Openings & Closings: Ashoka, Fresh, Benefit Brows, Cafe 86, Calaveras Cafe

Indian restaurant Ashoka on Columbus between 83rd & 84th has reopened after a devastating fire in its building last April, and its fans are thrilled. “Dishes will vary every few days and our lunch—for $14.95—included chicken tikka masala, lamb rogan josh, saag, cabbage, vegetable pakoras, daal, rice, salad, naan, and they brought us a special trea to our table—tandoori chicken legs—that were amazing. The buffet is on weekdays from 11:30 am to 3 pm. The staff and service could not be more gracious. Can’t recommend it enough,” wrote tipster Terry. Thanks to Gerald and Terry for the tips.

Fresh cosmetics store at 159 Columbus Avenue (67th) is closing next week. “We’d like to share that January 26th will be our last day open here at the fresh Columbus Avenue shop on the Upper West Side. We would love to see you in store before we close, as we have an exciting promotion only for guests at our Columbus shop: Up to 30% off your purchase!” the store said in an email to customers. Thanks to Nichole and Deborah for the tips.

Benefit Brows is now open at 315 Columbus Avenue (75th). It’s a part of Benefit Cosmetics, which is owned by LVMH Group. Thanks to Marie for the tip.

Cafe 86 on Broadway and 86th Street appears to have closed for good, with the restaurant emptied out and for rent signs on the windows. the  had recently been closed because of health violations. Thanks to Sue for the tip.

Calaveras Cafe is now open at 947 Columbus Avenue (106th-107th). The menu is below.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 24 comments | permalink
    1. Paul says:

      Cafe 86 (which won’t be missed) joins Hot & Crusty at 88th and Europan at 78th and Broadway between about 76th and 90th lacks a single place to pick up a breakfast or lunch sandwich or salad.

      Is this the result of the many food trucks that park for free, and don’t pay many of the taxes that stores pay that have cropped up, some mere feet from these old locations? They don’t pay commercial rent tax and they if they’re paying full income and sales taxes on their cash receipts I’ll go into shock.

      Sooner or later the problems related to deliveries and food served off trucks will have to be addressed.

      • Paula Cohen says:

        Zabars at 80th, Bway Farm at 85th, and Murray’s at 89th for the best tuna salad, homemade salads and smoked fish?

        • Paul says:

          The Zabars cafe, you can sit. The others, not so much…

        • chuck d says:

          went to zabar’s today for the first time in a long time. I don’t think they’ve cleaned since I was last there. Walls, floors, tables, ceiling covered in food splatter. Those sesame seed bagels? I bet they’re not all sesame seeds. Place is a mess. No way they’ll be open much longer.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Broadway Farms at 85th and Broadway has great sandwiches, fresh bread, bagels, etc. Their produce is also terrific.

      • Zanarkand says:

        87th Street Deli on Amsterdam is good. Not a sit in place but you can buy 2 breakfast sandwiches for what you were paying at Hot and Crusty.

      • Jack says:

        What about P&S Deli on Columbus & 95th?! They are the sweetest people and their sandwiches are great!!

        • Aly says:

          P&S Deli on 95th is so good. Very nice people and I love getting their italian subs for lunch or dinner when I’m feeling lazy.

      • Chander Malik says:

        I totally agree with your comment about food trucks. Real business with real rent, taxes and administrative fees can not compete with these food trucks. There is a lot of talk about what to do with the empty spaces. A start would be to move those food trucks in to stores. Limit those food trucks to game parks.

    2. Debra says:

      I’ll really miss Hot n Crusty.
      Been buying their challah and
      hamantashen for years. It seems
      like every store I like is closing or has

    3. Erica says:

      I’m really bummed about Hot & Crusty. Wonder if they all had the same owner. The place was always crowded so it’s really strange.

    4. Rachel says:

      Welcome back Ashoka!! We’ve missed you!
      If you haven’t been – put it at the top of your to-do list!

    5. ManhattanValleyPal says:

      Looks like Cascabel Taqueria has been closed this week. Lights are off, doesn’t look like renovations. No notices posted. Wonder what’s going on?

      • George says:

        They’ve also closed their UES location (at 2nd Ave and 81st Street), and opened a rebranded—but similar—Mexican restaurant called Mexicoma a few blocks north. I wonder if they’re planning a similar switch on the UWS.

    6. Naomi says:

      Sweetgreen on 91st is the only “make your own” salad option on Broadway above 79th. And it’s expensive and “meh”. Does anyone know what is going into the Gristedes space on 86th?

      • Real Estate Guy NY says:

        I hear it’s still empty. JLL is about to get the listing. Anything with Rumble or any other tenant fell through.

    7. Parker says:

      Fresh feels like it’s been there for awhile. Sorry to hear that it’s closing. It’s not a good sign when stores selling cosmetics close given their margins.

    8. Sailingsam says:

      Why is it so hard to attract good stores and eateries to the upper West side. I often have to go downtown to find good food.

    9. ST says:

      Yay!!! Ashoka is back! And

    10. Cathrine Steck says:

      I got a premade bagel with lox and cream 6at Zabar’s Cafe the other day and it tasted like it was 5 years old! Yuck!! Then with the demise of my beloved Hot & Crusty, I went to Murray’s Sturgeon and got nova and a couple of bagels to take home. They were absolutely delicious!!

      • UWSHebrew says:

        you want some great bagels and the best bialys you’ve ever had in your life, check out Bo’s Bagels on 116th street.