Openings & Closings: Fairway Cooking School, GameStop, Babeth’s Feast Returns, La Toulousaine, Dunkin Donuts

Fairway is opening a cooking school on the second floor of its store on Broadway between 74th and 75th Streets. “Offering over 100 classes that range from fun-filled date nights to authentic global cooking, the curriculum, created by Executive Chef, Laura Licona, is designed to teach everything from the basics to complicated dishes,” a press release said. The Cooking Place will open on June 15 with classes available to book at www.thecookingplace.com.

GameStop has closed its doors at 232 Broadway between 84th and 85th Street, and is now directing gamers to its store on 86th and Lexington instead. Thanks to Jesse for the tip.

Babeth’s Feast at 309 Amsterdam between 74th and 75th announced it was closing last week. But they now tell us that they decided to stay open, though it’s not clear what spurred the reversal. “We will be open Monday through Saturday, 12-6pm,” they wrote to us on Facebook.

La Toulousaine at 942 Amsterdam Avenue between 106th and 107th announced it has closed with a note on the door thanking patrons and saying “God Bless America”. The highly regarded bakery’s original owner Jean Francoise Gatorze died in 2016. Thanks to Diana for the tip.

A new Dunkin Donuts is opening on Amsterdam Avenue between 120th and 121st. Thanks to Irene for the tip.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 55 comments | permalink
    1. Dave says:

      Oh swell, a new DD in Harlem. Have these people no shame. And what about the community boards that let this happen. They are all aware of how this non food “food” slowly kills the people in our neighborhood.

      Sinful. Shame on DD and shame on the people in the ‘hood that allow it.

      • Sherman says:

        There are fruit stands every few blocks on the UWS. If people want cheap and healthy food it’s readily available.

        DD should be an occasional indulgence, not a staple of someone’s diet.

      • choiceisking says:

        Last time I checked people were free to eat and drink whatever they choose. I have a McDonalds within steps of my apartment and choose not to ever eat there for obvious reasons.

      • Frank says:

        What do you mean “allow it”? It’s a legit business that can operate wherever it wants. It’s up to you to make the choice to eat there or not.

      • Hermion says:

        What? You want city council telling you what you can and cannot eat? What’s wrong with you? Grow up and eat responsibly.

    2. BR says:

      Very sorry to hear about La Toulousaine. Anyone speak to Laura ( Jean’s wife)?

    3. Ll says:

      Man, wasn’t game stop where Morris Bros. had been? Anyway. I feel strange because I have bought many a gift there

      • YoungSally says:

        Yes – Morris Bros was there – and I think then it was a Halloween and/or Passover pop-up for a time – Game stop may have been originally in the Toy Story space and then expanded…but I’m not the customer base.

        • Nina says:

          yes, that used to be Morris Brothers, but Morris Brothers was expanded further into the back, which is now rented as that small store on the side street.

          That store was too big for a Game Stop, esp that now most gaming has migrated to the cloud.

    4. Juan says:

      Interesting about GameStop. That is a big store to fill. All of the stores up the street from it on Broadway between 84 and 85 have been cleared out for the demolition and new building, but I don’t think the building GameStop is in is also planned for demolition? Having a big construction project immediately next door will not help them when it comes to filling this space.

    5. UWSHebrew says:

      The closing of La Toulousaine REALLY HURTS. The location was not the best for the crowd that would appreciate it unfortunately. I wish the wonderful, kind owner the best. She has suffered so much.

      • Neighbor says:

        UWSHebrew, what is the crowd that would appreciate La Toulousaine?

        • NotImpressed says:

          The ecru crowd.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          people who live 66th – 85th streets

          • B.B. says:

            That is not true, not by a long shot.

            You do realize there is a substantial French community on UWS right through the 120’s? Besides the French American Charter School, you have a good number of French students and others from France studying or otherwise involved with Columbia University.

            French food especially baked goods are appreciated by everyone, witness how Maison Kayser and other such places have sprouted up all over NYC.

