Openings & Closings: Billy’s Bakery, Recolte Dessert Bar, Arba, Le Pain Quotidien, Origins, Upper West Cuts

Long-awaited Billy’s Bakery opened at 410 Columbus Avenue between 79th and 80th today (Wednesday). Icebox cakes and red velvet cupcakes are among their specialties. Read the backstory here.

Recolte at 300 Amsterdam Avenue (74th) is opening an “after hours” dessert bar with three courses of desserts starting Jan. 27. The pastry chef Michael Laiskonis, formerly of Le Bernardin, will run the new bar (which doesn’t serve alcohol at this point). “It will be open Wednesdays through Sundays, starting at 7 p.m., after the shop closes,” the Times reports. “Three courses of elegantly fashioned sweets, like a version of s’mores with smoked chocolate, marshmallow and a graham cracker; or a verrine of passion fruit and chocolate in a glass, are $23.” See the website here. Thanks to Holly for the tip.

Israeli chef Nir Tzuk is opening a gluten-free restaurant called Arba on Columbus and 83rd Street, according to Haaretz. “This will not be an Israeli restaurant but a Mediterranean restaurant,” he said. The emphasis will be on things like vegetables and fish, not as much on hummus (though there will be hummus apparently). Entrees will go for about $25. It’s expected to open next month.

Le Pain Quotidien at 91st and Broadway closed a few days ago because the building that it’s in is about to be demolished. The store pasted a sign on the door. Thanks to Ellen, Janet, and B. Lew for the tips. We wrote more here about the building planned for the site.

Origins beauty store at 2327 Broadway between 84th and 85th is closing on January 26, according to a sign on the door. Thanks to Sue and Erin for the tips.

Upper West Cuts on Broadway between 97th and 98th has closed. Thanks to Paul for the tip.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 27 comments | permalink
    1. Bruce E. Bernstein says:

      for customers of Upper West Cuts: I used it a couple of times, but quickly found Elite Barber Shop on Amsterdam between 92nd and 93rd. Slightly higher price ($22 for haircut plus the tip) but a much better product… at least, when i use Rosa as the barber. She’s awesome. I always get compliments afterwards.

    2. wombatNYC says:

      Was anybody ever in Origins ? 96th- 79th is a joke for retail

    3. W. 80th St. Block Association / B.Amato says:

      Billy’s Bakery is the best cupcakes and pies in town!
      They have a awesome seasonal pumpkin pie which is out of this world and bought a few of them for friends thanksgiving dinner and the crumb apple pie for my family’s Christmas dinner. All winners.

      • Nemo says:

        W. 80th St. Block Association motto – “Never had a meeting since 1966.”

        • W. 80th St. Block Association says:

          On the contrary we have bi-monthly meetings but you’re not a member and “not” invited ,LOL!

          • Nemo says:

            Do they happen before or after the meetings for the W. 80th Tree Fund? Both “associations” have been so “active” recently, it’s hard to “keep up” with the level of civic engagement on the UWS. Also, your use of quotation marks is confusing at best.

    4. Susan says:

      Tried Recolte few months ago. Not impressed at all with their desserts. . .and too expensive.

      I would recommend the Cafe in Shakespeare & Co, the bookstore on Broadway between 69th and 70th Streets. Delicious & large cookies. Superb, perfectly moist pound cake – I recommend the blueberry. Diversity of scones. Prices are less than Recolte, City Bakery, Le Pain Quotidian, Parliament Espresso, etc. and the quality is far better.

    5. robert says:

      Upper West Cuts has been closed for several months.
      The white paper taped in the window from when the Marshals came and took position of the pressies on behalf of the landlord. Usually this means they weren’t paying the rent. It had only been open a short while, maybe a year or so. Rarely were there customers in the shop

    6. Whyse Guy says:

      Re: “Le Pain Quotidien at 91st and Broadway closed … because the building that it’s in is about to be demolished.”

      Gee, did they REALLY hafta close just for a little demolishing. Thas’ what’s wrong with this generation…a bunch of wimps.

      They coulda soldiered-on, which would have resulted in a whole bunch of NEW “Waiter! What’s” jokes, like the classic:

      Customer: “Waiter! What’s this fly doing in MY SOUP !!!”
      Waiter: “Looks like the back-stroke, Sir!”


    7. Zach says:

      I see that the space that Aldo shoes currently occupies next to Origins on W84/Broadway is being marketed; I surmise they are leaving soon.

    8. Jim Cash says:

      Billy’s will be gone soon. Either no one wants a $5 cupcake or two dozen cupcakes stores will open next week if people will pay $5. Either way say bye.

      • Jay says:

        Aren’t you a ray of sunshine….

        Clearly you must be new around here. There are plenty of people around to pay $5 for a cupcake (by the way, they are $4 at billys).

        I think what you meant to say is that you won’t be buying any cupcakes. No big loss for billys or any of the other bakeries on the UWS.

      • Bill says:

        Agreed! Don’t get used to this bakery

      • Miranda Smith says:

        Their menu is too small and quality just ok. VERY expensive even for UWS and they don’t have fruit pies other than Apple Crumb and seasonal Pumpkin.

    9. Judy Harris says:

      Thank God $23 Smores are coming to the neighborhood, even if available only after 7 pm

    10. NYYgirl says:

      Will miss LPQ!! The one at 84th & Columbus is cramped & just not as hospitable 🙁 Please LPQ- come to the above-96th st area, please!!!!

    11. Beth Everett says:

      I love Billy’s. They have a store on 9th Avenue and 20th street and it is always packed. Their cupcakes are much better than Magnolia and they have a variety of unusual desserts that are all delicious. I am very worried I won’t be able to resist:)

    12. Carrie says:

      LOVE Recolte..everything in there is not only beautiful, but delicious as well. A little pricey? maybe, but I would rather spend money on freshly made baked goods than on stuff made in a factory with goodness knows what the ingredients are! Support these beautiful places so that the neighborhood maintains character! We need this!!

      • Sean says:

        I don’t think anything is actually baked there in the store. The location is a condo and this retail space along with the wine store are the same owner. The prices are nuts.

    13. UWSer says:

      The LPQ on 84th and Amsterdam is a disaster. Last time I went, everyone who worked there seemed like they were on some sort of drug. $16 for a small, sad turkey sandwich and limp romaine lettuce salad, PLUS tip for “table service”?

      The worst. Do not go there.

    14. John says:

      The LPQ that’s closing was horribly managed

    15. Lynn says:

      LPQ should open a place near Columbia. There are many, many empty storefronts in the neighborhood. Pret a Manger opened between 115th and 116th on Broadway and has done exceedingly well. LPQ: Please join them.

    16. Glitter says:

      GROSS! A gluten free restaurant? No thanks. Now
      That dessert bar….. and wow the pastry chef from Le Bernadin. I dream about that candy bar dessert I had there

      • Mark Moore says:

        Do you even know what gluten is? Most things are gluten free naturally. And I bet you couldn’t tell the difference between the gluten free and non-gluten free versions of the other dishes, with the exception of bread and maybe pasta.