almost gone in a few times, but I don’t want to be the first one…

      • lmn says:

        Yes- the tacos got mixed reviews from my group (some loved theirs, some were not impressed). But everyone enjoyed the margaritas!

    8. Deniz says:


      This is Deniz from Turkuaz. No worries, the food will taste the same since we brought all the old gang down here and our Grand Opening prices are so good, extra transportation will not hurt the pockets.

    9. Matt says:

      Meatball Shop on Amsterdam and 81st closed. Too bad… it was reasonably priced and kid-friendly.

    10. Carol says:

      So excited about the brand new, expansive Momentum Fitness location! As I client, I can attest to the professionalism, breadth of knowledge, and encouragement I experience at Momentum. Once you set a goal with your trainer (especially Susanne!), you can reach and maintain it. You can’t get more personalized training anywhere.

    11. UpperWestSider says:

      i’ve literally been waiting my whole entire life (well the past 5 years..) for Pret to open a UWS location! Hopefully they’ll keep it up and have their stores trickle down to the 70s 🙂