Openings & Closings: AG Kitchen, The Fat Monk, Morton Williams

AG Kitchen, a Latin restaurant that was a mainstay on Columbus between 72nd and 73rd streets for six years, has closed. It will reopen “with a brand new concept” in a few weeks, the restaurant said on Facebook. Tipster Billy tells us employees said it will be a seafood spot, possibly with the name Upper West Seafood. The restaurant had a picture of a fish in its going-away message, so it sounds like seafood could indeed be the hook. Thanks to Ian, Billy and the anonymous eater for tips.

The Fat Monk at 949 Columbus Avenue near 107th Street, a gastropub known for its meaty dishes like the duck burger, has also closed. It opened early in 2017 and even got a positive review in the New Yorker. The restaurant posted a video on Facebook showing a phone and playing a recording of a customer thanking the restaurant for letting her know they were closing. The video is accompanied by the text: “We would like to say what a pleasure it was to serve all of our guests since our opening. Perhaps we will see you all in the near future. THANK YOU!!” The restaurant struggled in part because of a gas issue in the building that forced it to close for six weeks during the spring, wrote David, an owner, in an email to West Side Rag. Then there was “a huge dip in sales” during the late spring and early summer, he said. “We tried to provide an elevated experience from the service , product, decor and atmosphere. An overwhelming majority praised us for opening up in their neighborhood, stating “There’s nothing else like you guys here.'” Thanks to Lauren for the tip. “Sad. I never got to try the burger,” she wrote.

Supermarket Morton Williams is expected to open at One West End Avenue, a new development at 59th Street and West End Avenue. It had initially been expected to open this summer, but signs on the windows now point to winter. Thanks to Adam for the tip.

After months of “closed for renovation” signs, a for rent sign appeared on the door of Tiny Treats Cafe at the corner of Amsterdam and 90th street. Last we heard there was a falling out between the owners. Thanks to Yael and Johanna for the tips.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 32 comments | permalink
    1. sidetrek.nyc says:

      AG Kitchen, another victim of the scourge of scaffolding on the UWS. As soon as it went up, the ambience was totally different. Best burritos, burgers. Sad!

      I’ll believe the seafood thing when I see it. But definitely AG will be missed!

    2. Ginger LaBella says:

      Really sorry to hear about The Fat Monk closing. That had become our go to for upscale pub food and high end cocktails, at a good price — and within easy walking distance of our 100th street apartment. We enjoyed taking out of town guests there as well. Wishing the staff well.

    3. 102nd says:

      Noooooo! I’ve been wanting to try the Fat Monk, it sounded so good. Damnit.

    4. How many more victims of scaffolding can the UWS endure?

    5. Arlene says:

      I’m really sad to hear about the AG Kitchen closing. They had the absolute best guacamole I’ve ever tasted. Hope they keep it on the menu in their new incarnation.

    6. Mike says:

      Shame about Fat Monk. They had great food, two nice bars and bartenders and the duck wings and pork chop were amazing. Unfortunate loss to the UWS.

    7. There was no better restaurant experience than AG. Food was especially delicious; Service extraordinary and sincere; and that side room was “unrestauranty.” Made you feel comfortable, relaxed. It was great for parties and gatherings. I recommended to all my friends and everyone from out-of-town for a unique ingenious experience only New York could come up with. And on the Upper West Side to boot. What happened? It seemed always busy. All the restaurants of the owned by this very special entrepreneur are very special and unique. How very disappointing.

    8. jes says:

      Very sorry to hear about Tiny Treats.
      Delicious chocolate cake, fruit tarts and cheesecake (like the former Soutine)
      Hardworking staff.
      Was one of the few authentic neighborhood places – not a chain or upscale-investor eatery aimed at “destination” customers

      • Young Sally says:

        Agreed, Jes. Aliou is the best….an amazing baker/pastry chef and truly kind and generous. I was hoping he could find the capital to reopen on his own – but perhaps in the future.

