The New Hotel Belleclaire Entrance Takes You Back in Time

The Hotel Belleclaire on Broadway between 76th and 77th has undergone a major exterior renovation, and it recently revealed its new entrance on the Broadway side of the block. The hotel added a new limestone facade, columns and lighting, and new wooden windows and doors.

The hotel was restoring the block to its original look from a century ago, as seen in the image below.

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The block in 1914.

Over the past few years, businesses on that block — including West Side Market and the legendary Big Nick’s Pizza and Burger Joint — have closed. This is what the block looked like a couple of years ago.

belleclaire7

We chronicled the project in more detail when it was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2016.

Thanks to Theo for the photos.

HISTORY, NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 43 comments | permalink
    1. Sue says:

      I miss Westside Market!!

      Contrary to the message on their shopping bags, Fairway is NOT my happy place.

      I miss Big Nick’s too.

    2. dannyboy says:

      Doors read “Lush, Lush”?

      gone are West Side Market and Big Nicks.

      crazy!

    3. DP says:

      Looks nice but losing West Side Market and Big Nick’s so that the hotel could legally add a bar seems like a big cost to the neighborhood.

    4. wombatNYC says:

      Love the historical changes ..Although I do miss BIG NICKS

    5. PaulCons says:

      I went to school on that block some 50+ years ago… the Belleclaire had the name spelled one way on the awning, another way on the front doorway (one had an “e” in the middle, the other didn’t). The main entrance was on 77th, not Broadway. Was a source of much momentary mirth!

    6. Nora B says:

      Unfortunately, the revolting smell drifting out of Lush keeps me away from that block. Anyway, it’s easier to see the new facade from across the street.

      • Weird That Way says:

        Agreed. And that stuff, most of it, is bad for the skin. This might be a nice spot for one of those vintage apothecaries.

      • Sue says:

        What keeps me away from Lush was seeing someone spit into the bowl of water they had outside used in demonstrating their products.

        I went inside and told them, left the store and never looked back.

    7. jezbel says:

      Who cares? It’s still a dump. And the biggest loss to the block is West Side Market.

    8. Steven Eldredge says:

      Losing Westside Market was not worth this fancy hoo-ha!

    9. Sam Steinfeld says:

      Plenty of empty space on UWS where West Side Market and Big Nicks could have gone if they really wanted to stay in the neighborhood.
      This renovation looks great. Maybe some of the other buildings in the area will renovate and the area will start looking decent again.
      Too many empty store and dirty blocks which breeds danger and crime for the UWS residents..

      • Sue L says:

        Re “plenty of empty spaces…if they really wanted to stay in the neighborhood”: This amounts to a kind of blaming the victim(s) by leaving out the other factor in the equation–the landlords! In too many instances, it PAYS them to keep those spaces empty–a situation that applies throughout NYC rather than the UWS.

        • Sherman says:

          @ Sue L –

          Huh?

          Please explain how landlords make money by keeping their space empty.

          Your statement makes zero sense and you should know your facts before ranting.

          • Sue L says:

            FYI–they claim tax losses on their empty spaces, THAT’S how! Far more “rewarding” than negotiating a long-term lease at impossible prices. (Take a look @ NE corner of 86th & B’way as a “prime” example–how long has it been?!!

            • Woody says:

              I agree with Sherman – you have the slightest idea what you’re talking about.

              The reason one has a tax loss is that they actually lost money. That not a sustainable investment strategy if one owns real estate.

            • Woody says:

              meant HAVEN’T the slightest idea

            • dannyboy says:

              Woody, Your DISagreeement with Sherman and reversal to AGREEMENT with reminds me of another intentionally confusing guy.

          • JimUWS says:

            “These big real estate companies hold out for higher rents to increase the worth of their properties because value is based on future income stream,” said Peter Metz, Manhattan CPA. “They can afford to forego current rental income, waiting for higher-paying tenants because they claim big business losses. Landlords get a tax loss from negative rental income when no rent comes in, which cushions their lack of cash flow.”

            • Sherman says:

              I’m a CPA and what this guy states makes no sense. There’s no such a thing as “negative rental income”.

              Of course you can have a loss on your property if expenses exceed rental income but this is called a loss, not “negative rental income”.

              There is no such a thing as a tax deduction for foregone rental income. You simply don’t pay any tax on the revenue you’re not receiving.

              Similarly, if I was to lose my job I can’t claim a tax deduction for the salary I’m no longer receiving.

              There’s no top secret tax benefit for landlords to keep their property empty.

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              JimUWS:

              i don’t understand the concept “negative rental income”.

              When the space is empty, the rent is zero. that is not negative.

