Openings & Closings: Gristedes, Europan Cafe, Dig Inn, Gong Cha Bubble Tea, Hula Poke, Belong Kitchen, Nussbaum & Wu

The Gristedes on 86th Street between Broadway and West End Avenue is closing on Saturday, July 7. An employee told us someone “bought the building,” but did not have further information. A company rep did not respond to a request for comment.  “I know people will pile on them but for grocery staples, they were pretty good,” wrote Ilene. “This leaves us with only Key Food at 86th and Amsterdam as a grocery store between 96th and 74th street (Pioneer Market),” wrote one tipster. Thanks to Kersten for the photo.

Hale and Hearty on Broadway and 82nd Street closed on June 22. Thanks to Jeff for the photo and to several others for tips.

Europan Cafe has closed after 15 years at 135 Columbus Avenue (between 65th and 66th Streets). “Like everything, all good things must come to an end,” the restaurant said on a sign. Thanks to our tipsters for photos.

Dig Inn is set to open today at 100 West 67th Street between Broadway and Columbus, in the former home of Nick & Toni’s. (UPDATE: the soft opening was postponed until July 6, with the grand opening on July 9.) “We will be having a ‘farmer’s market’ pop up on our opening day where the first 100 guests can build their own market bag with produce from our farm!” wrote a company rep.   Thanks to Diane for the tip.

A bodega is opening in the former home of Grandaisy Bakery (176 West 72nd Street), says our mystery tipster, who spoke with a construction worker on the scene.


And we’re getting another bubble tea spot called Gong Cha, Rich reports. “Further expanding the Asian food offerings near Columbia, a Gong Cha bubble tea store is going into the small space between Banco Popular and Columbia Copy on Broadway between 108 and 109. This will be its seventh store in New York City (six in Manhattan, one in Flushing). The location is on the east side of Broadway and will sit between 108 Food, the popular dry hot pot restaurant on the southeast corner of 108th and Broadway, and the big new H-Mart Asian supermarket at 110th.” The website is here.

And that’s not all, says Dave Cook, who sent in the photo above. “Big new Sichuan coming to West 109th: Belong Kitchen will span the storefronts previously occupied by Saji’s and Legend Upper West. Opening is planned for late summer, according to an owner, before the return of Columbia students this fall.”

A new sushi/poke spot called Hula Poke is opening On Amsterdam, between 110th and 11th. Thanks to Sam for the tip.

Longtime University hardware and houseware stores are combining and making a move, Meredith tells us. “University Housewares and University Hardware (2 locations on the same block on Broadway between 113th and 114th Streets) are moving across the street into a single storefront where Ricky’s used to be next to the Morningside Heights Branch of the NYPL at 113th and Broadway. They expect to move July 1. According to Bob–the manager (owner?)–he’s been at the housewares store since 1984 and the hardware store has been in that location for 80 years.”

Lida’s Beauty Lounge opened on Broadway between 99th & 100th earlier this month. Thanks to David for the photo.

And a longtime Columbia favorite, Nussbaum & Wu bagel shop at 2897 Broadway may have closed for good. It’s been shuttered for several days and Bwog, a Columbia student blog, reported that a sign on the door said the owner “has failed the community of Columbia University and all his vendors.” That sign then came down. The phone was disconnected the last time we checked. “On Wednesday, a sign from electricity company Con Edison appeared in the bagel shop’s window stating that the building’s owners had not applied for service, and so gas and electricity would be shut off without further action,” the Columbia Spectator reported. Thanks to Aviva for the tip.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 65 comments | permalink
    1. Tom says:

      Broadway between 79 and 96 is going downhill. Fast. Empty store after empty store. Super depressing.

      • Mark Moore says:

        It’s now been over five years since the Blockbuster Video at Broadway and 93rd closed and the space is still vacant.

    2. Carlos says:

      I am sorry to hear about Gristedes closing. It was always a little dodgy and smelly but in an emergency it was a good place to pick up staple products at a somewhat reasonable price.

      The Gristedes is located in the same condo building where the Banana Republic recently closed. I don’t know if they are hoping to combine the two into one mega-store? With the store on the NE corner also closed for ages, there is a lot of empty prime real estate at that intersection.

      • Shibboleth says:

        There will be no mega-store. There will not be any store, period.

