Openings & Closings: New Amsterdam Burger Bar, Kosher Market, Bra Smyth

Last year’s Kosher crisis is making way for this year’s Kosher revival.

New Amsterdam Burger Bar has now hung its banner on the corner of 93rd and Columbus. The restaurant will be kosher and family-oriented, with 60 seats inside and 40 on the patio out front, the owners told the community board last year. It will be run by Michael Gershkovich of Mike’s Bistro and Yosef and Renee Charlap. Thanks to Yael for the photo.

A new Kosher market is opening the former home of Seasons, according to The Kosher Guru. It has apparently not yet been named. “Holding the same location on Amsterdam Avenue between 92nd and 93rd street, this will be the home for a new Kosher supermarket, bought by the owners of the upscale “The Market Place”, located in the heart of Crown Heights.” It could open in five to six months. Thanks to Iris for the tip.

Bra Smyth at 2191 Broadway is closing after 14 years on the Upper West Side, a manager told us. The store had been forced to move from its old home in the Hotel Belleclaire on 77th and Broadway when the hotel remodeled. The store was initially expected to close in late March, but now it may last until the end of April, the manager said — though shoppers tell us the shelves are already getting bare. Among the challenges for the owners was scaffolding on the block. Thanks to Gretchen for the tip.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 36 comments | permalink
    1. Christina says:

      There are like 37 places that are kosher on the UWS. Do we really need more?

      • UWSHebrew says:

        would you rather see empty storefronts? it’s called capitalism, apparently the investors feel they can make a profit buy opening up on the UWS, as opposed to another type of business. why does it bother you so much, do the women with strollers and their husbands with beanies on their heads bother you? can anyone help Christina? Christina you might like Ridgewood, Queens, it is an old German neighborhood, really nice area, I did not see any Jews.

        • Yitzak McKosher says:

          Please refer yourself to the Yelp page for Amsterdam Burger (at its previous venue) and count the number of negative reviews for aggressively rude customer treatment of Jew and non-Jew alike.

          Pay special attention to the review from July 2017 complaining that the manager of the restaurant addressed clientele as lying Orthdox Jews.

          Who needs to go to Ridgewood when you’ve got that kind of abusive, grossly offensive treatment right here on the UWS.

          I hate to see empty storefronts, but unless it’s quite different management and ownership, something tells me another “relocation” might be in the offing.

          I for one will NEVER patronize an establishment that treats its customers that way, and certainly not for an overcooked hamburger. Nor can I imagine any self-respecting Jew eating in a place like that either.

          • UWSHebrew says:

            I don’t think you got my point Yitzak McKosher. It’s not about good service, bad service, good food or bad food. It’s about complaining about a supposed overrepresentation of the amount of food establishments for a certain ethinc or religious group. I’ve never heard anyone say (and I would never even care to!), “There are like 37 places that are Thai/Caribbean/Chinese/Japanese/Deep South-African. Do we really need more?”. See Yitzak, it sounds to me like Christina does not like THE PEOPLE that KOSHER PLACES attract. That’s why I recommended Ridgewood, Queens, as there is not one single Kosher place in that area, nor are there any of the people who would go to a Kosher place, in that area. Paradise!

      • Stacey says:

        Yes, Christina, we do need more. There are plenty of non-Kosher restaurants on the UWS and it’s nice for people who practice a Kosher lifestyle to have options. I’m not Kosher but am very familiar with the practices. Btw, you ARE allowed to eat in a non-Kosher restaurant even if you don’t keep kosher (wow! what a concept!).

      • Shebrew says:

        What’s wrong with there being more? It’s not like food being Kosher means you (a non-Jew) can’t eat it. It means you can but so can religious Jews. So it’s actually more inclusive in thaf way. But I’m going to say that if you don’t like it then maybe you shouldn’t live somewhere with a large population of religious Jews.

        • Stacey says:

          Mic drop, Shebrew! Yes! People really do not think before typing these days. It doesn’t matter how educated/open-minded you are – rudeness comes from everywhere!

        • Jen says:

          Please don’t say things like this. Because if someone says opposite, it is anti-semitism. Please don’t say that people other than Jews are welcome in the area solely because they don’t like kosher food.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Christina, it sounds like you’re very unhappy because of the clientele that these kosher establishments bring in. I want you to be happy, I think you would like Ridgewood, Queens, you won’t see one kosher place or one Jewish person ever. They have beautiful bars, bakeries and restaurants that feature German food and drinks, I urge to check it out.

      • sma says:

        Christina – there are like 37 Szechuan/Mexican/Coffee etc places on the UWS, do we need another…?

