The 3 Businesses That Closed in the 2010s That We Miss the Most

As we say goodbye to the 2010s, we look wistfully back on businesses that were once important gathering places for generations of Upper West Siders. Here are three that give us particular pangs.

1. Maxilla and Mandible

For 27 years, this small shop on Columbus Avenue and 81st sold a hodgepodge of curios, from dinosaur teeth to fossils to fully taxidermied animals. It was a must-stop for city kids, many of whom had just been to the Museum of Natural History. But it was forced to close in 2011 as rents rose, owner Henry Galiano told us.

Read the story about the closing here.

2. Big Nick’s Burger & Pizza Joint

Big Nick’s on Broadway between 76th and 77th closed in 2013 after 51 years as a neighborhood mainstay. The greasy spoon was unpretentious and the food was good and filling. The Hotel Belleclaire raised the rent as property taxes rose and decided to redesign its Broadway-facing facade. Owner Nick Imirziades, who owned other spots in the neighborhood too, died this year.

Read the story about the closing here.

3. Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

Throughout the 20th century, the Upper West Side was known for its many movie houses, which thrived because they were supported by a neighborhood full of art-lovers and intellectuals (and pseudo-intellectuals too). Most of them closed decades ago, but Lincoln Plaza Cinemas at 62nd and Broadway soldiered on, supported by its beloved operators Dan and Toby Talbot. In 2017, landlord Milstein Properties said they had to close after 37 years to allow for renovations; the doors shut for good in January 2018. The question now is whether a new theater will one day open there. Until then, the theater’s fans have started a group called New Plaza Cinema that still screens special films.

Read the story about the closing here.

So hold onto those memories, and share more in the comments. And Support Local Businesses!

HISTORY, OPEN/CLOSED | 122 comments | permalink
    1. CCL says:

      Ocean Grill was the biggest blow when it closed suddenly in December 2015. That was the beginning of the scaffolding business assassinations.

      • Evan says:

        My wife and I had our first date (after meeting at a wedding four nights earlier) at Ocean Grill. Was devestated when it closed…still are.

        • Tim says:

          My wife and I also had our first date at Ocean Grill in June of 2004. Since then had been back a hundred times and it still hurts. Atlantic grill has the same menu but not the same vibe

    2. Sean says:

      What about the mustard store?

    3. Lauren says:

      We miss Brother Jimmy’s and Essentials and Price Wise. All our go to’s

    4. Cato says:

      I don’t know whether there is any solace in this — maybe I saw wrong, or maybe it is only temporary — but it looked to me this afternoon, from the other side of Amsterdam Avenue, like The Great Burrito is still open.

      Their website is still accepting orders, too.

    5. Juan says:

      Agreed on Big Nick’s and the Cinema. As a parent, I would also vote for some of the family friendly restaurants like Artie’s, Brother Jimmy’s, and Big Daddy’s. Also H&H (I believe it closed in 2011).

      Also, I am not a big fan of Gap and Banana Republic, but it makes me sad seeing the big empty spaces they used to occupy at 86 and Broadway.

    6. Silver Kitty says:

      West Side Market is greatly missed. Although small it was my go to for day to day items.

    7. Deri Reed says:

      I miss West Side Market every single day.

    8. Westside Market Fan says:

      I would add the beloved and sorely missed Westside Market that was on Broadway near 77th St. Besides convenience, it had things that no other market had – cheeses, bakery, coffee beans, prepared food, etc. And now it’s unbearably crowded in Fairway for less quality and often pricier items.

    9. Mike says:

      Boat basin cafe!

    10. Sherman says:

      I’m still devastated by the closure of Harry’s Burritos on Columbus & 71st several years ago.

    11. Scott says:

      I’m glad you connect Big Nick’s closing to property taxes. This is all on that clown in City Hall. Oh but what about the landlords, so many say. The landlords just pass on the property tax hikes to the tenants. NOT complicated.

      • EricaC says:

        Leaving aside the political vituperation – when were the current commercial RE tax rates set?

    12. Christine E says:

      I’d add Fauna/Uptown Birds in its various incarnations (Amsterdam Ave then W87th then Columbus Ave). Always a fascinating, educational escape for kids and adults alike. I do hope the bald little African grey parrot survived the owner’s downfall. It’s the quirky shops that give/gave character to a neighborhood, whether UWS, West Village, Soho,… all evaporating.

    13. Linda NYC says:

      Abbey Pub! Was a mess sometimes, but the food was solid and reasonably priced.

    14. Don says:

      What about Isabella’s? A fun place for brunch, or after taking some out-of-towners to the Museum of Natural History…
      It was also the first place I took my husband (of 30 years) on our first date… Sigh!

    15. Gretchen says:

      And I’m also still very much missing Petland Discounts. 🙁

      • B.B. says:

        For last time; owner of Petland Discounts passed away, and family decided to wind up the business.

