Openings & Closings: New Kefi, Goodwill Curated, Book Off, Serafina, Kangol, Polpette

Greek restaurant Kefi has reopened at 222 W 79th Street, the former home of Fishtag, after closing its location on Columbus and 84th. The new location was actually Kefi’s original location. Fishtag is looking to relocate but has no updates yet on where it will go. Here’s Kefi’s dinner menu.

Goodwill has turned its store at 217 West 79th Street into a boutique called Curated. “Borrowing from department stores’ “shop-in-shop” model of giving dedicated floor space to certain brands, Goodwill plans to carve out areas in eight of its locations to display fashion-forward items siphoned from each store’s inventory.Consistent with its elevated positioning, Curated by Goodwill’s prices are slightly higher than the average Goodwill item. A shirt might cost more than $10, rather than less than $5,” writes Racked.

Italian restaurant Serafina had its soft opening at a new cafe at 105th and Broadway this week. It’s located right next to Serafina restaurant, in the former home of Muscle Maker Grill. Thanks to Daniel Sommer for the photo. (Sorry for the confusion in our earlier update.)

The Kangol store at 196 Columbus Avenue (69th) is closing and reopening at 346 Lenox Avenue, on the corner 127th Street. “Our last day on Columbus Avenue will be Saturday July 28, and will most like be open by the first week in August in Harlem,” wrote the owner Chuck Sternfeld in an email to West Side Rag. The phone number will be the same.

Riviera Maya, the restaurant on 96th and West End, has closed a few weeks ago and recently had a marshal’s notice on the door. Thanks to Eric and others for the tips.

Book Off, the used book and DVD store on 85th and Amsterdam was set to close July 14, just months after opening its doors, Ken tells us. “I never saw anyone shopping in there,” he wrote. Thanks also to Rob.

Polpette, the Italian spot at 483 Amsterdam between 83rd and 84th known for its meatballs, closed on Sunday. There’s still a location on 71st. Thanks to Karin for the tips.

And…does anyone have intel on what’s happening on 86th and Columbus??

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 41 comments | permalink
    1. Leon says:

      Can you still drop donations off at the Goodwill despite the rebranding?

    2. Lila Shoshkes says:

      Last week Kefi seemed open but planters with prickly branches blocked access to railings. The entrance is not accessible to the handicapped.

    3. julies says:

      I wonder how it is that Goodwill can keep going when everyone else on the UWS and elsewhere cant afford the rent! Meanwhile the new boutique store on 79th street is a joke! The whole point of buying stuff from them is that it’s cheaper and there’s a load of stuff to choose from. Now they’ve got rid of most of their inventory it’s hardly worth going there!

    4. Carlos says:

      I haven’t been in a while, but it seems like Kefi has really raised their prices a lot.

      Didn’t The Meatball Shop also close recently? So now instead of two meatball places within a few blocks of each other there are none.

      No surprise about the book/DVD store. I also never saw anyone there. That never sounded like a good business model, and for whatever reason, that location doesn’t seem to draw a lot of traffic.

      • Juan says:

        I agree – those prices at Kefi seem really high – I used to always get the shrimp and orzo for about $15 and it is now $24. It is a small space so that must be what they have to do to pay rent.

      • ireneadv says:

        For whatever reason? It’s been under scaffolding for at least 6 years.

      • steve says:

        I know, right? I also havent been in a while, and I just glanced at the menu and thought that the prices seemed higher. I remember when it first opened, and it was a little, locally-known, great place, with excellent food, at pretty reasonable prices. It became very popular as a result, and they moved to a much bigger spot on Columbus, which led to it becoming unbearably crowded, with service and food quality going downhill, and prices going up.. Thats why we havent been back in a couple years…

    5. Izzy says:

      I’m confused. Serafina expanded into the former space of Muscle Maker or is a different concept?

      • Alta says:

        They opened a second coffee bar expansion next door to the new space that opened a few months ago.

    6. Wallace Griffin says:

      Sad to see Fishtag pushed out. It was one of my favorites in the neighborhood, much preferred it to Kefi.

    7. Stef Lev says:

      Too bad about Book Off, I wish I had known it was there, having shopped at their midtown location.

