Restaurant Updates: New ‘Food Pharmacy’ Opening And Other Spots Expanding

By Lucas Brady Woods

It was approvals all around at Community Board 7’s Business and Consumer Affairs Committee meeting last night. One new restaurant is setting up shop on the Upper West Side, while some already-popular spots announced plans to expand. The committee also granted liquor licenses, approved renewals for some neighborhood staples and moderated a dispute over one bar’s noise.

Le Botaniste is opening soon at Columbus and 67th Street, which will be the restaurant’s fourth location. The plant-based, organic food and wine bar will feature non-dairy, gluten free, vegan food, marketed as health-forward. One of the restaurant’s representatives at the CB7 committee meeting described it as a “pharmacy” but with food and natural wine instead of medicine. Some of the menu items, labeled as “Prescriptions” on the restaurant’s website, include red beet caviar, seaweed tartare, and happy fish maki.

Upper West Side Latin mainstay Calle Ocho’s new location at 2756 Broadway will be getting plenty of sidewalk seating in time for warmer weather. The CB7 committee gladly approved the 12-table seating plan that will accommodate 32 people. Owner Jeff Kadish has been running restaurants in New York City for 25 years, and co-chair Linda Alexander called him “one of the best operators in the neighborhood.” There are plans for the restaurant to utilize the location’s backyard space eventually, and Kadish assured the committee he would work with neighbors to minimize its impact.

Bodrum, the popular Turkish restaurant on Amsterdam between 88th and 89th, has acquired the space next door, which was formerly Oxford Cleaners. Bodrum plans to renovate both the restaurant inside and expand its sidewalk cafe in front of the additional space. The expanded outdoor seating area will have 21 tables and seat 46 guests. They plan to start construction in about two weeks, but don’t worry, the renovations will only require them to shut down for two or three days.

The committee approved renewals for established sidewalk seating for two other neighborhood staples, Cafe du Soleil at 104th and Broadway and Bluestone Lane at 80th and Amsterdam. Committee co-chair Alexander called the Cafe du Soleil a neighborhood “institution,” and the cafe’s owner, Nadine Chevreux, assured the committee that nothing was changing, saying, “Fifteen years and we are the same old restaurant!” Bluestone Lane is a hip Australian-inspired coffee shop and cafe.

The request from restaurant and bar Asset for permission to hold live music in the restaurant was approved by the committee despite heated pushback from neighbors. The committee sided with the restaurant but acknowledged the community members’ complaints, saying they did not warrant the committee’s disapproval of the live music request.

Sushi restaurant Boka and accompanying speakeasy Sushi Nonaka at 80th and Amsterdam had their liquor licenses approved. The committee also approved continued sidewalk seating for Papardella (316 Columbus Ave), Momoya Upper West (427 Amsterdam), Amelie (566 Amsterdam), Dive Bar (732 Amsterdam), Ella (249 Columbus Ave), and Land Thai (450 Amsterdam).

All committee resolutions will be voted on by the full board at its next meeting on March 5, 2020.

Correction: Asset does not have a backyard.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 27 comments | permalink
    1. Enjoy the Silence says:

      Unconscionable that the so-called ‘Community’ Board would ignore the concerns of residents and place the interests of club-owners over homeowers.

      If you have never had the misfortune to live above a live music venue, you cannot full appreciate diminished quality of life issues, the loss of sleep, the impact on physical and mental health, and the effect on property values.

      This is an atrocity. I would predict a lawsuit. Justice would be for the ‘community board’ members to have to live above the noise and disruption of a live music venue, indefinitely.

    2. Pam says:

      I personally hate all the sidewalk cafes. In some spots there is so little space to walk. Live music — are you kidding me!?

      A sidewalk is for walking, not for eating. Too much congestion in NY anymore.

    3. Tom says:

      Finally a new place in UWS that isn’t all about meat!!

    4. Billy Amato says:

      Le Botaniste seems to be very interesting and promising but the description within has turned me totally off knowingly going to this restaurant described as a “pharmacy for your body.”
      Why not call it a ”Body Repair Service Center” ?

    5. Via Ventana says:

      A food pharmacy. How absolutely ridiculous can we’ve, to patronize such pretension? Better to concentrate our efforts—and money—to defeat Donald Trump.

      • Peter says:

        Can we eat, while we’re defeating him? Or do you plan to starve and dedicate every saved penny to the struggle? Kudos for the sacrifice.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        None of the current candidates will beat Trump. Unless there is a brokered DNC convention in which Hillary steps in to be the nominee (which would be serious competition for Trump), you’re going to have to get used to Trump for a second term. I am hoping for Bernie to be the nominee, because his defeat will set the DNC back 20 years.

    6. uwseater says:

      There’s no way Harvest Kitchen between 72nd and 73rd on columbus has 8 feet from the wall to the curb!

      • George says:

        The enclosed sidewalk cafes like Harvest Kitchen (also Parm, Oxbow Tavern, etc.), are grandfathered in when it comes to the rules since their structures are more permanent.

    7. A thinker says:

      Solving issues. After no street parking is enacted CB7 can sell the curb space to restaurants for curbside cafes.
      Oh shoot, there will be cross congestion between pedestrians and waitpersons going between the restaurant and curb side seating.
      Maybe curbside can become new pedestrian paths and sidewalks an extension of restaurants?

    8. Jacque says:

      Le Botaniste is one of my favorite restaurants in other locations in NY! Beyond excited they are opening on the UWS. Restaurant described as farmacy ridiculous? I think not. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates. Let’s applaud and support this restaurant for their delicious amazing cuisine that not only supports humanity but the planet.

      • dc says:

        Agree! When I was on jury duty, I made it a point to eat at the one downtown. Love the food there.

      • E. says:

        Agreed. “Pharmacy for your body” may sound a bit pretentious, but the downtown location is wonderful. Affordable and delicious – welcome to the Upper West side.

    9. Seth G says:

      I love the feel of the sidewalk seating in the Summer, from both sides!

    10. ann says:

      looking forward to even less space for pedestrians to negotiate walking safely on sidewalks with all the bikes and scooters – NOT !!!

    11. As a person who uses a walker the main problem for me on Amsterdam Ave is not the space between seating and curb. The main problem is broken and uneven paving. In contrast, (much of) Broadway paving is smoother. When I walk on Amsterdam I have to slow down, so my walk time for the same distance as on Broadway is easily twice the time. Smooth and level the paving!

    12. Erika Astarita says:


    13. Hi this is great . Please sign me up.

    14. Glitter says:

      I love Le’ Botaniste. I also ate feel healthy when I eat there. Pharmacy is a bit of a stretch of the word but whatev

    15. Fred DuBose says:

      I beg to differ with the sidewalk cafe naysayers. First, do you feel the same about Paris and other European capitals? Second, the cafes are among the things that make New York New York. Our city is growing so homogenized it needs all the help it can get!