        It had nothing to do with rents, taxes or whatever. Owner ran things as a sole proprietor not letting on much on how the business operated. Sadly when you do such things and then die everyone is left in dark as how to carry on.

        https://patch.com/new-york/queens/petland-discounts-close-dozens-nyc-stores

        • lynn says:

          That doesn’t mean she can’t miss the store! I much preferred it over the other pet store on the block. I took the crosstown bus over to Petco on Lex & 86th and things aren’t looking too good over there either. All of the top brand names are no longer being sold and the cashier said the company decided to go ‘in another direction.’ I hate to say it but I may have to start using online services. 🙁

    16. TomF says:

      Niko’s (Greek) for its friendly staff and incomparable grilled calamari. Also Dan (Japanese) always a nice spot for an inexpensive dinner near Lincoln Center.

    17. Schvitz says:

      Picnic, a modest Alsatian bistro, at 102 and Bway. Jean-luc Kieffer, chef-proprietaire,driven out by rising rent, died suddenly last January in his native Alsace.

      • BonVivantNYC says:

        I loved Picnic too. I remember seeing Chef Kieffer there with his wife and young daughter. Very sorry to hear of his passing.

        • Ken says:

          We so loved Picnic! We went nearly every Friday or Saturday night with our young son. We felt the restaurant became a part of our extended family, we loved everyone, including the guest 12-string guitarist. What a wonderful neighborhood establishment and sad news about the fabulous chef.

    18. Ladybug says:

      Brunch @ Isabella’s

    19. Schvitz says:

      Scott wrote: “I’m glad you connect Big Nick’s closing to property taxes. This is all on that clown in City Hall.”

      Which clown do you have in mind? Anyone who has owned property in Manhattan knows that they tripled under Bloomberg.

      • Scott says:

        DeBlasio is the clown. Stores are closing under his watch. As “mayor” he must take responsibility. But he doesn’t, because he’s a lying coward.

        • Karen L Bruno says:

          Yep, and how many people who read this voted for him..anyone who votes for a Democrat has no one but himself/herself to blame for the deplorable state the UWS is in.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          DeBlasio is not a clown. There is nothing funny or sad about DeBlasio. He is a danger, through his laziness, inaction, and deflection. He is leading this city to violence and economic ruin.

    20. CSP says:

      Liberty House

    21. Ethan says:

      Not to take away from the ‘official’ WSR picks, but I would humbly like to add two additional entries: 1. Westside Market, 2. Telepan.

    22. Robert Weiss says:

      West Side Market on Broadway (76-77) is SORELY MISSED!!

    23. Steve Friedman says:

      Does anybody know anything about the status of Lincoln Plaza space? Any work at all done? Or alas another empty promise by the building owner to blow us off and bring out the cynic in me.

    24. Steve says:

      Still bitter about Ernie’s and the Bear Bar.

    25. JEN says:

      Liberty House

    26. JEN says:

      Evelyn Lounge!!!!!

    27. Deborah says:

      I would add a critical 4th – West Side Market at 76th Street! They were a family business, with great service, that treated customers like family. It is missed by all of us who frequented the store.

    28. Sarah says:

      Scaletta’s – my late dad’s favorite restaurant. Very sad to see it go two years ago.

    29. Jack W Batman says:

      Henry’s, Price Wise, Ouest, and Westside Market are all greatly missed.

    30. Parker says:

      Telepan

    31. James Martin says:

      We also lost Candle Bar, after more than five decades in business. A real loss for the UWS’s gay community.

    32. Bonnie says:

      All State Cafe on 72nd!

    33. Michelle G says:

      Honestly, I miss the little Lowe’s on 68th and Broadway. It was perfectly curated for city living. I got all my plants there, and they’re all still alive.

    34. Darone says:

      I think that Popover Cafe was a true loss to the fabric of the community.

    35. Jill says:

      Big Nicks of course and West Side Market. Miss both desperately.

    36. Upper West Gal says:

      I don’t know about anyone else, but I still miss Island Burger ( Amsterdam) They cooked it correctly every single time!!
      In addition, I miss Bello Sguardo ( Amsterdam ) They may have closed before 2010, but who remembers anymore ! LOL . While we are at it, Shining Star and Manhattan Diners!

    37. Liz says:

      Lichtmann’s bakery, 86th and Amsterdam!

      • Annabelle says:

        Oh, those wonderful older ladies, with their aprons and hair nets, who sold those amazing Hungarian (?) baked goods! MMM! Great memories.

    38. Steven Eldredge says:

      I miss West Side Market at 77th the most!

    39. Nancy Lange says:

      Toast on 105th and Broadway. Great Food and family atmosphere.