      • TK Lawson says:

        Yeah, didn’t know Book Off was there, or I would have shopped there. I usually hit the midtown store a couple times per week.

    8. dannyboy says:

      A new deli (bodega) is opening on 96th and West End, previously Riviera Maya.

      Yea, the UWS is getting back its soul!

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        ha! that corner was “upscaled” from a bodega just a few years ago. then the space was empty for a year or maybe two, then a few months of a functioning restaurant, and now back to a bodega…

    9. Karin says:

      The little place on WEA looks like it’s going to become a Mexican deli.

    10. Nj says:

      There’s a new steak place where BRGR was on bway bet 79/80

    11. Kris says:

      The Serafina space is in the old Toast space — might be in the Muscle Maker Grill spot too, but the main area is the former Toast.

    12. J Graham says:

      Serafina at 105 and Broadway did not just open this week. They have been open for several months. Also, this was NOT the home of Muscle Maker Grill.

      • Kristina says:

        It’s a Serafina Cafe next door with to go options.

      • Jay says:

        They just expanded with a new cafe next door to the restaurant. The cafe is where Muscle Maker used to be.

      • Alta says:

        They opened a second spot, a coffee shop and cafe, in Muscle Maker.

      • AnDee says:

        Ladies and Gents and Curmudgeons of all genders- Serefina took over the Toast space months ago. They have just opened, in the former Muscle Maker Grill space next door, some sort of breakfast and other snacks option, presumably at slightly lower prices and a faster pace then their restaurant next door. You’re welcome.

    13. Janet W. says:

      That Riviera Maya taco cafe at 96th Street & West End Ave now has a sign in its window saying new taco restaurant coming soon.

    14. Janet W says:

      CORRECTION: Sorry, heat & humidity got to my brain first ….

      “Riviera Maya, the restaurant on 96th and West End, has closed a few weeks ago and recently had a marshal’s notice on the door.”

      Sign in window is: SUPER TACOS DELI – COMING SOON

    15. Christine E says:

      Not sure how Goodwill can justify raising prices. They already charge more than Housing Works does for the same items. And the customer base cannot afford it. They would be better off lowering their prices and turning more inventory than paying people to “curate” it and shipping excess donations to/from other stores.

    16. A440UWS says:

      Serafina opened a while ago in the old Toast space. They just opened a new “Serafina Cafe” in the old Muscle Grill space right next to the main restaurant room.

    17. S says:

      Yes Goodwill is still taking donations.

    18. I believe the location on 86th Street / Columbus Avenue (former location for Three Star Coffee Shop will be an eyeglass store. It’s registered to a ‘Kevin White’ of ‘Vision ACM’.

      • EricaC says:

        That’s a little disappointing – there are already several glasses stores in the neighborhood. I was hoping for an interesting restaurant or shop ….

      • Christine E says:

        That’s too bad…. I was hoping Pricewise could move in!

        • dannyboy says:

          I think you will have to adjust your expectations a bit. The “Pricewises” won’t return until after the real estate meltdown.

          Be patient.

    19. LC says:

      Serafina was already open. They’ve expanded into the space next door – it looks like the newer portion will be more of a take-out place. I don’t see how they’ll survive. The food is mediocre and overpriced for the quality.

    20. Mark Moore says:

      Riviera Maya is becoming Super Tacos Deli. There’s a sign on the taco truck at Bway and 96th.

    21. Marci says:

      I didn’t think Book Off had opened yet. It was always dark. I’m sure the scaffolding that’s been on that stretch forever didn’t help them any.

    22. MBNYC says:

      Serafina has been open for a while! They’re trying out expanded morning cafe hours, which is having its soft opening this week.

    23. BillyNYC says:

      Oh no!! I shop at Kangol literally every week. I’ll have to check out the uptown location after my months-long vacation.

    24. Peter says:

      Somebody should tell the owner of Fishtag that there’s a space available at Columbus and 84th…

    25. Anonymous says:

      This Book Off location was a temporary pop up shop

    26. AR says:

      86th/87th and Columbus… hideous block…. hope it undergoes major renovation! It’s great the plant store opened there, and aesthetically improved the eye sore block.