Openings & Closings: Price Wise Discount, Biscuits & Bath, Pokebab, Smiles on Smiles, Joseph’s Pharmacy Expansion

The Price Wise Discount store on Broadway between 84th and 85th streets is closing at the end of June, with a sign on the door (shown below) saying that the landlord plans to redevelop the property. Price Wise has been around for 36 years. Readers are heartbroken. “Yet another mom-and-pop, that despite its small size always seemed to have whatever you needed, bites the dust,” wrote Jeff. “Every person walking by while I was taking this picture expressed deep dismay- one more of our longtime favorite Upper West local businesses lost to commercial ‘progress.’ They will be dearly missed,” wrote Mana. One bit of hope: they told one of our readers they’re looking for another location. Thanks to Cheryl, Mana, Nancy, Jeff, Kim, Peter, James and Karin for the tips and photos.

Biscuits & Bath, the doggie day care and grooming business right upstairs from Price Wise, is planning to move to a new location at 87th near Broadway. Thanks to Jeff for the tip.

Pokebab has opened its new restaurant at 2047A Broadway between 70th and 71st Streets, the former home of Maoz. The restaurant sells salads with chunks of raw fish, chicken or tofu. Here’s the menu. Thanks to @chengjih for the photo.

Smile on Smile Dental Care has opened on Amsterdam Avenue between 97th and 98th. Thanks to Naomi for the photo.

Joseph Pharmacy, the mom-and-pop shop on 72nd between Amsterdam and West End, is opening a second location right down the block, in the former home of Always Love drugstore on 72nd between Broadway and Columbus. It’s “for people who never cross Broadway,” the owner, Sherif Eltahawy said. It will probably take four to six months to open, because they have to build it out and get the licensing. Thanks to David for the photo.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 75 comments | permalink
    1. Pqw says:

      Sorry to see Price Wise close. Great place. Always had what I needed at a great price. Hope they find a place nearby

    2. Cozmocharlie says:

      YOU GO SHERIF! Congrats!

    3. UWSMom says:

      Does anyone know what will happen to Broadway Family Pharmacy (located in the rear of PriceWise)?

    4. Tom says:

      First we witnessed the decline of 96th to 86th. Now looks like it is extending on down to 79th. Sad.

      • Laura says:

        Totally agree. I don’t get any joyful feeling about living on the UWS any more. My friends who visit from Brooklyn and downtown tell me they can’t believe how depressing and soulless it’s become up here with all the closed up shops, scaffolding and garbage everywhere. The scaffolding on my street has been there for 3+ years! Dark and dreary. The only good thing left about UWS above 72 is access to Central Park, CPW and a few nice places around 79.

        • UWS via Believeland says:

          You said it. I’ve lived on my block for over 15 years and the decline is just depressing. But I do think the vacant storefronts are not just an UWS thing, the W Village ain’t looking so good either.

      • Shirley Z says:

        Correction! Moving further down B’way all the way to 72nd St!!! RE Westside Market, Nick’s Burger Joint, Niko’s Restaurant, etc. Now Pricewise! PLUS LOTS of EMPTY STOREFRONTS!!! What’s next???

    5. Cjberk says:

      Re:pricewise:it’s such a shame!! I loved them on 79th and then 84th and now they’re going altogether. For what? They truly have everything and will order whatever you need. With great discounted prices. Ok so we lost Westside Market and now Pricewise. And what have we gained? A useless soap store. Something is wrong with the UWS I keep saying that. It has become an inconvenient place to live. Not to mention filthy trash filled streets etc. But that’s another story.

      • Chrigid says:

        what is planned for that site? Certainly Price Wise is more important to us than some kind of luxury high-rise.

        • Rook says:

          “more important to us,” sure. More important to the greedy people who own that property? LOL keep dreaming D:

      • ScooterStan says:

        Re: “Something is wrong with the UWS …. an inconvenient place to live….filthy trash filled streets etc.”

        Well, just as “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” SO IS UGLY.