    40. Sue says:

      Westside Market, Pricewise, Westside Market, Scaletta, Westside Market, Lincoln Plaza theater, Westside Market. Allstate Café and Westside Market

    41. Lenore says:

      Price wise!

    42. Jill Altman says:

      No one has mentioned Josie’s at 74/Broadway. I literally cried when they closed. Still miss them.

    43. Virginia says:

      Birdbath bakery on Columbus and 85th. The Baker’s muffin was colossal and delicious.

    44. UWSSurfer says:

      I mourn many losses but City Pie, Westside Market, Gigi’s and Big Nick’s hit me hard.

      Ocean Grill + Isabella’s both had great food and ambiance. Thank you, Steve Hanson.

      I rode in the elevator with him once (I’m a neighbor), when I was holding a bottle of champagne and a small pizza box. Steve said, “Champagne and Pizza, what could be better?”

    45. Laurie says:

      How can you not mention Dan’s Tempura House, on Broadway near the AMC?!? And before that, was the loss of Ollies’s, across the street!

    46. Cj berk says:

      West Side Market sorely missed. Pricewise as well. So many empty storefronts…can Pricewise come back? They had everything from school supplies to high end hair products and their other store downtown is still open. Ditto West side mkt. With their many new locations. What is it about the UWS that drives business away? We’ve lost everything except the nail salons which multiply monthly..no longer are we a convenient place to live.

    47. Sarah says:

      It was there for the blink of an eye back in 2011 – 12 but Spices and Teas on Broadway around 98th St. Their former storefront is still empty. There should be an incentive for landlords to keep small business tenants, rather than squeezing them out and taking a tax deduction.

    48. Christina says:

      Cleopatra’s Needle suddenly closed day just a day before Christmas Eve. Loved hearing Jazz there. And good reasonable food. Although, I dod hear the the owner was horrible to customers and staff alike!

    49. Sue says:

      How about Joe’s? Best burgers and sloppy joes. It was replaced by JG melon which didn’t last.
      Glad we still have Fred’s!

    50. Sally F says:

      Candle Cafe and Cleopatra’s Needle. Also the Bodega on 92nd and Broadway, though not as much since we do thankfully have the one on 93rd and Broadway. Oh, and that coffee shop on the west side of Broadway between 93rd and 94th, can’t remember the name, it was just like Hot and Crusty between 87th and 88th.

    51. lauren says:

      SInce it’s New Year’s Day I thought I would buck the doom and gloom and mention some places that have miraculously (and happily) survived. Would love to hear if anyone has others.

      The Muffins Cafe on Columbus bet 70 and 71
      The Sensuous Bean 70 st
      Santa Fe West 71
      Pioneer Columbus and 74 (Best Beer selection UWS and good for shelf stable staples)
      Francesco’s Pizza

      And, some worthy newcomers!
      Zuckers Bagels Columbus and 73
      Oxbow Tavern
      Red Farm
      Dig Inn
      Elinor Bunin Film Center and its cafe

      Happy New Year!

    52. Melissa says:

      Ironically, I moved to the East Village after 30+ years on the UWS, and now have two Westside Markets in my neighborhood!

    53. Marilyn says:

      Joon Fis store, Amsterdam 98th. 26 years. Lovely family business great prices w both prepped, prepared, sushi andfish. You know the kind of store a neighborhood needs. It was astronomical rent increase, of course.
      Disgraceful that this city and this neighborhood continues to allow this to happen.

    54. Hank Aberle says:

      One of my favorites that I don’t see mentioned here was Nick and Tony’s on 67th Street. One could spot many celebrities like Regis and Barbara Walters eating at the next table. Plus the food was consistently good. That was a great loss.

    55. old timer says:

      I still miss louis lichtman bakery and albert’s pharmay on w 86 near amsterdam.

    56. Lorna says:

      I also want to give a shout-out to my favorite places (all on Broadway):

      Health Nuts @99th
      West Side Market @98th
      Broadway Bagel @101st
      Mama’s 2 @105th

      The one thing we can always count on: CHANGE! Happy, safe, and healthy 2020 to all.

    57. Robynn Delin says:

      Lincoln Plaza should have been #1! Also miss Mana from Amsterdam and 90’s.

    58. Oldtimer says:

      Bamboo Bernie’s on Broadway!

    59. tnsWEA says:

      H & H Bagels are missed

    60. Sean says:

      Burger King
      Wendy’s
      Bagel Nosh
      Webber’s
      Tower Records
      Plato’s Retreat
      P&G

    61. MBB says:

      H&H Bagels… Shake Shack was a good addition to the neighborhood, but when did Jacque-Imo’s close?