        The lots across the street at Broadway and 86th (formerly the old Banana store and Club Monaco) have sat empty for years. Prime corner spaces next to a subway stop – high visibility and pedestrian traffic. Nothing.

    3. UWSHebrew says:

      any news if Milk & Honey will ever re-open? It looks abandoned inside, like someone died.

    4. Marci says:

      The loss of one grocery store after the other is getting to be a bit much. The UWS is such a desirable neighborhood. Why isn’t any supermarket interested in coming here?

      • Sherman says:

        Huh?

        Maybe you haven’t noticed but there are several Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s in the neighborhood and they’re always crowded.

        Old supermarket chains like Gristedes are closing because they can’t compete with TJs and WF.

        • K R says:

          The Gristede’s on 103 and Broadway is incredibly expensive and not so clean- Thank you H Mart for opening! The stretch of Broadway between 106-110 is food heaven- tho’ often pricey. I love the TJs on 93!

          • Vanir says:

            Yes! Gristedes is pretty rank, not as smelly as the Key Foods and Associated stores but so much more expensive for the funk.

      • Bill D says:

        As that mayoral candidate whose name I forget used as the basis for his campaign “the rents too damn high”

    5. Kevin says:

      The comment about Key Foods being the only grocery store between 96th street and 74th street is inaccurate. A cursory search shows numerous grocery stores, including the newly opened Trader Joe’s (93rd and Columbus), D’Agostinos (91st and Columbus), and the other Gristedes (84th and Columbus).

      • RF says:

        As well as Barzini’s, Broadway Farm, and Uptown Whole Foods along Broadway in the 80s/low 90s. Westside Market is just above 96th and is a good option as well.

      • Michael G says:

        What Kevin said.

        WSR could have done a 30-second fact check on the tipster’s comment (“This leaves us with only Key Food at 86th and Amsterdam as a grocery store between 96th and 74th street”).

        • West Sider says:

          Mea culpa! Fair enough, we coulda done better.

          • UpperWestSide says:

            I think people are confusing markets with old fashion grocery stores. Broadway Farms, Barzinni’s, even Westside Market are ok, but stock a fraction of the stock that a regular grocery store would stock (even a bad one like Gristedes). And while the prices at Gristedes were high, generally grocery stores are a better buy than these smaller markets. And for all of you who point out that there is a Dag’s or a Gristedes on Columbus, have you tried carrying heavy bags from there back to West End or Riverside in the mid 80’s. Not sure an easy thing to do especially for our older residents.

            • RL Simon says:

              Put the heavy bags in a shopping cart; have the store deliver them; use Fresh Direct or a similar service. Problem Solved!

      • UWSmom says:

        Fairway, Zabars, Citarella, 2x Trader Joe’s… many choices, people!

    6. AC says:

      Developers are adding more residents to the neighborhood; the number of grocery stores is dwindling; and soon we’ll have no other option but to use on-line grocery markets for shopping and delivery.

      I grew up with Food City, Red Apple, Food Emporium, and West Side Market.
      🙁

      • Christine E says:

        There are many alternatives to mass supermarkets or online… how about your local farmer’s markets. Or better yet, join a CSA. I did — Roxbury Farm — it’s delicious, healthy, and affordable! And I believe there is an even more affordable version for seniors (saw a poster in Helen Rosenthal’s office window).

    7. Nancy F says:

      To al who spend fortunes to live in the West 80s we are living now in a barren desert of nothing. It has never been more depressing than now. No food shopping, even drugstores are going away. Why is this not being addressed?

    8. blue says:

      Correction on Gristedes, as their window sign notes, there is another Gristedes location at 84th and Columbus, so we still have two supermarkets in the area

    9. blue says:

      Also there’s Broadway Farm at 85th and Broadway

    10. Mark Moore says:

      That odd “integrative pharmacy” on the northwest corner of Columbus and 96th closed. A sign says they moved to 34th Street. There are around ten other pharmacies within walking distance from that location so I don’t understand why a pharmacy would have opened there, but it did. And now it’s gone.

    11. Nelson says:

      Thanks for this. I just ran to Gristede’s to stock up on canned goods. All the frozen section has been removed and the cashier expressed her concern for her older colleagues and customers. Wouldnt it be wonderful if a great supermarket opened up in there in the future?!

      • Scott says:

        Wegmans is getting closer. Now in Bergen County, soon to be in Westchester and Brooklyn. Ya never know.

