Openings & Closings: Joe & the Juice, Chocolate Works, Billy’s Bakery

Joe & the Juice, the smoothie, sandwiches and coffee chain, opened its newest location on Broadway between 91st and 92nd Streets on Sunday. Its the third location on the UWS for the chain. If you haven’t checked Joe’s out, here’s the menu. Thanks to Emily for the photo.

Chocolate Works on Amsterdam between 91st and 92nd Streets is closing on Dec. 31, according to an employee there who said the lease was up. The store opened in 2012, and was a guilty pleasure for (among others) actress Tovah Feldshuh.

Billy’s Bakery is now planning to open its new location at 410 Columbus Avenue (80th) on January 3. It will also hold a pop-up shop with pies, cupcakes, cakes and more on December 24 from noon to 5 p.m.

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FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 27 comments | permalink
    1. Sherrie says:

      I heard that the landlord doubled the rent at Chocolate Works. It’s so sad all the empty stores on the upper westside. What can we do?????

      • West88 says:

        2019 Prediction: Most if not all of the empty storefronts will be occupied by dispensaries once Cuomo legalizes weed as promised. Its a win-win for everyone

      • JB says:

        Regarding “doubling the rent” situations – the city usually is also doubling the owner’s property taxes.

        We could advocate for property tax exemptions for owners who rent to small businesses, but this would require the city to give up some of its jealously guarded tax revenue.

        • Septimus Praetorius says:

          Regarding the property tax increase in this case, that’s pure conjecture. Where’s your proof?

          • your_neighbor says:

            Nowhere in the article does it say that the rent doubled. Some anonymous internet person saying that they “heard” the rent double is also something that I would not consider proof.

      • soldier says:

        What you can do: demand from the mayor that property owners (commercial and residential) are not treated as the cash cow/financial hostages and property taxes do not double every year. That should do the trick and good luck.

      • Phil Ossifer says:

        Re: ” It’s so sad all the empty stores on the upper westside. What can we do?????”

        Well, since U asked:

        1. Follow the advice of TV anchor Howard Beale (1976 film “Network”):”…open the window, stick your head out, and yell,…: I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”; or

        2. Look up the Japanese ‘final solution’ of Hara Kiri (NOT 2 B confused with the actors Harry Carey and son Harry Carey Jr. and definitely NOT with “Cash and Carry”; or

        3. Follow this precious bit of Eastern European/Yiddish wisdom repeated by generations of Jewish Mothers: “Go bang your head against the wall; you’ll feel better when you stop!”

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        we go over this again and again and again, yet people keep repeating myths.

        In the standard commercial lease in NYC, property tax increases for the owners are PASSED THROUGH to the tenant. in other words, the existing rent accounts for all property tax increases.

        I don’t know if property taxes have doubled in some of these buildings, and over what time frame. but this has nothing to do with the landlord’s expenses.

        also, please note that there is a large exemption for small businesses, recently increased, on the commercial occupancy tax. though this is different from the pass-through property taxes.

        • Sarah says:

          Yes, it’s amazing how people want to lecture us on how the economy works who don’t even know what a triple-net lease is.

    2. lynn says:

      I just walked over to the Tasty bakery/deli on Broadway and 71st and it was gone. I haven’t been there for a while (obviously), but I’m wondering how long ago they shut down, and if they’ve relocated anywhere in the neighborhood.

      • one westsider says:

        It was around Halloween. Another sad surprise!

        • lynn926 says:

          Thanks, I wonder if they just closed up shop w/o telling anyone.

          I took the crosstown bus to the east side this morning and noticed that 3 stores on one block had closed. They were all open the week before Christmas. 🙁

    3. Chris says:

      My maintenance has skyrocketed in the years since Bloomberg was Mayor- due to ridiculously hi property taxes on co- ops. How do we stop that?? Prevent more increase?

    4. Jake Alexander says:

      As JB mentions the City has increased Real Estate taxes enormously on small commercial buildings causing rents to skyrocket just to cover taxes and other enormous expenses of operating a building including huge water bills etc.

    5. Simcha Rosenwitz says:

      It’s sad time see small businesses driven away by rent uncreases but that’s business.

      • Shlomo-tion says:

        Re: “…driven away by rent uncreases….”

        Ummm…is a rent UNCREASE sorta like a rent decrease?

        just sayin’

    6. Mark Moore says:

      How many energy shakes and avocado sandwiches do you have to sell every day just to pay the rent at that huge Broadway location? Everyone’s 401k is hurting. They’ll be closed in a year.

    7. B.B. says:

      Am posting this in response to several posts.

