Restaurant Updates: Hotel Belleclaire Adding a Bar, The Wing Takes Flight, Ramen & Sushi Coming

The Wing’s Flatiron location (photo from their website).

By Alex Israel

A women-focused club spread its wings, a historic hotel ended its prohibition, and a new fusion restaurant stepped in after the chicken crossed the road, during the October meeting of Community Board 7’s Business & Consumer Issues Committee.

The Wing, a private members’ club designed for women—but open to all gender identities—is planning to open an Upper West Side outpost at 380 Columbus Avenue (West 78th Street) next year, following successful openings at 11 locations across 7 cities since 2016. The cost of a membership is around $200 per month, (“comparable to a gym membership,” according to a legal representative), which grants access to a co-working space, social and business networking opportunities, an active calendar of programming, and other amenities that vary per location.

Elizabeth Caputo, a member of the committee and former CB7 chair, questioned the representatives from the club about their membership policy, referencing a gender discrimination lawsuit filed against them earlier this year by a 53-year-old man who was not granted membership. Paul Fusco, a representative responsible for development at The Wing, said the policies have been changed to admit any applicant who shows that they align with The Wing’s mission and values, regardless of gender. “It’s not meant to exclude, it’s meant to include,” he said. With that, the committee approved their request for a liquor license.

Audrey Gelman, The Wing’s co-founder and CEO, was not present for the meeting, but had previously expressed enthusiasm for opening an Upper West Side location more than a year ago on Twitter:

Hotel Belleclaire at 2171 Broadway (West 77th Street) is undergoing continued renovations that will ultimately result in a new bar, open to hotel guests and the public. The bar, which will feature a full-service kitchen, will be accessible through the lobby via the hotel’s Broadway entrance that opened last year. The renovations are expected to be completed in six months, replacing the existing coffee and pastry bar. Despite slight concerns about the hours of operation—11 a.m. to 4 a.m., daily—the committee approved the hotel’s request for a liquor license.

Asian fusion restaurant Fujiya Ramen & Sushi also received approval on their liquor license at 940 Columbus Ave (West 106th Street). Construction is under way now in the space formerly occupied by Chirping Chicken, which moved a block away this summer. The hours of operation will be 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., daily, and the business is aiming to open within the next three months.

A number of renewals for sidewalk cafés also received committee approval, including:

Tenzan, the Japanese restaurant at 285 Columbus Avenue (West 73rd–74th Streets), received approval for a new unenclosed sidewalk café due to a paperwork error. No changes were made to their existing sidewalk café.

Sidewalk café renewals were disapproved for Pomodoro at 229 Columbus Avenue (West 70th–71st Streets) and Bodega 88 at 573 Columbus Avenue (West 88th Street), because representatives for the restaurants failed to appear before the committee.

All committee resolutions will be up for a vote during the next full board meeting on November 6, 2019. Liquor license applications will also need to be reviewed by the State Liquor Authority (SLA) for final approval.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 9 comments | permalink
    1. Eric says:

      On the Belleclaire, you note: “The renovations are expected to be completed in six months, replacing the existing coffee and pastry bar.”

      Does that mean Mille Feuille is closing/being replaced?

      • UWS-er says:

        There’s no other pastry shop in the hotel, so it sounds like it must be Mille Feuille. Really like that place. Darn.

      • Kelly says:

        I’ve moved away but I stay at the Belleclaire whenever I visit NYC…the coffee and pastry bar is in the hotel lobby, separate from Mille Feuille. I imagine that’s where they will be putting the new bar.

    2. Frank says:

      It’s getting tiring that troublemakers create these lawsuits which only serve to annoy everyone else and create reactionary media clicks.

      A private club can have a policy which says only women or whatever can be members – this is supported by case law. And that’s OK. Some women may want a place that’s just for women. Just like some men may want a place that’s just for men. If we are so obsessed with so called “identities” then we shouldn’t put up a stink when people of that identity want a place to be together to socialize and find empathy in things only they can really understand.

      If someone wants to start a club that is for “black trans lesbians” then so be it. They can have their space and anyone that doesn’t fit the bill would only serve to disrupt them. A private club isn’t a public space to buy a sandwich. They aren’t using the benefit of opening public space to attract customers and then rejecting some because of some attribute. They are private places for private functions among private citizens.

      Sometimes you just have to feel fine with the fact that you’re not wanted somewhere. And that’s OK.

      • Barb says:

        OMG Frank, thanks for this. I whole-heartedly agree.

        • Mitch says:

          All true unless you’re a boring conservative white guy and want to have a private club (think country clubs in suburbia) in which case you’re told you have to let anyone in who wants to join. We live in an age of double standards, enforced by pc thought police. Ahh well, this too shall pass

    3. CAL says:

      So. The Wing. It is a private club for women. Unless it is not. Got it.

    4. CCL says:

      Went to Asset on Columbus last night. Cool space, vibrant young crowd. Baby clams, carpaccio, tuna tartare excellent. Wine list good, but more cocktail-centric. More bar / club than restaurant. But a much-needed booster shot for the ‘hood. With DaCapo across the street, a block to visit now.