    12. Suze says:

      Nussbaum & Wu?! Where will the citizens of the Upper-Upper West Side get their black and white cookies???? (And blue and white ones during commencement!)
      Same disastrous closure trend is happening in M’side Heights too.

    13. West88 says:

      Gristedes was the most depressing store I ever stepped into. I always felt like I was in post apocalyptic UWS scurrying in the bunkers rationing food.

      I feel the tides shifting. 86th and Broadway is bound to recover sooner than later. Have you seen the multiple high end developments nearing completion – two on 87th alone along with the other two next to Zabars. It’s the payday the landlords have been waiting for…

    14. Joan says:

      Grocery stores between 95th and 74th: Broadway Farm, Barzinis, D’Agostino’s, Fairway, Trader Joe’s, Citarella, Zabar’s, The Kosher Marketplace, Seasons

    15. Jason says:

      I think that west side market on 98th is terrific. Good produce, very nice staff, good prepared meals. It’s a couple of blocks north from 96th but worth it. And fast lines.

    16. Pjay says:

      The UWS is being gobbled up by greedy developers that don’t care. I’ve been here since 1977 . The neighborhood used to be creative, functional& pleasant. It’s boring ascall hell now. Condos& foolish storees like ” SAJE, ! What in hell donthese places sell anyway? Lets dial it back about 25 years…

      • dannyboy says:

        I have shifted the geography of my day dramatically as a result. For all that many years I loved time on Broadway, Amsterdam, Columbus and CPW.

        Now, I keep my time short on those avenues and find myself in Riverside Park and over on the East Side proportionately more.

        I never envisioned that happening.

    17. Glen says:

      The comparison between the UWS and the UES could not be more stark when in comes to supermarkets. The East Side seems to have them in plentiful supply whereas ours are very few and far between. They obviously make a profit over there, are the West Side landlords even more greedy than their silk stocking counterparts?

      • B.B. says:

        Actually UES does not have supermarkets in abundance. Just look at any map to see things are pretty spaced out, especially east of Third Avenue.

        Note aside from some small deli type stores there are *NO* large supermarkets on Madison or Park avenues from 57th to 86th street. Fifth avenue is a given with zero retail on that stretch.

        Pretty much same for Lexington avenue as there aren’t any supermarkets there either until above 72nd street (one horrible DAG at 76th and another at 84th).

        Third avenue from 57th to 89th is slightly better, but there is nothing on Second.

        UWS has *TWO* Trader Joes, while UES has nothing.

    18. Naty says:

      Nussbaum & Wu’s took advantage of students, was dirty, expensive and the staff was rude. Who can forget the sight of mice running through the bagels a few years back? Good riddance. Hopefully a bagel store will open there, not another newagy noodle shop.

    19. Karen says:

      Laytners linens on 82nd and Broadway closing too. Just saw sign today.

    20. UWS says:

      “This leaves us with only Key Food at 86th and Amsterdam as a grocery store between 96th and 74th street (Pioneer Market),” wrote one tipster.

      So much wrong information in a terrible post. No due diligence at all. The Dags on 90th and Columbus is fine. So is the Key Food at 85th and Columbus. Not to mention the Trader Joe’s at 93rd and Columbus.

    21. BILLYNYC says:

      YOU HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING YET – THE PARKING LOT ON WEST 75TH STREET AND THE TWO ON AMERSTERDAM AVENUE AT 76TH AND 77TH STREETS WILL BE CLOSING SOON FOR THE NEW HIGH-RISES WITH NO GARAGES.

    22. Sue L says:

      No Gristedes’ll ever be considered a loss by many of us. Now, if only that and the ground-floor former Banana Republic space could become the site of a real supermarket new to the UWS–even a Stop & Shop or–dream on!–a Price Chopper!

    23. Tom D. says:

      Something about the statement “he’s been at the housewares store since 1984” is not quite right. There was a sporting goods store at that corner of Broadway and 113th back in the mid 1990s. University Housewares might have been located somewhere nearby and moved in after the sporting goods placed moved out.

    24. Tom D. says:

      Did it ever get reported here that the Carlos Shoe Repair place on the west side of Broadway btw 110 and 111 has closed?