            When ever a business loses a main partner/creator it can be difficult. The Widow Gatorze not only suffered the loss of her husband, but she was left attempting to run La Toulousaine on her own, which likely wasn’t in the original game plan. The stress from city inspections and resulting negative PR likely didn’t help, then a part owner dies….

            Yes, they may have done better further down into the rich heartland of UWS or anywhere below say 96th street. But then again rent would most certainly have been higher for a start. As would competition as there is no shortage of bakeries and or places selling baked goods.

          • Neighbor again says:

            What is it about people who live on 66th through 85th Streets that makes them appreciate French pastries more than do people who live North?

      • Nina says:

        How did she suffer? Did something happen to her or her family? I ate there a few times.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          She lost her young husband to a heart attack a few years ago, he was the chef. She had to run the entire bakery by herself, she always looked exhausted.

    6. DrM says:

      Ok, fans of Babeth’s Feast. Please, please, explain to me the lure of frozen food at restaurant prices – that you still have to cook yourself. And just to be clear, I did try it. Not bad. Definitely not great. And small certainly not restaurant portions. What gives?

      • Mark P says:

        As I understood the concept, it was to allow you to entertain guests in your home well (which is to say, have good food) and have it feel home cooked (which it is…just not assembled). Makes sense to me, just not something I do. Which doesn’t matter, it’s a matter of how many people do. I could certainly see that it might happen a lot in Paris, don’t know about here.

      • T says:

        Whatever I tried was OK, not anything special and not cheap. I’ll try it again but I don’t think I get it either. It might be the food and not the concept.

        And to Dave at the top, chill, what would you like in that spot? An apple and brocolli stand?

      • Marina says:

        So glad Babeth’s Feast is staying around! They are SUCH a life-saver for people with non-traditional work hours like myself and also those with dietary restrictions. Clear labeling, incredibly kind employees, and they are constantly having excellent sales. The pesto and the baguette are my go-to favorites. (I have allergies and can’t eat most bread from bakeries because of cross-contamination. And the pesto is nut-free!) One container of pesto sauce (3 – 4 servings worth) is $6, and that’s regularly on sale in a 2-for-1 deal.

    7. Albert says:

      Wow! That’s great! Another Dunkin – just what we need to keep our neighborhood interesting and vibrant. Any chance there’s a nail salon nearby?

    8. Stuart says:

      The address for Game Stop is 2322 Broadway – you left out a digit

    9. Cannolis Forever says:

      What we need here on the Upper West Side in the (70/80) “if there’s anyone listening” is he a “REAL” Italian bakery like in Little Italy.

      • UWS_lifer says:

        This is a great idea. I would certainly be there a few times a week.

        I vote for Veniero’s to open an uptown location, sort of like the 2nd Ave Deli did years ago over on the east side.

      • nycityny says:

        Yes, yes, yes. So many French bakeries have opened here in the past few years – enough already. But nothing has replaced Cafe La Fortuna (or anything like it) since it closed in 2008.

        • RK says:

          La Fortuna.. a place where you can sit for hours over a cup of coffee and a pastry… Starbucks???

          That’s a tough business model for the UWS. IIRC the landlord kept the rent artificially low for sentimental reasons, but then passed away and his kids (I think) raised it, which forced them out.

    10. B.B. says:

      Wonder how much competition there is between Fairway and Citarella, I mean with them being next door to each other.

      The Citarella store on UES is all by its lonesome on Third avenue. Nothing comparable for several blocks until you reach Eli’s.

      • Patrick says:

        While Citarella has much better meat and seafood than fairway, it’s not a place you can buy everything you need. I often go to both especially since the meat and fish at fairway is unreliable.

    11. CB says:

      The sign announcing the new DD has been up on that storefront for months if not a year. Westside rag has even mentioned it before!

    12. Tony says:

      I’m skeptical about Fairway’s new cooking class strategy. I get that it supports the Fairway brand in terms of promoting gastronomy and the use of quality (Fairway) ingredients but I’m struggling with:
      1. The physical space (no visuals on site). Where will the classes be held — where the 2nd floor check-out was? If so, that seems a bit cramped. The store is over-crowded as is.
      2. Will Fairway really compete with the range of courses, instructors and facilities (well equipped professional kitchens of the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE)? I doubt they can.