        The UWS is “inconvenient”?
        Tell that to all the 70-90+ years-old people who live here year-round, do their errands despite the weather, use public transportation, and would NEVER consider moving!

        Its streets are “filthy and trash-filled”?
        NOT as far as this observer can tell. AND, even if some might be, a call to 311 would probably rectify the “problem”.

        If that doesn’t work a call to Borough President Gale Brewer’s office should bring some solution….UNLESS the “problem” is JUST in the “eye of the beholder”.

        • Lyri Clark says:

          Scooter Stan: we’ve all seen your comments over time. Odd that you can’t see what everyone else knows. Maybe you don’t live here. The overflowing trash, the dirt, the empty stores, the systematic closing of consumer favorites (Westside Market, Loves, Big Nicks, Food Emporium, now Price Wise and on and on) and the general decline of UWS environment. You really should look at what’s been happening for a long time now. Only it seems, on the Upper West Side. Too bad for us.

        • Tim says:

          ScooterStan – you’re absolutely right. Some people will always see the the glass as half empty, and you’ll never be able to convince them otherwise.

    6. Ellie Steinman says:

      Oh no!! We love Price Wise! They are the best. Hope they can find another location😰

    7. Filatura says:

      I’m pleased to see an indie pharmacy doing well enough to open a second location. There are several on the UWS that offer the kind of personal attention and service that you just can’t get from the ubiquitous chains. Maybe the Rag could do profiles on some of these, among them, Ivan, at 93rd and Columbus and Apthorp, at 79th & Broadway. But especially my “local,” Park West, at 82nd and Columbus, where I am greeted by name, where they participate in my prescription drug plan, where they cheerfully deliver and where — in a manageably small space — I can find anything from high-end hair products to mailing envelopes.

    8. Drew says:

      What a great addition to the block. Congratulations and you will see the support you receive from this community
      Drew

    9. Miranda Smith says:

      Between 72nd and 86th St. Wasteland .No supermarkets , Bad pizza , Bad Chinese food. Takeout salad chains with major preservatives.Empty Storefronts. Hoping for change one day.

      • Woody says:

        There are no supermarkets between 72nd St and 86th St?

      • Tim says:

        Exaggerate much?? That’s like saying this city doesn’t have any good museums or theater. Nobody is forcing you to live here honey. The UWS isn’t perfect but I personally wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world.

    10. Kathleen Treat says:

      YAY!!!!!

    11. Sue L says:

      Can only repeat other readers’ comments about Price Wise–there’s nothing like ’em anywhere else on the UWS! (And as to Broadway Family Pharmacy, the newer drugstore next to Broadway Farm is hardly an option–and at least one of their pharmacists has major “attitude” issues!)

      • KittyH says:

        Do you mean Broadway Chemists or Broadway Family Pharmacy? B’wy Chemists is next to B’wy Farm and we’ve had good experiences with them, where pharmacists took on involvement above and beyond what I’d expect, ironing out Rx issues.

    12. Françoise Marcus says:

      Love Joseph pharmacy! So glad you’re coming over.

    13. lynn says:

      I was concerned that Joseph’s would be closing due to the new condo going up next door. Such a surprise to learn they’re actually opening a 2nd store. Great news!

    14. Sean says:

      Yeah and Price Wise used to be on the corner of Broadway and W74th St. back in the day. And there was another one on Broadway further on up.

    15. sam seibert says:

      Rotten shame losing Price Wise. Reasonable prices and really sweet human beings behind the counter. Want them to know they will be missed.

    16. RobRoy says:

      I shop Pricewise 3 or 4 times a week. It’s prices are really good – cheaper than many bargain online sites. It will be sorely missed.

      The corner property, next to Pricewise, has been empty for a long time. I wonder if a highrise will be going up on the corner?

      • Cato says:

        “The corner property, next to Pricewise, has been empty for a long time. I wonder if a highrise will be going up on the corner?”

        Of course a high rise will go up. Also vacating, as the story mentions, is the doggie-spa upstairs from Price Wise. The card store to the south has been vacant for a while, and the bank to the north as you say is also gone. (Now we know why it’s been left vacant for so long.)

