By Alex Israel
Five new restaurants and some neighborhood favorites received liquor license and sidewalk café approvals during a recent meeting of Community Board 7’s Business & Consumer Issues Committee. Liquor license applications will also need to be reviewed by the State Liquor Authority (SLA) for final approval.
New restaurants looking to get liquor licenses include:
Tiki Chick, a new tiki-inspired bar from Jacob Hadjigeorgis of Jacob’s Pickles fame, will serve drinks, small plates and a fried chicken sandwich at 517 Amsterdam Avenue (West 86th Street). Formerly occupied by Desktop USA, the space is currently undergoing some cosmetic changes, including a storefront upgrade to “something with more curb appeal,” according to Hadjigeorgis, who hopes to open before 2019. The bar will have a similar method of operation as the other establishments within the Pickle Hospitality group.
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When you are talking about umami, it's not something you can point to clearly. It's not a taste. It's a kind of connection—I think it’s the womb of the taste. The atmosphere that is surrounding the taste. When the umami comes in, it brings everything together, and that's what's so important. — @eyaltomato 🍅🥩🍞 Photo by @nycmunchkin 🙏 #miznonnyc
Miznon, a Mediterranean restaurant from Israeli celebrity chef Eyal Shani, is planning to open soon at 320 Columbus Avenue (West 75th Street) in the space left behind by Saffron. This will be its second location, following the opening of Shani’s first American outpost in Chelsea Market earlier this year (to much acclaim). Israeli-American entrepreneur Moshe Ziv, who has partnered with Shani to lead the U.S. expansion, described the culinary offering as “straightforward,” and said the Upper West Side location will feature similar options to the downtown location. You can find that menu here.
Gyu-Kaku, an authentic Japanese BBQ chain founded in the 1990s, is hoping to fill the space that once held Saigon Grill at 620 Amsterdam Avenue (West 90th Street). According to regional manager Joseph Homma, the details of the lease are still being finalized. This location would be the sixth in New York, and would feature the same a la carte style menu, with an emphasis on shared plates. You can explore the menus for the Midtown location here.
A new restaurant (name TBD) from the owners of Tessa will fill the former Make Meaning space at 329 Columbus Avenue (West 75th Street). The owners are still tweaking the menu, but visitors can expect a more American-style offering than Tessa.
A new Indian restaurant (name TBD) will replace Indigo Indian Bistro at 283 Columbus Avenue (West 73rd Street). The new owner, Parminder Singh, hopes to open by Mid-November with a traditional Indian menu.
Two restaurants – Bettola at 412 Amsterdam Avenue (West 80th Street) and Aangan at 2701 Broadway (West 103rd Street) – are transferring ownership, but will maintain the same methods of operation and culinary offerings.
A number of renewals for sidewalk cafés also passed unanimously, including:
- El Mitote at 208 Columbus Avenue (West 69th – 70th Streets)
- Jake’s Dilemma at 430 Amsterdam Avenue (West 81st Street)
- Orwasher’s at 440 Amsterdam Avenue (West 81st Street)
- Big Daddy’s at 2454 Broadway (West 91st Street)
But another business on the docket was foiled in its attempts to gain approvals from the committee.
Bluestone Lane, which applied for a new unenclosed sidewalk café at their 417 Amsterdam Avenue (West 80th Street) location, was denied its request. Board members cited the restaurant’s initial failure to appear before the committee twice – first during the prior monthly meeting, then during a special pre-meeting held in advance of the full board meeting – as well as community complaints about the existing sidewalk café setup, which expands beyond the space allotted by the city.
The representative who finally did appear at the recent meeting came without the appropriate architectural plans to share with the committee. “We want you to be part of the neighborhood, but we need to know what’s going on,” said committee co-chair Michele Parker.
All committee approvals will be up for a vote during the next full board meeting on November 7, 2018.