Openings & Closings: Kee’s Chocolates, Pho Shop, Spirit Halloween, Chase Bank, PQR Pizza Cart, McDonald’s

Photo via Kee’s Chocolates.

Kee’s Chocolates is planning to open at 228 Columbus Avenue between 70th and 71st by the end of the month, the company tells us. Kee’s is named for Kee Ling Tong, who left a corporate job to start a handmade chocolates business. They also sell macarons.

Pho Shop is opening today (Tuesday) at 141 West 72nd Street, the restaurant told us. Pho is a Vietnamese soup, and the restaurant also serves sandwiches, dumplings and other food. See the menu for the East side location here.

A Spirit Halloween pop-up replaces Ricky’s at 112 West 72nd Street. Thanks to Big Earl for the photo.

The Chase Bank on Columbus and 76th Street is closing in October. Thanks to Nichole for the tip.

A new pizza cart will park itself at the Central park Zoo this fall, according to Grubstreet. “Dirty-water dogs get some stiff competition from Roman-style pizza al taglio when the excellent Upper East Side slice joint, PQR, pushes its spiffy new pizza cart into the zoo zone at Central Park.”

The McDonald’s on 125th and Broadway has closed to make way for a new development on the site, according to Columbia.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 22 comments | permalink
    1. Leon says:

      I will miss that McDonald’s. It felt more like a suburban location than the other ones, with Ronald McDonald sitting in front. But I guess the economics of a fast food place with parking doesn’t work in Manhattan – too much wasted space.

    2. Gregory says:

      PQR is some of the best pizza in NYC!! Could be dangerous having them so close!

    3. So excited about Kee’s coming to the UWS. It’s featured in Episode 8 of the podcast, House of Life NYC (formerly House of Lee NYC.)

      Here is the link:

    4. B.B. says:

      Columbia University strikes again!

      Don’t know which not for profit is worse; Columbia or NYU, but both seem to be gobbling up city real estate at an alarming pace.

      One “owns” much of upper Manhattan, the other lower.

      • Zanarkand says:

        Aren’t both Columbia and NYU private universities? Definitely for profit.

      • josh says:

        They are private universities. But, regardless – the top 3 real estate owners in the city are Columbia, NYU and……the catholic church.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        both Columbia and NYU are not for profits and thus exempt from real estate taxes, or at least many of them. “for profit” colleges are a sketchy bunch and have been mostly discredited.

    5. Zanarkand says:

      Also sad to see Lincoln Square Steak closed its doors so suddenly. Last day was 9/8. Went a couple times with my wife and it was great spot for steak. The UWS is in desperate need for a steak place.

      • LKLA says:

        You can get a as good of a steak in an American or French or Italian or whatever. You do not need to go to a restaurant that only serves meat to have a good steak.

        The problem is that a steakhouse does not do much or any breakfast or lunch or brunch business. And, it barely does much dinner business Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday. Depending on three nights of dinner for 75%+ of your business is not a great business model. That is why they fail and there are so few of them on the UWS. No one is going to 71st street with 15 clients in tow for a business lunch of steak and wine. Midtown is largely where that happens.

    6. George says:

      Looks like Bareburger will be opening a new location on Broadway between 79tn and 80th (in the former Ikinari Steak space). “Coming Soon” signage is on the windows.

    7. Bernie says:

      There’s a rumor going around the Upper West Side that Gabriella’s on Columbus Avenue is closing this Sunday. Not sure if it’s true.

      • George says:

        I love that space, and particularly their outdoor patio, but have never found that the food is worth the prices they charge. If they do close, I hope they’re replaced by another Mexican restaurant that’s more consistently approachable.

        • Jay says:

          Exactly. The food is not good and they charge a lot for it. I think they have only survived this long on their liquor license.

        • chuck d says:

          Completely agree. Love the space, but prices were out of control. I’m sure a new tenant will only have a higher rent, so don’t hold your breath.

    8. chuck d says:

      When my kid was a baby, she had colic that would only subside in a moving car. 3 months of driving around hour after hour. That McDs drive thru was a life save. RIP.

      • GG says:

        This sounds cute but such a suburban anecdote and experience.

        I can’t imagine my parents or grandparents in this neighborhood having a story like that. I guess first they would have had to get a car. I don’t think anyone in generations of my family, all the way back to Ellis Island, have ever been through a “drive-thru” or even know what that is. Funny.:)

    9. Kitty says:

      I will miss seeing people “hanging out” with Ronald on that bench. Can they preserve that somewhere else, like the Hilltop Steakhouse cows in Massachusetts? WSR, get on that 🙂

    10. PS says:

      I am excited for Kee’s! she is one of the most talented chocolate makers around and her store will be a great addition to the neighborhood.

    11. Come early... says:

      I eat kosher and I will miss that MacDonald s. So convenient to come off the west side highway and pick up soda for the kids and black coffee for self at the drive through. Last place where things were still calm before the frantic overcrowdedness below 96th street. I guess we all knew it’s days were numbered.