        So all that’s left is an upstairs nail parlor, and then down comes this two-story taxpayer and UP UP UP goes a new ultra-super-deluxe condo for more bankers and oligarchs. Just what we needed!

        Ain’t progress grand??

    17. Lisa says:

      So excited that Joseph’s is going into the former LOVE’S space. It’s nice to see indepedent stores expanding. Happy to support them.

    18. Susan says:

      Come north to Manhattan Valley/Morningside Heights. Lots of vacant spaces that would work including the former Duane Reade on Amsterdam Ave. and West 108th.

    19. Kelly says:

      I remember Price Wise allowing in one patron at a time during the blackout, with an employee guiding each person through the store with a flashlight to find what was needed. They stayed open while the big chains closed. I had shopped there before, but became a loyal patron from then on. Such a loss to the neighborhood!

    20. jerry says:

      Good store – good prices, selection and – most important – very good people – especially the cashiers. We’re watching our “neighborhood” erode…and that neighborhood is a primary reason so many people want in. But by the time they unpack their boxes, it’ll be out.

      • Cato says:

        Kind of makes you think about the off-Broadway musical “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”, doesn’t it?

        All those new-money people want to live in this great neighborhood, *but* not shop in those (icky!) mom-and-pop stores or eat in those local (What? Not even *one* Michelin star?) restaurants.

        And, as we know from this Commentarium, they *certainly* don’t want all those scuzzy middle-class people who have been here for 40, 50 or 60 years (or more) to be taking housing off the market — “Move ’em to the outer boroughs!” “Make them pay the same thing I’m paying, or toss them out!”

        So, more ultra-luxe condos, and no doubt more ultra-luxe invaders.

        Bye, bye, neighborhood!

        • Sherman says:

          I think you should write a letter to Jeff Bezos and tell him to stop selling so much stuff to UWS residents as so many stores are closing because of Amazon.

          • dannyboy says:

            Fake

            “But the more likely explanation is that landlords are willing to lose a tenant and leave a storefront empty as a form of speculation. They’ll trade a short-term loss for the chance eventually to land a much richer tenant, like a bank branch or national retail chain, which might pay a different magnitude of rent. If you’re a landlord, why would you keep renting to a local café or restaurant at five thousand or ten thousand dollars a month when you might get twenty thousand or even forty thousand dollars a month from Chase? In addition, if a landlord owns multiple properties, dropping the price on one may bring down the price for others.”

            https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/why-are-there-so-many-shuttered-storefronts-in-the-west-village

    21. AC says:

      Price Wise , , , WOW! They first opened in the early 80’s on the SE corner of 80th street (site of Food City); then after about two decades relocated to 81 street (NE corner); then relocated to West 84/85 street. They have served the UWS well and I hope they find a suitable store front.

      Ever since the Building Dept. relaxed the zoning rules, these small two story building lots along B’way are being replaced by high rises.

    22. D-Rex says:

      Price Wise!!! Noooooooooo…….
      Very sad to hear. Nice people and a well run store.
      So continues the domination of the national chains. We will soon all be sentenced to shop in CVS and Duane Reade.

    23. Marci says:

      Very sad to hear about Price Wise. They have everything you need and then some, and everyone is super helpful.

      I can’t say I agree about there being garbage everywhere,but it seems like the UWS is becoming kind of boring. Even on a beautiful Saturday, the streets are so quiet now. Maybe because of the empty storefronts? I really don’t know. We’ve lost our energy or something.

    24. Sue says:

      Pricewise!?!? Oh no!

      Wonderful selection. Wonderful staff (seriously, ask ANY employee where ANYTHING is and they can accurately tell you or will take you there.

      I love the managers too. (Dawn and Hasan, you will be missed.

      Cashiers great too

      Doesn’t sound like they are looking for a new UWS location. Would be great if they did.

      Still in mourning about Westside Market (REALLY miss them!) and Lincoln Plaza Cinemas (ditto)

      Nice about Joesph. Happy that a mom and pop store is is expanding rather than closing.