        • jsc says:

          Aliou was wonderful to work with and we miss this bakery for its terrific food and the kid-pleasing (adult-repelling) rainbow bagels.

    9. Smithe says:

      AG Kitchen WAS in need of some kind of facelift. I always found the place a bit dirty and worn and the restrooms were disgusting. I hope they come back with something that we can all enjoy.

    10. Lulu says:

      Hubby and I both got food poisoning from AG and never went back so….yay

    11. Jeff Berger says:

      The owners of AG did the same thing with their other property, Firehouse. They closed it and turned it into Zen Taco. So maybe they are really going to turn it into a seafood place. The AG group seems to be moving away from pub food to more niche food.

      • Christine E says:

        I really miss Firehouse, especially the wings, nachos, and margaritas. Zen Taco is not an improvement.

        Btw the tacos at Bodega 88 and the rosemary wings at Cotta are delicious. The upside of Firehouse closing is that we have expanded to other local dining establishments!

    12. yourneighbor says:

      I’ve been to AG Kitchen multiple times, bot when it was crowded and when it was empty.
      Food was always very good.
      Service was miserable – when they weren’t messing up your order or forgetting to bring your drinks it was like the wait staff was purposely trying to ignore you.
      Hopefully the new concept brings a new wait staff.

    13. patrick says:

      I’m surprised to see love here for the AG kitchen. I went three times and each time was disappointed. I ordered the breakfast burrito twice. It was served hot on the outside and cold inside both times. The last time I ordered a turkey burger which tasted like it had been in the freezer for two years. Each time the service was indifferent. Not sure I’ll check out the new place given that it seems like the old management will still be in place.

    14. Chase says:

      Disappointed to see AG Kitchen closing.. That was a legit spot.. Honestly would prefer to keep that over the seafood concept. As another poster said, I’ll believe it when I see it.

    15. b6m says:

      Zuckers right next door, under the scaffolding, has lines going out the door.

    16. stu says:

      Fat Monk definitely had better food than most places in the area. However, they opened in an area in which operating an “upscale” food experience, with attendant higher prices is difficult. They need to open up much further south — Columbus and 107th doesn’t cut it. Yes, there are some folks in the immediate area that will pay more for a better food experience, but not enough more to be successful.

    17. Bill says:

      I rarely criticize local small businesses as I have an appreciation for the difficulty involved in maintaining such an operation but the three times I patronized AG Kitchen I left without eating the food. I paid the bill and left a tip but I was unable to ongest the concoction of ingredients placed before me. The lack of attentive service and the high prices made me even angrier at myself for having walked in the door with the hopes that this time might be different. The experience never improved.

    18. sam seibert says:

      If anyone hears where Aliou ends up, please please please spread the word. The loss of his sugar cookies continues to be a major quality-of-life issue at our house.

    19. M.E. says:

      I had the worst meal at The Fat Monk. Granted that I went on a Sunday night and no one else was there. People have told me that the place is hit or miss. Glad that it closed down to make room for something better.

    20. Kahn O. Sewer says:

      Morton Williams’ markets are textbook models of what supermarkets should/could be:
      1. Always neat and clean;
      2. shelves always fully-stocked;
      3. staff always polite and helpful.

      Yes, their prices are a tad higher, but you gets what you pays for.

      There are two great examples not far away:
      1. 917 9th Ave, above W.58th;
      2. 140 W. 57th, east of 7th Ave

      Anxious for the new one to open.

    21. Sarah says:

      Aw, dang, I’d been meaning to try Fat Monk. It seemed quite ambitious for the neighborhood, where the food options continue to improve. Maybe it was a year or two too early. Thanks for trying, guys!

    22. Jenn says:

      Forget AG Kitchen, bring back City Grill – from the good years1

    23. Nukleopatra says:

      That’s a shame about A. G. Kitchen. It was a great place for a burger, and they had a really nice bar.

    24. Carol says:

      Sorry about AG best burgers great service I hope they keep that in the menu