              The building has an annual profit / loss statement. if the building as a whole shows a loss, i believe that can be carried forward to cushion the next year’s tax liability due to profit.

              but a loss is still a loss.

            • Jay says:

              I call BS on this. Sounds like a theory some would like to he be true, but isn’t.

          • Jeff says:

            Sherman: wasn’t already discussed on this board that landlords will keep the space empty waiting for a high paying, stable chain and in the meantime take a tax loss on the property? The people who owned 3 Star Diner also own the building and have left that space and two others empty for years for that reason.

            • Jay says:

              Citation?

            • Woody says:

              “waiting for a high paying, stable chain” is one investor strategy to maximize longer-term value.

              “taking a tax loss on the property” is the result of having an actual loss when expenses exceed revenue.

              Yup…it’s that simple.

    10. Weird That Way says:

      I love that the renovation honors the past and I, for one, welcome a small respite from storefronts on Broadway.

    11. Mark says:

      Who cares what it looks like? And why give them any publicity? Because they have pushed out West Side Market and Big Nick’s I have referred all of our out of town guests and business colleagues to any hotel other than Belleclaire. I do not patronize any of their other hotels or restaurants in the city. In addition, we purchase any baked goods anywhere but Millefeuille. The best activism is commercial activism. What a shame!

      • Smithe says:

        You go Mark! I’m sure the hotel group is really feeling the punch from your commercial activism.

      • Woody says:

        You punish a new business that rented the space? What a childish response.

      • UWSanon says:

        Why do you punish a bakery, which is a small, local, non-chain business, who has been located there since before Westside Market left… just because the hotel kept their lease? That seems very petty, and counter productive to saving small businesses on the UWS.

        Well, more pain au chocolat for me.

    12. UWSSurfer says:

      I miss Westside Market so much!

      Not only do I miss their prepared foods, and fruit that is actually ripe & ready to eat, I miss being able to grocery shop late at night.

      I agree that over-bearing smell of Lush
      would keep me from going near their door.

      The Hotel Belleclaire has done a beautiful restoration job. Take a look inside their lobby. There are antique world globes and memorabilia in the glass cases that are fun to see.

    13. Jean says:

      Wonderful! As close to the original as possible.

    14. Bill Sharfman says:

      Meantime two USABLE and valuable places we all loved and depended on are gone. Way to go Belleclaire, you did indeed set us back a hundred years

      • JR says:

        Really Bill? Set us back a hundred years? As pointed out previously, there are lots of empty store fronts that could have accommodated Big Nicks and West Side market if they really wanted to relocate at market rate rents. The truth is that Big Nicks business had been sliding down hill for years. I used to love it but stopped going years ago due to declining quality and very crowded seating in the restaurant. How many of you gripers really frequented Big Nicks on a regular basis? I doubt many did. NYC is a city of change and always has been. Get over it.

        • dannyboy says:

          “Big Nicks and West Side market if they really wanted to relocate at market rate rents.”

          The Rents
          that’s the point
          Get it?

    15. Robyn Roth-Moise says:

      Designed by my great grandfather Emery Roth

      • AC says:

        I’d be proud of that too! Glad your grandfather’s vision is still alive and part of the UWS history.

    16. Go10024 says:

      I miss West Side Market too. Huge loss to the neighborhood. Big beautiful lobby next to a vacant store. Nice job Hotel Belleclaire.

    17. Karen Bruno says:

      This was the very first place I stayed at when I came to NYC…so many memories.

    18. Jimbo says:

      Former apartment for citizens gone for morw hotel rooms for tourists. Guess landlorda would prefer Manhattan to not have any residents.

    19. Sweet Sue says:

      I love the renovation at the Belleclaire. Beautiful buildings and parks are good for the soul. Big Nicks belong on the side streets.

      Lets make UWS beautiful and gracious again so we can be proud to live here.

    20. beergas says:

      Hung there for several months in tiny top floor “maids quarters” in early ’80s. Nice walk thru C Park to midtown jobs. Shared bathroom with wild older couple. Lot retired folk up there.
      Didn’t mind the tiny part since City was megafun for night haunts. Cheap monthly rate helped me build nest eggs until got an equally cheap digs in HKitty.
      Funny thing is that as a kid on W 70 I never paid any attention to the Belle. Maybe lumped it in with so much of the old school buildings like that Big Apple bank one or the one with the small Statue of Liberty. Lincoln Center changed the whole nabe more than dressing up this old Chelsea Hotel North.
      Empty spots all over UESide too as online is killing it softly.

      • Sean says:

        Disco Sally lived in the Hotel Belleclaire. You would see her walking about in all her sequined glory.