    25. UW says:

      heartbroken to see Price Wise close i go there every weekend 🙁 can’t they open somewhere else on UWS?

      glad to see that empty space on 72nd will be filled by another drugstore – there are definitely people who never cross Broadway, like me lol

    26. dannyboy says:

      Does “redevelop” mean teat down?

      I’m losing track of the doublespeak.

      • Felicia says:

        What are you saying?
        Please leave your teats out of it.
        Stick to your laundry.

        A haiku

    27. Carlos says:

      I was wondering why the building next to Pricewise that most recently was a Wells Fargo and I believe previously was a restaurant had been empty for a while. I’m guessing a developer will be combining that property with Pricewise to build something big.

      Hopefully worst case they won’t be able to go any higher than the buildings on the other three corners of the intersection (Broadway Farm, Victoria’s Secret and French Roast). Broadway continues to get darker and darker…

    28. Glen says:

      I am sure the buildings on the lot will be razed and fabulous new rentals (starting $10/k month) will take its place. Further due to zoning requirements the new building will have retail space on the street level that no one will ever rent. Not to mention the several hundred new residents who will use the 86th subway stop with its single exit at the south end of the platform.

    29. Chris says:

      Anyone know why all of these storefronts
      stay empty? Are the owners getting a
      tax break from the city? How can they
      afford to lose the income?

      • MJ says:

        I’m sure of it. Or else they would have kept their former tenants or be more in a hurry to fill the space.

        What does “redevelop” mean? Another damn high rise? WTF is the mayor/Gail Brewer/Helen Rosenthal??

      • Sherman says:

        There’s no secret “tax break” for landlords when their space is empty and I wish people would stop spreading such ignorant nonsense.

        The reason so many stores are empty – on the UWS and throughout the country – is largely due to competition from online vendors.

        I was on a main drag in a nice part of Westchester this past weekend and there were also, unfortunately, many empty stores.

        Ever hear of a company called Amazon?

        • MJ says:

          Amazon? No, I’ve NEVER heard of it! Please continue educating me.

          Yes — online competition continues hurting all brick and mortar stores. But when you make less income, you pay less taxes. Business can also claim losses. Call it whatever you want.

          Landlords are pushing out tenants because they are raising rents. Then they can’t fill the spaces because they are asking more than the space is worth. Why not just keep the tenant who was paying in the space? Isn’t that better for a landlord than sitting empty?

          • dannyboy says:

            market value.

            because these private equity funds keep the property vacant while claiming a loss with the lost market rent for this property in their portfolio.

        • dannyboy says:

          Amazon did it?

          New York retail property agent Robin Zendell:

          “It’s too simplistic to blame Amazon. The same signals of over-pricing are seen in every area of real estate, including housing. “When you see [that] every corner has a bank or a pharmacy, and there is a gym on the second floor, there’s a simple reason for that: people can’t afford the rent.

          “Why did restaurants go to Brooklyn? Because it’s cool? No, because it was cheap, and [because] restaurateurs were sick of giving investors’ money away so they could pay their rent.”
          https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/dec/24/new-york-retail-shops-amazon-rent

      • dannyboy says:

        Increasingly private equity finds own these properties. They have deep pockets and can hold out for a chain lessee. While vacant, they just reduce their taxable income on the portfolio by the lost expected income.

        They are, for most of us, not good neighbors.

        • Sherman says:

          I’m a CPA and you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

          A landlord can’t “reduce” its income by lost rent. They simply have no rental income to be taxed on.

          As they have other expenses associated with the property, i.e. Utilities, real estate taxes, insurance etc, they don’t come out ahead by having an empty space.

          There’s no tax advantage to a landlord for having empty space.

          • dannyboy says:

            Sherman thank you for disclosing your profession.

            Caveat emptor folks.

            • Sherman says:

              Hi dannyboy

              Thanks for disclosing your pathetic ignorance.

              Sherm

            • dannyboy says:

              Sherm, I’ll try once again, because I see you’re frustrating yourself.