    62. kAYE says:

      Believe it or not, the grand Barnes & Noble in
      Lincoln Square.Yes, UWS is now a very, very inconvenient and difficult to live in location.
      Bo books (Shakespeare & Co. carries very little inventory, with two wk. waits for special requets; no music, no real supermarket; have to go to three or more shops to get normal shopping done — all in different locations; Who has the time and energy? We miss all of those named above.

      • Jacqueline says:

        Yes to so many places, now gone! I miss most of all: the All Sate Cafe, Westside market, Isabella’s, Scaletta, Big Nicks (the Greek salad), Lincoln Sq cinema… and ages before those, I miss Teacher’s (best Thai and great prices), Museum Cafe, H&H, Essentials etc. The neighborhood is barren- no character, nothing welcoming.

    63. Ed says:

      Grossinger’s Bakery and Cinema Studio 1&2 – whoops, that wasn’t last year….

    64. Lisa says:

      I still miss EJ’s Luncheonette. Their crunchy French toast is my favorite. And I sill haven’t found a matzoh ball soup I like as much as Artie’s.

    65. Melissa says:

      Nick & Toni’s, Ollies, Telepan, Starbucks on 67th & Columbus, Harry’s Burritos, H&H & Josie’s just to name a few great UWS spots we lost 😩

    66. Jake says:

      La Toulousaine 106/Ams

    67. CCL says:

      There are two vibrant bars for the younger crowd, but we enjoy them for brunch or a drink with our son and his friends. Asset and DaCapo on opposite sides of Columbus bet 75 & 76. Also Dakota Bar across from Oxbow.

    68. Alan Baldachin says:

      Gracious Homes, especially the lighting/bulb guys downstairs in the basement.

    69. Grayman says:

      78 Below on Columbus/78 was a great place for live music and had a cool speakeasy vibe, partially because not that many people knew that it was there. I took it for granted for a couple of years when I lived on Columbus/75th but when it closed i really missed it. Not many places to walk in and pay a small cover or no cover and see a good band in a casual environment. Smoke is great but it’s in a completely different category.

    70. UWS-er says:

      No one’s mentioned it yet: Hampton Chutney Company. Our son’s favorite. 🙁

    71. MQue says:

      Caesar pizza and big nicks are the 2 I miss the most

    72. lynn says:

      Does anyone remember the name of the camp supply store that was on the UWS? It was massive and slightly chaotic but I took the kids there for 10+ years to get all their camping goods, and for the life of me I can’t remember the name of it! 😮

      • Cato says:

        Morris Brothers? Broadway at 84th Street?

      • Deanna says:

        Morris Brothers?

      • Nina says:

        Morris Brothers?

      • lynn says:

        Thank you everyone for the replies! YES it was Morris Brothers. I can’t believe I’m forgetting the names of so many places that were such a big part of our lives at one point. I was just on 86th Street and overheard two women trying to remember which store used to be on the corner. I was able to tell them it used to be a Banana Republic. ; )

      • Lenore says:

        Morris Brothers! They are the only ones who had the ear muffs that I love.

    73. Tostonesfix says:

      Am I the only one sad about Two Boots and Saigon Grill? I know Saigon Grill supposedly “exploited” their workers but I miss going there. For a while there was little or no no Vietnamese on the UWS. A couple of places opened recently but I don’t think there will ever be a dish as good as the Papaya Salad at Saigon Grill.

    74. Carolyn says:

      Does anyone remember “La Fortuna” (I think that was the name) The little cafe/cappuchino place downstairs on W. 71st and Columbus? It closed many years ago, but I am still missing it? It was wonderful

      • Jake says:

        La Fortuna is greatly missed, as is, on a very different note, China Fun around the corner on Columbus.

      • Marianne says:

        Yes!!! La Fortuna was such a special place with opera music, great little cakes and a backyard with tables outside in the summer. I had my first date there as a teenager! Bring it back!

    75. Kate says:

      Henry’s! The only bar that really knew you when you walked in. Excellent service and delicious martinis. So many memories there.

    76. ML says:

      I miss:
      *C-Town Supermarket- it was on W. 100th street
      *Food City Supermarket-it was on West 94th St.
      *Village Copier- their Broadway location closed and was replaced by a bank ATM center

    77. Cooper says:

      What about Morris Brothers?! That was the beginning of the end. ….and La Fortuna!

    78. jimbo says:

      Pat’s Bar–67 St and Amsterdam Ave.

      • Dana H says:

        Cafe con Leche on Bway in the low 80’s. A little hole in the wall with authentic food at very low prices and very attentive and sweet servers (almost all of whom were middle-aged women.)
        Also, the high-end thrift store on the SW corner of 80th & Bway. Can’t remember the name, but the owner was a larger-than-life middle-aged man with wildly long, teased bleached blonde hair. I bought a vintage Commes de Garcon dress there at least 10 years ago that I still wear.
        And Sol y Sombre.