      Current and proposed RE taxes imposed by city:

      Class 1 (1- to 3-family residences): up slightly from 20.385 percent to 20.919 percent.

      Class 2 (4-family or more residences, including co-ops and condos): down slightly from 12.719 to 12.612 percent.

      Class 3 (utility properties): up slightly from 11.891 percent to 12.093 percent.

      Class 4 (commercial properties): unchanged at 10.514 percent.

      As have explained many times before; city assesses taxes on co-ops and condos not as single or whatever family homes, but based on comparable rentals in street/area.

      Thus on the UWS just as all over Manhattan and other areas of city as rental buildings (as a class including those with rent controlled or whatever housing) rise in value, so do the assessed values of co-ops and condos in area.

      For decades many co-op shareholders and condo owners on UWS, UES, and elsewhere benefitted from fact they were surrounded by “cheap” RC/RS or whatever housing. Since their property taxes were based upon the assessed value of such units it was a blessing. Fast forward to past ten years or so between new construction, renovation or whatever you have median and average rents increasing. That in turn raises the value of building and there you are.

      As also have stated before this is one reason why so many UWS and apartment shareholders or owners in other areas protest “luxury”and or higher priced rentals in their area. It drives up average or median rents which in turn increases their property taxes.

      Finally everyone is being hit with the same hammer. Property taxes affect owners in two ways; rates and assessed value.

      Even if city doesn’t raise rates, shareholders and or owners of properties are subject to rising assessed values. The last of Bloomberg’s property tax increases were phased in a few or so years ago. But the raging hot RE market means assessed values continue to rise. So even if the tax rate is *only* 10.1% if the assessed value goes from say $145,500 to $265.800, just do the sums.

      City is raking in vast sums not from property tax increases, but the rise in assessed values. Every time you hear of a property being sold for 15 million that went for just 2 million a few years ago….

      This affects not just co-ops or condos either. Owners of one and two family homes in once “low income” areas like Harlem, Bedford Stuyvesant, Clinton Hill, etc… are seeing huge increases in assessed value of their properties, this even as the actual tax rate hasn’t moved much. Such persons are effectively being priced out of their homes, such is another result of gentrification.

      • Sarah says:

        Guess people should’ve cared a little more about defending rent stabilization, huh?

      • your_neighbor says:

        Owners of 1 to 6 (?) family homes are subject to assessment increases but by law the year to year increases are capped to a very low level.

        • B.B. says:

          By law class One and Two properties with ten or less units have their property tax increases (and decreases) phased in over a period of years.

          Class 1: Assessed Value (AV) cannot increase more than 6 percent each year or more than 20 percent in five years.

          Class 2: Assessed Value (AV) cannot increase more than 8 percent each year or more than 30 percent in five years.

          Long story short is something everyone knows, NYC property tax system is a hot mess. But no one in politics has the stomach (or another part of male anatomy a bit lower) to fix because it involves a very touchy subject.

          Current NYC RE tax laws/policy grew out of attempts to stem white flight in 1970’s and 1980’s. Thus was born the tax caps which control how much taxes on Class One and Two can rise and or fall within a given year. It was meant to “protect” single family homeowners from huge swings in tax increases and thus keep them from moving to the suburbs.

          Single family homes as class make up about 50% of NYC real estate market value; but they pay only around 15% of such taxes. Meanwhile large rental housing makes up about 24% of market value, but pay nearly 40% of taxes.

          Above is even more galling when you factor in 60% of NYC housing is rental. Pushing that knife of inequality even deeper is something around 75% of rental housing in this city falls under some form of government control (RC, RS, NYCHA, Section 8, etc…). As such OTOH rent increases are capped by government. On the other rental housing in this city is taxed as revenue producing/commercial property. They are not subject to the property tax cap laws and thus the city can (and does) raise their rates whenever it wishes, *and* those increases take affect at once, rather than being phased in (or out).

          For various political reasons co-ops and condos received special treatment and are valued as rental properties. Despite all the moaning a good number actually are paying far less in taxes than they otherwise would thanks to being taxed as comparable *rental* housing in area, not single family residences.

      • APL says:

        Thank you for this, much appreciated. Happening to my co-op as well but our management company failed to explain the rationale accurately. We count on the low maintenance and worry the increases could get out of control. What can be done?

    8. GM says:

      Follow Equinox…Soul Cycle, Joe & the Juice, Blue Mercury, it’s a sort of monopoly. Wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a common denominator here every 20 blocks.

    9. lisa says:

      We need new grocery stores not fancy juice and coffee shops
      Stop and shop
      Whole foods

    10. MM says:

      I guess I’m the only one but if Joe and theNuice was a stock I would be shorting it.