        You may not need more, but there are a ton of Kosher residents on the UWS (and NYC in general) that do. Fact is that Amsterdam Burger was, for years, at a small place on (you guessed it) Amsterdam Avenue, and due its success, it needed bigger digs. A kosher place is likely the only type of establishment that will succeed in that space.

        I agree that if you aren’t kosher there is little reason to go there. Prices are a bit higher than non-kosher restaurants of similar quality, in part because they close Fri. night/Sat lunch, and the price of being kosher is higher (kosher meat is a bit more expensive and kosher certification and compliance costs $). But, the few (way less than 37) UWS kosher restaurants that exist probably do statistically better (or at least as well) as do non-kosher restaurants. Lucky for us, we have hundreds of other restaurants to choose from. Kosher folks don’t. And, frankly, they are willing (and do) pay the higher prices.

        It always amazes me how all my left-wing, tolerant UWS friends have zero tolerance for the practices of observant religious folks. (And, yes, I get that many religious folks have little tolerance for people unlike them, but thats not the point). And, for the record, I am not kosher or observant.

      • Rob G. says:

        Jesus, Christina! Did you really mean to post that?

      • Wijmlet says:

        always, yes

      • Saul says:

        How quick every one is to hate on Christina….she could of easily said there are too many Italian/Mexican/French etc….All of you that commented need to chill the F out and stop being so quick to judge.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          yeah except she didn’t, and I’ve never heard anyone say that about any other kind of food establishment. EVER. so Saul, I will NOT CHILL OUT.

      • Christina says:

        Ok, so I want to set the record straight! I meant NO disrespect to anyone or anone’s Faith!!! It was an innocent question! I have asked the same about the many Italian Restaurants, Chinese Restaurants and even the many Duane Reades that have popped up all over the UWS! I never heard Italians or Chinese or even Koreans jump down my throat because of my questions! As Saul commented -People Need to CHILL OUT!!! And to UWSHebrew I will say -You obviously didn’t and don’t know what I meant when asking it so Yes! You should Chill Out and don’t assume anything until you know all the facts! Geez! A lot of Anger on here! Please think before you rant! Thank you neighbors!

    2. Rwc10025 says:

      Oh Why oh why a kosher hamburger? They’ll be closed on Friday night and all day Saturday and be incredibly expensive compared to just a regular good burger.
      I really wish we had a plain old NYC style Dinner on Columbus in the 90’s.
      Good luck to them I hope they succeed In that spot where others haven’t in the past 30 years!

      The busiest days and nights in the restaurant business and they’re going to be closed .
      Clearly they’re not interested the non-kosher folks business .

      • Shebrew says:

        Why? Because there’s a large Jewish population in this ‘hood. The large supply of Kosher places wouldn’t be here if the demand wasn’t. As for not caring about non-Kosher business, they do but maybe they care about abiding by the laws of their religion a little more and there’s nothing wrong with that. That is their choice, and their right. You want a place open on Fridays and Saturdays? Open one.

      • Sherman says:

        “Clearly they’re not interested in the non-kosher folks business”

        This is a really ignorant and offensive comment.

        Jews who observe kosher dietary laws are restricted as to where and what they can eat.

        As such, kosher restaurants provide this service.

        Kosher restaurants are not marketed towards “non-kosher folks”. There are already plenty of restaurants serving the general public.

        However, if course, anybody is welcome to eat at a kosher restaurant.

        • Jen says:

          I’m non Kosher and agree with Sherman again for the second time in my life. People who practice kosher should have their choice.
          But I strongly disagree with previous comments saying non kosher crowd should move elsewhere because this area has a large population of kosher Jews. That shouldn’t be happening in our or any neighborhood.
          I was truly appalled by this comment. If anything were said opposing that comment, it would be called anti-Semitic. But the other way around, is apparently fine.

      • Dan says:

        These restaurants CANNOT be open on Jewish holidays including Shabbat and maintain their kosher certification. (There are some kosher restaurants that are open on Shabbat and Jewish holidays, but these restaurants have less stringent certifications, so not everyone who keeps kosher will eat there). This is also part of why their prices are higher – they still have to pay rent on the days they are closed.

      • Robert Goodman says:

        Let us hope it is ignorance and that learning is possible. I am interested in learning about this writer’s views.

        1.No restaurant that is open on the Sabbath is Kosher. So Kosher means you can’t dine amongst observant Jews on Shabbat unless you are at a private event and then the food will not be cooked on Shabbat. No decent burgers even at home.
        2, There are plenty of restaurants on the UWS where a hungry person can get a burger any day of the week.
        3. There are a large number of empty storefronts dotting Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues where an enterprising burger chef could seize the opportunity to make burgers for those who seek a non-Kosher burger joint. My guess is there is too much competition to bother.

