Restaurant Updates: Two New Japanese-Inspired Concepts Prepare to Open

A new cocktail lounge inspired by Tokyo’s record bars will take over the former home of Spiga.

By Alex Israel 

A record bar sang its opening number, a burger chain is going 50/50, and a Japanese-style tavern shared plans during the September meeting of Community Board 7’s Business & Consumer Issues Committee.

Long Play Record Bar will open at 200 West 84th Street (Amsterdam Avenue) this spring. Advertised on its site as “a cocktail lounge dedicated to the love of vinyl,” the space was formerly occupied by Spiga, but has been empty since its closure in 2017. Owner Lainie Cohen, a lawyer for the last eighteen years, introduced the new bar as a place to “enjoy records the way they were meant to be heard.” She described the atmosphere as comfortable, sophisticated, and TV-free. “I’m not opening some DJ bar here,” she said. The bar, which was inspired by Cohen’s experiences at record bars in Tokyo, will feature a “simple” small bites menu that complements a robust cocktail and sake offering. 

Photo by Naomi.

Moonrise Izakaya, modeled after a type of informal Japanese gastropub, is set to open at the beginning of October at 774 Amsterdam Avenue (West 98th Street). The bar and restaurant will feature a menu with authentic Japanese food in a tapas-style setting, according to Jacob Poznak, the owner and manager. It will replace Boru Boru, a creative kosher concept that closed in August. “Unfortunately, the kosher business was a little too tight a squeeze,” said Dan Zelkowitz, former owner of Boru Boru, who will stay on as a partner for the new restaurant. The artwork on the outside is pretty cool, as seen above and below. (Editor’s note: this writer went to college with Poznak).

Photo by Naomi.

Bareburger at 795 Columbus Avenue (West 99th Street) will reopen, debuting a new “50/50” concept—featuring a menu that is 50 percent meat, and 50 percent vegetarian. The operations will remain nearly the same as the last iteration, though now the founders of the company will be directly involved (as opposed to a franchisee), according to a representative. Before receiving approval on their application for a liquor license, Bill Resk, Director of Operations, estimated alcohol will only make up approximately 4 to 8 percent of sales—but said he still likes to have it available as an option.

In addition to the new restaurants, both Land Thai Kitchen at 450 Amsterdam Avenue (West 81st–82nd Streets) and Harvest Kitchen at 269 Columbus Avenue (West 73rd Street) were approved for their liquor licenses. Land Thai will be transferring ownership, but keeping the same concept; Harvest Kitchen opened earlier this year, replacing the Flying Fisherman and featuring a menu of quality American comfort food. 

One new application and a number of renewals for sidewalk cafés also received committee approval, including Rancho Taquileria at 718 Amsterdam Avenue (West 95th Street), Motorino at 510 Columbus Avenue (West 85th Street), and Pizzeria Sirenetta at 568 Amsterdam Avenue (West 87th–88th Streets). 

Sidewalk café renewal applications for Vive Le Crepe at 189 Columbus Avenue (West 68th–69th Streets) and Amsterdam Ale House at 340 Amsterdam Avenue (West 76th Street) were disapproved by the committee, as representatives did not appear at the meeting.

All committee resolutions will be up for a vote during the next full board meeting on October 2, 2019. Liquor license applications will also need to be reviewed by the State Liquor Authority (SLA) for final approval.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 4 comments | permalink
    1. UWS10023 says:

      Harvest Kitchen is so good!

    2. Christine E says:

      Viva la Crepe had what, 3 small tables? So much bureaucracy for a sidewalk renewal!

      I see the disapproval for failure to appear a lot. It hampered Viand on Columbus for months for example, and it apperently takes a while to get back on the calendar. Is CB7 unique in requiring this? Or are legal and other advisors to restaurants terrible?

      We need to help small businesses and storefronts stay in business. Not throw up roadblocks at every turn.

    3. Tony says:

      Really miss Spiga but wish LP Record Bar all the best.

    4. chuck D says:

      Too bad Bareburger isn’t putting any attention into their bar. Their are no bars 5 blocks in either direction, and it would definitely would be a welcome addition to Dive Bar land.