      Initially there was a “seized by the landlord” sign on the door. Later a sign appeared that they were “combing operations” with the Paul’s shoe repair across the street and up a block. Not sure what the heck that meant, but it did also say that if you have shoes or whatever at Carlos for repair that you could retrieve them from Paul’s.

    25. Melinda Smith says:

      Whole Foods on 96th can be huge trek for older people
      and neither they nor Trader Joe’s carry the traditional supermarket items that are almost unavailable now on the UWS. The only alternative very soon will be to shop online or move. I miss the days of taking my trusty shopping cart to Dag’s and checking out the ketchups and salad dressings etc. in person. Sad.

      • Vanir says:

        I’ve been using Peapod every few months to stock up. They’re much cheaper than the places here and if you do it right you can reduce or eliminate the delivery fee. Just don’t get your produce there. Gristedes is a swamp – the one on 103rd has even removed the Shoprite and White Rose items so you can’t even save on the less expensive no-name brand. Screw them – Morton Williams has better sales than them.

    26. Shimon Schwarzschild says:

      I think the landlords with their high/astronomical rents, and their refusal to negotiate or compromise with tenants who face economic bumps are often to blame for the many empty storefronts. I did an unofficial count a few weeks back between 94th and 104th Streets, and found 4 or more empty storefronts per block! Corporate/chain stores tend to remain open while individual owners tend to be closing. Whats going on!!! Bert

    27. Steven says:

      Really sad to be loosing Hale & Hearty up here. It was my go to place for lunch 3-5 times a week. Loved their soups & salads. Surprised as the place was always packed so obviously did a good business.

    28. June says:

      What is going into the old RCI appliance on 98th and bway? I can’t find out. Thanks

    29. Carlos says:

      In case you haven’t noticed all of the trucks and delivery people, the reason supermarkets are closing is that many people are shifting to Fresh Direct. It isn’t perfect but we have found the items to be of pretty high quality, and it is worth it to save a walk to the supermarket. Delivery windows are about 2 hours and prices are generally competitive so it is very convenient. Worst case, you use it for heavier items and go to the store for fruits, vegetables and produce but personally I find those to be good too.

      I am surprised that more of the elderly people who complain about the difficulty of going to the grocery store don’t take advantage of it. As the parent of young children I found navigating a grocery store with kids and a stroller to be challenging so the switch was obvious for me.

    30. Lyri Clark says:

      I totally agree with all posters (even dannyboy!).the UWS has become depressing and impractical. Nothing here anymore but wandering homeless, empty storefronts, garbage littered streets,decrepit filthy magazine boxes,and on and on. Recent closings: Gracious Home, Love’s, 2 good Duane Reade’s, Off Broadway, West Side market, soon to be gone Price Wise and Laytner’s and again on and on. I can’t keep up with Columbus avenue but I do miss the MAC store. And of course we all loved Barnes&Noble supplanted by the heinous tourist mecca C21.So instead of a super market, we got Lowe’s..do you need a pneumatic drill or reciprocating saw? Why are they here when we need a real supermarket?
      I find it necessary to go to the East side to shop and spend time. I used to enjoy browsing on Broadway, seeing interesting shops, buying needed home goods etc. Now there’s nothing to see or buy unless you like Marshall’s which smells bad and where everything is plastic junk. This includes the unfortunate Bloomingdales outlet, a huge messy space filled with cheap clothes pretending to be good. I have watched over the years,a once vibrant useful neighborhood become run down, uninteresting, and inconvenient. We no longer have the M104 route to Grand Central so that’s done. And then of course, the booksellers…with their filthy plastic tarps and our streets used as storage for their possessions. The tall thin man who screams at us as we walk by remains there. Our sidewalk is their home. This is not quaint or charming.Like many of my neighbors, we want to move either to the East side or the Village. The differences are startling. All the avenues from York to Madison have numerous eclectic stores where you can fill hours browsing home goods, clothing, and yes, supermarkets. Goodbye UWS…we can’t wait to get out. It may never come back as a desirable neighborhood.

      • Sean says:

        The filth near you is caused by the scaffolding surrounding the building north of you. At some point it will come down. Lincoln Towers residents complain too much and they are the source of much anguish in Fairway. You have a 20 acre campus and think the UWS is specifically just yours. Your campus replaced a vibrant neighborhood in the 1950s. The area around you is now in transition. And the UES is a much wider area consequently it has more to offer. You forgot to mention that movie theater in your rant. South and to the west of you are 8 new movie screens. That is certainly something positive.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Hi Lyria, can you please give me the streets you are referring to on the East Side? I’d like to check out what you like there so much, seriously!