        4. Burgers are expensive in lots of venues on the UWS. What are you implying about a Kosher restaurant?

    3. Yael says:

      Bye Bra Smyth, I don’t think it was the “scaffolding” that caused this store to close, LOL! Pricey and the help was usually unnecessarily overbearing, with a bad dressing room situation.

      • Natali says:

        Exactly. I’m sure the scaffolding certainly didn’t help matters, but I think the place was bound to close soon enough even without it.

    4. lyriclark says:

      The Belleclaire renovation has succeeded in killing 2 businesses with more to come. Our favorite West Side market gone and replaced by nothing. That useless soap store…meaningless to most of us. Sadly, our neighborhood has become inconvenient for most goods and services. Now we hear that Ricky’s on W.72nd is closing in August. Wouldn’t it be great if Price Wise could move into that space? We’ll miss Ricky’s …it simply has everything for hair, makeup, sundry items like soaps and aromatherapy and general goods. High end imported items and also general US brands. The UWS has now become a mass of chained bicycles, empty storefronts, wandering homeless, and dirty streets. We have a Marshall’s that looks more like a resale store-nothing seems new and a really downscale Boltons which always seems empty. A once great and useful neighborhood in decline…and why doesn’t the 20th precinct get rid of the 50 bicycles chained up on Amsterdam between 70-71st? next to the sign reading “Bicycles will be removed”…..that about says it all.

      • BigEarl says:

        I’ve lodged complaints with 311 that 7 bikes have been attached to the alternate street sign in front of Ricky’s for 4 years. First off bikes are not allowed to be attached to city signs and second they all have flat tires, rusted chains, no brakes, some with no seats and trash collected inside the pile. The city claims they are all still ridable and thus they refuse to deal with them. West Side is a dump. Abandoned bikes everywhere, nothing but empty storefronts, crazy folks who scream at women and streets filled with trash. Seen lots of ups and downs since ’85 but in this day and age it’s really sad to see the constant decline.

    5. James says:

      Scaffolding? Nice catch. Does it also say that “the shelves are already getting bare”? That’s two double entendres. I think we can do better than that…

    6. B.W. says:

      There is also a Big Gay Ice Cream store opening at the corner of 85th and Columbus, where Birbath Bakery used to be.

    7. UWS Resident says:

      The amount of UWS restaurants and businesses that have closed due, in large part, to the INSANE amount of scaffolding is totally unacceptable. This scaffolding is sometimes up for years and years – for no apparent reason.

      UWS businesses suffer from this. I agree with the above comment: the neighborhood is increasingly looking like a wasteland filled with empty storefronts, dirty streets (and scaffolding).

      Exhibit A: for years, scaffolding completely covered the row of small businesses located on Amsterdam Ave. between 85th & 86th Streets. All those stores (with the exception of Key Foods) were unable to survive, and have in fact closed. The scaffolding was finally removed, and all those storefronts remain completely empty and vacant. And for how long? It is frankly sad.

      How can NYC call itself “pro-business” when often inexplicable scaffolding completely covers storefronts for years? Costs these businesses customers and revenue?

      Already the rent is a serious and valid concern for small businesses, stores and restaurants. Why further aggravate things with ugly scaffolding that is up for years?

      You notice no other major city has a problem with scaffolding to the extent of the problem here in NYC. Strange.

      • Sean says:

        You have scaffolding because you have old old pre war buildings that need repair. Often the money or the will is not in place to do the work. It is nothing sinister or conspiratorial.

      • Joan says:

        Scaffolding is only required when a building is UNSFE. Would you rather someone else gets killed by falling debris? If building owners maintained their buildings as SAFE there would be not be miles of sidewalk sheds in NYC!! You cannot own a building without expecting to maintain it.

    8. Tostonesfix says:

      I do not have a problem with Kosher meat restaurants but I was hoping for something more interesting for that space. Let us know if the burgers are good.

      • Jay says:

        They weren’t that good at the old Amsterdam burger Co. so I’m not expecting much. It will be better than Elizabeth’s for sure, but that’s not saying much.

    9. Ethan says:

      It’s clear Bra Smyth closed due to a lack of support. Cross my heart!

    10. Melissa says:

      So sad – Bra Smyth had the most delicious kneidlach.

    11. RK says:

      Hey, let’s take a vote on what would be best at the kosher burger location, then let the owner know. I’m sure he’d be happy to move out and find a restauranteur that meets our requirements take the space as well.
      We can also vote on what goes into the Lowe’s on 68th street. I’m sure supermarket companies would appreciate our telling them that the space is available and that we’d love it if they’d move in. But only if the prices are low and they stock everything we want.
      Power to the people!