Openings & Closings: Shinbashi 72, Le Gourmand, Boka, Duane Reade, Cascabel Taqueria

Shinbashi 72 is opening at 218 West 72nd between Broadway and West End Avenue in the former home of West Side Cafe. A Japense restaurant called Shinbashi was once in midtown. “There are already two sushi spots on this block and another one right across Broadway spanning all price points, so here’s hoping they offer something to stand out from the crowd (looks like the old [midtown] location also had hot pots),” wrote tipster Jeff.

Le Gourmand, the cute little bakery at 70th Street has been closed for more than a month, with a sign saying they’ve got “technical difficulties.” But our tipsters have not been able to find out what those difficulties entail or whether the place will reopen. “The metal gate remains down in front of their store. I asked a couple of doormen in the building what was going on. They did not share much. It’s a shame because for those of us who need gluten free options – we were so happy they were there and were really trying to support their success. Always trying to support individually owned small businesses,” wrote Nicole.

Boka, a Korean fried chicken spot at 410 Amsterdam Avenue (79th-80th Street), is finally on the verge of opening. We first reported on Boka in 2016, but the wait since then has been interminable — especially for those of us who love Korean fried chicken. Management tells us they’re still waiting for Con Edison to turn on the gas, but are otherwise ready to go.

Duane Reade on Broadway between 69th and 70th Street is closing, employees have told several of our readers. It’s the latest in a trend of major drugstores shutting their doors, leaving large empty spaces throughout the neighborhood.

Cascabel Taqueria has closed its doors on 107th and Broadway, with a sign that it’s undergoing renovations. But it’s been impossible to get details on when they might reopen — no response to an email request and phones that constantly give busy signals. The Google listing for the restaurant says it’s permanently closed. Cascabel has been “a popular spot for tacos, especially in the warmer weather,” writes one tipster. Thanks to Julie, Ashley, Aislinn, Ashby, AJ and Alex for tips.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 29 comments | permalink
    1. iz says:

      I have faith that Cascabel is just renovating. It makes NO sense that it would close. It was an extremely popular spot with everyone in the neighborhood. Keeping my fingers crossed.

      • Triste says:

        I have gone to Cascabel once a week for years. I was noticing their not restocking their once amazing Mezcal selections for a 9 month period, and in January, they were not replacing empty barrels of draught beer. I was sensing they were going to close, and on 1/24 they were gone. I hope they return, but I believe they are as toast as Toast.

    2. UWSDrew says:

      “Duane Reade on Broadway between 69th and 70th Street is closing”. Sad day for all the shoplifters and robbers.

    3. Morgs says:

      Is there a Duane Read between 69-70th? The only one I know is next to Trader Joe’s between 71-72nd. The one next to us on 75th & Columbus closed so we’ve been going to the one on 71-72nd. Major bummer If that one closes rio

      • lynn says:

        It’s right by the urgent care. I will not be sorry to see them close. The basement is a claustrophobic smelly maze of shelves and boxes, and it was robbed 2 different times while I was waiting on line. The management was terrible. I hope there’s another store that can make better use of the space.

      • Elizabeth says:

        There is also a Duane Reade at 79th and Amsterdam.

      • Ilfa says:

        Yes, it’s where you can get your movie snacks!

    4. chuck d says:

      Oh no, I’m sorry to see Cascabel go. best burrito on the UWS

    5. George says:

      Cascabel Taqueria is now rebranded as Mexicoma on the Upper East Side, so my guess is that they’re doing the same for the Upper West Side. The east side location had closed and moved to a new space a few blocks north, but perhaps the west side one will truly just be a renovation of the existing space — as the sign suggests.

    6. Lyriclark says:

      Sorry about Duane Reade closing. I miss them all and dislike their takeover by Walgreen’s with their ridiculous high prices, lack of service, and general generic attitude. When did these huge corporations take over NYC and never do their demographic research? We could live anywhere and be subject to Walgreens generic junk products. Sorry to see our city fall apart and become a giant low-end suburban mall.

      • JOAN54 says:

        Try supporting the small neighborhood pharmacies!!

        • Julia says:

          Yes. I stick with the small pharmacies (now Valley on Amsterdam at 98th?–just moved) both as a matter of principle and because when I have needed advocacy with an insurance company, they do it.

    7. Mark Moore says:

      When a restaurant says it’s renovating, it’s closed.

      Meanwhile Gyu-Kaku is closed until at least March to fix whatever is keeping their grills from working correctly.

    8. hammertime says:

      Korean Fried Chicken!? YESSSS

      • UWS_lifer says:

        I concur.:)

        Hey UWSHebrew…any word on this place??

        • UWSHebrew says:

          I’ve been waiting for Boka to open for years…nothing beats great Korean fried chicken with some pickled daikon radish on the side…

          • UWS_lifer says:

            Oh man, I can’t wait for this place to open.

            Popeye’s serves it’s purpose once in a long while but I need more upscale fried chicken options.:)

            On another foodie note, I finally saw the movie Chef the other night and it was amazing. I know you are also a film aficionado so I recommend you check it out if you haven’t seen it yet.

            I don’t think I will ever look at a grilled cheese sandwich the same way. Plus its got Scarlett Johansson…nuff said.:)

            • UWSHebrew says:

              Chef was a fun movie, I saw it when it came out. Only in Hollywood could a fat, balding man cast his ex-wife as Sofia Vergara and his current love interest, Scarlett Johansen. Reminds me of the recent movie where John Turturro was a gigolo (?!) with both Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara desiring him. I hope 1917 wins best picture but I have yet to see Parasite which I will do soon.

            • UWS_lifer says:

              So true. Woody Allen used to do the same thing all the time…Seinfeld too.:)

              Speaking of John Tuturro, everyone should check out the trailer for the new HBO mini-series THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA. He is one of the leads, plays a rabbi.


              It’s by the same guy, David Simon, that did The Wire so you know it’s gonna be great.

              RIP Philip Roth

    9. Robin says:

      By The Way Bakery on Broadway between 90 & 91st St is gluten free and kosher. Not cheap but everything is very tasty.

    10. csg says:

      No loss for the Duane Reade at 69th. I live just south of it and choose to walk the extra two blocks to the Duane Reade above Trader Joe’s — it’s a far more pleasant experience.

      • CharlieAndCosmo says:

        I find it ironic that you’re directing people from one Duane Reade to another when there is an ad for Joseph Pharmacy directly to the right.
        Buy local! Joseph’s is the best!

        • NativeNYer says:

          Joseph Pharmacy has great prices,an excellent sale shelf and top notch customer service.

          I hope ppl frequent them & keep them in business, especially w the construction just outside their door.

          We have to support these small businesses while open instead of simply lamenting their loss after they’re shuttered.

    11. Kathy says:

      Oh, I hope Cascabel is only renovating. Love the tacos and margaritas, especially on a hot day.

    12. Laura Aden Packer says:

      Do you know what happened to Hot and Crusty on 88th and Broadway? There one day and vanished the next….

    13. Danna says:

      Le Gourmand is not gluten free! They claim to be, but my son who has celiac got very sick and threw up after eating from their bakery. Since then, I’ve heard of numerous celiacs who have gotten sickened from their food. If you are celiac, stay away!

    14. Joel says:

      I haven’t been following super closely but the opening of the Boka UWS location seems like a major shit show. Over a year ago they posted on their IG that “they can see the light at the end of the tunnel.” Looking forward to checking them out if they ever get the gas turned on. Between them, Joe’s Steam Rice Roll and Two Wheels there are a lot of new Asian spots opening at that intersection. Exciting!