              Any Real Estate Investment Vehicle (for example, a Real Estate Investment Trust [REIT] or Private Equity) will have a number of properties in their portfolio, upon which they incur depreciation and Income/Losses. It is the “Income/Losses” that we will focus on here.

              If properties within the portfolio are vacant, the amount of income forgone reduces the total income in the portfolio. The taxable basis is thus reduced.

              The Investor/Speculator is holding out for a chain to put IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD.

              The effect of this speculation is (1) neighborhood stores are closing, (2) vacancies are increasing (currently 12% on the UWS), and banks and Duane Reade are proliferating. Is it that you don’t care about your neighbors, or that you just don’t understand?

          • Tim says:

            Sherman, you are spot on. I did a paper when I got my MBA analyzing similar scenarios, and it mirrored many of the points you made. But many people like to believe in conspiracy theories because it’s more fun than facing facts.

            • dannyboy says:

              Tim, when you write “Sherman, you are spot on.”, then you agree with Sherman that “A landlord can’t ‘reduce’ its income by lost rent. They simply have no rental income to be taxed on.”?

              But with an MBA you must know about portfolios, investment vehicles, REITS, Private Equity and the like, ALL OF WHICH hold a portfolio of properties and thus DO have rental income from those other properties to be taxed on. You must know the vacant property generating depreciation and operating expense losses.

              Sorry to hear about your alma mater accepting that paper though.

            • Sherman says:

              Hi Tim

              You’re 100% correct.

              Instead of educating themselves about an issue they know nothing about there are people on this site who shout out ignorant nonsense about conspiracies.

              Kind of like the old expression ” don’t confuse me with the facts I’ve already made up my mind”.

              Sherm

            • Woody says:

              So the CPA and the MBA are being lectured about the effect of “lost expected income” on taxable income by someone of questionable proficiency. For someone who claims to have worked on Wall Street to exhibit such profound ignorance of income taxes is remarkable.

              It doesn’t take a genius to know that if one doesn’t have income, they don’t pay taxes. Trying to imply that a landlord is allowed to even further deduct the “lost expected income” from other income is absurd and misleading.

              It’s like losing a job and not having any income to pay taxes on. It doesn’t matter that one has other sources of income – they still don’t have the income that was associated with the job. Knowing that they don’t pay taxes because they’re unemployed doesn’t put them in an advantageous position.

            • dannyboy says:

              Woody, your collaborators have managed to confuse each other, and now you. So when you write:
              “It doesn’t take a genius to know that if one doesn’t have income, they don’t pay taxes…

              It’s like losing a job and not having any income to pay taxes on. It doesn’t matter that one has other sources of income – they still don’t have the income that was associated with the job. Knowing that they don’t pay taxes because they’re unemployed doesn’t put them in an advantageous position.”

              YOU NEED TO REALIZE THAT I WROTE NOTHING LIKE THAT but that is what you choose to reply to. Talk about creating a strawman!

              I did, however comment SEVERAL TIMES that these are INVESTMENT PORTFOLIOS OF PROPERTIES held by Private Equity and similar vehicles. So THERE IS INCOME PRODUCING PROPERTIES in the portfolio. Please stop believing that every property on the UWS is separately separately owned.

              The only thing worse than you three accusing any pushback to some “conspiracy theory” is the real fact that these developers received such enormous tax benefit from Trump’s tax cuts, that this will continue on an accelerated basis to the glee of you deniers.

    30. Mark Moore says:

      Any retail space that exists in a one or two story building on Broadway is vulnerable to “redevelopment.” It’s happening on the SW corner of 96th and also the former Payless shoe store a couple blocks south.

      • Mutaman says:

        This will continue to happen to us until we force the politicians to enact commercial rent regulation. It would be a tough fight but necessary unless you want nothing but banks and Wallgreens and empty units.

        • Mark Moore says:

          It will continue to happen until it’s no longer financial beneficial to knock down short buildings and replace them with tall ones.