      • dannyboy says:

        I disagree with Lyri Clark. I disagree with her assessment of our neighborhood and find her offensive in writing: “I totally agree with all posters (even dannyboy!).”

        Lyri, pkease let us know when you are moving, so that we may welcome a better neighbor.

        • Lyri Clark says:

          dannyboy: someone is writing in your name…read your postings ….”you have shifted the geography of your day to the Eastside” etc. I wonder if that’s why your name keeps appearing; no one has that much spare time.
          There are so many odd replies to what is right in front of one’s eyes if one actually lives in this neighborhood. Silly non sequitur …one poster even blames Lincoln Towers. No connection whatsoever -if anything they seem to be trying to help the BID.

      • Jay says:

        That’s funny…. you think the east side or the village is any different from the west side. Clearly you don’t get out much.

        Have fun over there.

      • DJ says:

        Having live on the UWS for 15 years, then on the East Side — what felt like a season in exile — I couldn’t wait to get back here. The east side feels formal and cold: the mom and pops shops that try their best to conjure nostalgia is now nothing but kitsch wedged in between another Luke’s Lobster or hipster coffee joint. The streets there feel infinitely more crowded, nearly always under construction, and generally claustrophobic. Besides the 2nd avenue row of post-frat bars, every other storefront seems to be a dry cleaner or pizza joint. I actually thinking having cultural centers and gem film theaters Elinor Bunim, and Rose Theater make a huge difference or cultural vibrancy. Besides the 92Y, the East Side’s version of these art centers are research hospitals.

    31. Mark Moore says:

      The “integrative pharmacy” that was at the corner of 96th and Columbus for the last 9 months or so closed. Bad idea to open another pharmacy at that location.

      Also Riviera Maya at West End and 96th closed. That place was a disaster from the start.

    32. B.B. says:

      A few points:

      John Catsimatidis (owner of Red Apple/Gristedes supermarket chain), is a multi-billionaire who uses his fortune from oil and other ventures to subsidize supermarkets. They make up a very small percentage of his overall portfolio.

      Next as of a year or so ago Mr. Catsimatidis floated loans to the struggling DAG supermarket chain to keep them from closing. As part of that deal that chain is slowly becoming part of Red Apple/Gristedes.

      Finally all these old school supermarkets have one huge liability; they mostly all are union shops. That means on average employee costs are higher than say for Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and the other new supermarkets who aren’t union. While the latter may or may not offer similar or better compensation it is driven by corporate polices, not set into stone by union agreements.

      Gristedes like DAG tends to survive these days where other local supermarket options are nil to none. This makes the third or fourth (maybe more?) Gristedes supermarket that has closed in the past five or so years.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        hmmm… employee costs are higher… meaning the employees are getting more in wages and benefits.

        Horrors!

        And since they get health care, they are not on Medicaid or receiving ACA subsidies.

        • B.B. says:

          Gristedes, DAG and rest of “old school” supermarkets that were union shop yes provided employee benefits and so forth. But in exchange those costs had to be made up from somewhere else, which simply meant piled onto the already high cost of operating retail in NYC.

          Gristedes and the rest charged some very questionable prices for rather substandard or at least unremarkable merchandise. For years New Yorkers (in particular Manhattan) put up with things because choices were rather limited.

          Now that there is serious competition on the NYC supermarket/food store scene Gristedes, DAG and the rest either must adapt or go out of business.

          New Yorkers (again especially in Manhattan) are voting with their feet and wallets; increasingly turning to Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Fresh Direct and other places.

          While Gristedes, DAG and others are struggling to remain open, Morton Williams (also union by the way)is not only doing well but expanding all over the city. They are opening a new store on 72nd and Third (the old Talbots store) this fall.

    33. Paul says:

      As a onetime Ohio suburbanite who moved to the Upper West Side decades ago, I’m at a loss to understand those who complain about inadequate grocery choices here. The local stores and farners’ markets mentioned in these comments still offer fantastic shopping along with personalized service and the pleasure of a “local’ flavor, and anyway I’m happy to spend my money with shopkeepers who take personal pride in their business and in our community. I have no plan to return to the bland and anonymous convenience of suburbia ever again. Down with Dag!