      • Pam says:

        About 18 or so years ago, Fairway had demonstration cooking classes in their cafe area. They were interesting, reasonably priced and you were served the demonstrated meal. It was something fun to do in the neighborhood. I would definitely do it again!

      • Kindly Dr Dave says:

        Location, location, location! LOCAL

    13. Mark Moore says:

      Fortnite killed Gamestop.

    14. Susan says:

      The Fairway store is filthy. I live on 73rd St and walk right by it. Maybe going in for paper products but that’s about it. Really wish they would go a total renovation to that store.

      • Sean says:

        I guess you haven’t been in it lately. They now polish the tile floor.

      • lyriclark says:

        Susan you are so right. Fairway is filthy. I’ve warned my neighbors before. We need a real supermarket. At times, I trek up to Westside Market on 97th/Bway for great bread and fresh food. Why can’t we get a Morton Williams? I’ve returned moldy fruit (beware the packaged melons) as well as awful soup and inedible fish to Fairway. And they’re sponsoring a cooking school? Delusional. The new owners have a hot food bar that features unheard of dishes, no napkins, and rumors of people spitting in the food. Sad dirty market. Shameful.

        • Sean says:

          It’s like no other market. Who spits in the buffet? Angry customers or disgruntled employees? There seems to be more room in the store. I don’t get run over as much anymore. Maybe it’s the smaller carts.

    15. Jeff says:

      Babeth’s is indeed pretty expensive, but the rewards program is really generous and sale prices are common.

      As for flavor, I feel like the dishes have generally been improving, and they’re getting healthier too (more vegetarian/vegan options, fewer dishes gratuitously spiked with heavy cream).

      Glad they’re keeping at it, wishing ’em well.

    16. Ittai Hershman says:

      Speaking of Dunkin Donuts, a new one seems to be opening in the former Broadway Barbers space, next to West Side Judaica, on the east side of Broadway between 88th and 89th.

    17. B.B. says:

      A huge new Krispy Kreme is coming to Times Square. Might wander in once opened to see what there is, certainly have had my fill of DD.

      https://ny.eater.com/2019/6/10/18659734/krispy-kreme-times-square-location?fbclid=IwAR0LdObtMon8_coH-k8iBsQuA6rEueHo2IJkfsw3Zsr4yIon-i0FDkVVr7Y

      • UWSHebrew says:

        if you ever are going to JFK airport, stop at the Tim Horton’s booth right at the entrance of the air train at Jamaica station. It puts DD and Krispy Kreme to shame. Best “commercial” donuts I’ve ever had.

        • EricaC says:

          I find Tim Hortons even more cardboard like than DD. Krispy Kreme has flavor, but mostly sweetness. Doughnut Plant (Donut Plant?) downtown has much better donuts. I wish they would open a branch up here.

          • UWSHebrew says:

            notice I stated “commercial”. Donut Plant are the best doughnuts I’ve ever had, but super expensive.

    18. calaurore says:

      Small bakeries leaving. Dunkin Donuts opening. UWS becoming a strip mall? Sad.

    19. C.J. says:

      La Toulousaine was the only fresh French bakery on Amsterdam Ave;It will be missed. It had fresh coffee & bakery. I wish Nora well. What will come next in my opinion is a bar restaurant or a just a Restaurant.

    20. EllenM says:

      I’m delighted Babeth’s is staying open and will be making a purchase tomorrow to support them. It’s ideal for quick and easy meals for one and the perfect place to pick up items for a cocktail party. The pigs in a blanket, spanikopita and mini Mac and cheese cups are always a hit. I’m even more happy that we won’t have yet another empty store front in the neighborhood.

    21. Jane O'Shaughnessy says:

      I was a little shocked at the comments from those who think badly of Fairway. I have been shopping there for decades and was in there today. The floor was clean and shiny, the cases of produce, food and supplies neat, and the sight lines better after a recent modest renovation.
      It’s at least as clean as any supermarket we’ve had on the UWS in the past 20 years, and cleaner than most.
      So, Fairway, good luck with the cooking school.