        • B.B. says:

          Does not have much to do with “commercial rent regulation” per se as something have mentioned several times in this forum.

          Many of these low rise building along avenues or major cross town streets pre-date NYC’s 1961 zoning resolutions. As such they simply are smaller than what current zoning allows, and all that extra FAR (Floor Area Ratio) is now very valuable for redevelopment.

          This and many properties simply were built as “tax payer” buildings anyway awaiting a better time for redevelopment.

          250-256 West 81st Street currently being redeveloped into AM Stern’s new luxury condo building was a “taxpayer” three story retail.

          The Zeckendorf family did same a few decades ago when they tore down the old Embassy movie theatre (that building itself was a taxpayer which replaced former Hotel Saint Andrew), at 201 West 72nd Street.

          Long story short for whatever reasons the 1961 zoning resolution often meant to concentrate height/density along the avenues/main cross streets, but leaving side streets (especially in the brownstone areas of UES, UWS, West Village, etc..) with lower.

          201 West 72nd Street

          • Lets not forget the damage done to retail space inventory by urban renewal projects. NYCHA and Mitchel Lama above 87th street were built without storefronts. Developers are correcting some of this but it will never restore it to pre 1950’s levels. Trader Joe’s, Party City and Columbus Square are all in locations that were retail dead zones.

            The old tax payers are out of date for modern retail businesses. They need too many upgrades. Modern HVAC, electrical, gas, elevators, communications and fire protection systems are expensive. Even though the tenant is expected to pay for all the preliminary upgrades needed, they do not get much of a rent break in an older building. The big retail corporations are the only ones able to pay to stay in the game.

            We need more retail space and the old zoning doesn’t really provide the types of buildings needed. A greater inventory of retail space could bring rents down if a certain threshold is reached. Bigger buildings can spread the costs among more tenants. Competitive pricing and variety are needed. Why pay more for less?

            • dannyboy says:

              “We need more retail space and the old zoning doesn’t really provide the types of buildings needed. A greater inventory of retail space could bring rents down if a certain threshold is reached. Bigger buildings can spread the costs among more tenants. Competitive pricing and variety are needed. Why pay more for less?”

              Is that “We” the Developers, or “We the Finance Industry, or “We” the Speculators, or “We” the Remakers of the UWS to be more like the suburb we grew up in?

              Please clarify, when you speak for us.

      • dannyboy says:

        Is “redevelopment” like “reeducation”. I’ve misplaced my doublespeak thesaurus.

        • Mark Moore says:

          It’s common usage of a basic term.

          • dannyboy says:

            Tear down?

            Build up?

            Keep vacant?

            Contribute blight to our neighborhood?

            Which “common usage of a basic term”? Speculators have so many these days.

            Blight?

            Which

    31. local shopper says:

      Another long time business closing and does anyone know what NYC SBS is doing about this? They seem to have a ton of jobs on their website, but the agency seems to be a sesspool of Deblasio hacks who have no clue about small business.

    32. Mike D Nyc says:

      I’ve been UWSider since 1972. For every favorite new place that has opened in the past dozen years or so about ten favorite old places have gone away. Price Wise is just the latest neighborhood favorite whose absence I will miss.
      As others here have said, you could ask any Price Wise employee where anything was and you would be shown Or taken to the item. Price Wise also always had its sales items in sticky. Try finding a sales item on the shelf at Rite Aid. They’re usually sold out.
      Bad news here. Bad, bad, bad.

    33. Jeff says:

      Congratulations to both Sherif and our neighbors east of Broadway. I’ve been shopping at Joseph’s for 20 + years – Their service is second to none. Best of luck!!

    34. Lyri Clark says:

      Watch yourself here. One pharmacist ED is unacceptably rude even when mistakes are his; we won’t deal with him. In addition, we were never informed of their “loyalty card” after our family spent thousands through the years. We like Sherif a lot but will go elsewhere when possible just to avoid problems. Still a customer but with reservations. And always check your pharmacy prices;they tend NOT to check 3rd party insurance discounts. Be vigilant!