Openings & Closings: Le Pain Quotidien, Broadway News, Mexican Festival, Urban Outfitters, Au Jus

A Belgian bread and sandwich chain may be closing, but we just got some new Oklahoma barbeque.

The first sign.

Le Pain Quotidien, the Belgian bakery and restaurant with two locations on the Upper West Side, apparently and unexpectedly “shuttered” the doors of both of them on Tuesday night. The manager of the 72nd Street location told us he was told to close by the corporate office. We tried several times to reach the office, but the phone no longer works; nor does it work at the store on 84th and Amsterdam. Aiken Weiss told us he heard from a good source — “the lady behind the counter at 72nd Street” — that they are closing 12 stores. “Really sad and very surprising to me,” he wrote. We hear you, Aiken, and thanks.

The second sign.

Update: The sign directly above appeared on the door of the 72nd Street Le Pain Quotidien today, replacing the first.

Corey Kilgannon of the New York Times noted that Broadway News, a “regular normal every day place” at 108th and Broadway has closed up shop. Listed under “Deli Grossery” on google, it was also known as J & R News & Grocery and JR News Grocery. The Yellow Pages said it had been in business for 25 years. RIP

The phone is out of service. All we have to go on is the sign, sent by Gena Reisner. Thanks, Gena! As for the “reparations,” we have no idea what Mexican Festival, at 102nd and Broadway, is making amends for; we hope it’s not for bending the truth. This sign is sadly reminiscent of Fine & Schapiro’s.

Urban Outfitters is out on the UWS.

“DUE TO CONCERNS OVER COVID-19, WE ARE CLOSING OUR GLOBAL UO STORES, UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE,” it says on the Urban Outfitters website, but the above sign, on the door of the 100th Street and Broadway location, indicates something different. We’re going with the sign.


Au jus.

And, finally, an opening — Oklahoma style barbeque spot Au Jus on 99th Street and Broadway, with locations already on the UES, Brooklyn and Harlem. Thanks to Ms. Merrick Dean for the following write up: “With horrible timing, but that is why I wanted to give them a shout out, the Au Jus place at 2621 Broadway, corner of west 99th just opened. I live down the block and have been eagerly awaiting their opening but…the virus struck about the same time they opened. (I don’t know the exact date because I have been in isolation.) Anyway I looked them up online, not easy to do, and one can get deliveries or take out, but only cash and they aren’t hooked up to the usual delivery people. Still I got a very nice pulled pork sandwich and figured I should drop you all a line, give them some publicity.” Here is a link to the UWS menu. To order, you have to call them at (917) 675-7612.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 22 comments | permalink
    1. Karen says:

      The Pain Quotidian at Broadway and 91st has been out of business for about a year. The building it was housed in was torn down as part of the lot for a new 15 story residential building now under construction: https://www.cityrealty.com/nyc/market-insight/features/future-nyc/new-oda-designed-residential-building-coming-upper-west-side/11821 I think WSR wrote about the site at some point in the past

      • Mary Jones says:

        I also remember Le Pain Quotidien at Amsterdam and 84th st, wonder if that’s the second one the article means.

      • Carol Tannenhauser says:

        Thanks Karen and Mary, you’re right. It’s been corrected.

    2. Juan says:

      I walked by Mexican Festival at the start of the month and it appeared to be closed then. It is one of my favorites, going back to its days as Mama Mexico. Good Mexican staples at fairly reasonable prices. Management was always nice. I hope it really is only short term and they will re-open soon

      • Carlos says:

        Agreed – I’m a big fan of Mexican Festival. The neighborhood is lacking in that type of restaurant – Cilantro is also good but it is not the same type of menu. I hope Mexican Festival is back soon!

        • Tom D. says:

          Hidden by scaffolding, and now closed for “the duration” as are all other restaurants… good luck to MF.

    3. Debra says:

      Key Food on Amsterdam between 86-87th has senior shopping hours for 65+ from 7-8:00 am on Mon-Friday.

    4. Samantha says:

      Metro Diner is also closed until this all blows over.

      • Kate says:

        Metro Dinner, City Dinner (90th and B’Way) and Manhattan Dinner are all owned by the same folks. The closed them all.

    5. John says:

      The Pain Quotidien website calls these “temporary closures” due to the coronavirus.

    6. James says:

      I’m also sorry about the demise of the Urban Outfitters store. The upper 90s will miss them. A nice spacious, well-designed store with cool things for sale, not only clothes but also such things as vinyl records. Sadly it was nearly empty every time I went there. I was hoping they could hang in there but alas it wasn’t meant to be. The borification of the upper west side continues apace.

    7. swtcurran says:

      Every time I’ve walked by urban outfitters I was always surprised it was still there. Big glass windows to see inside (both levels) and there was never a person to be seen shopping. Ever.

    8. Sasha says:

      I was a regular at Urban Outfitters and they told me they were shuttering this location. This Sunday was supposed to have been their last official day. They closed earlier because of the virus and will relocate/transfer all items to another store. Some of the sales staff told me they’re moving to Soho and other locations. I loved this store. Pity it’s leaving.

    9. Dmarc says:

      I admit I’m not the biggest fan of Urban Outfitters and only went in there once or twice, but it sure was better than yet another empty store front, which this space will invariably be for the next x years.

    10. Chris says:

      Let’s hope they re-vamp the food at Mexican Festival.
      Awful!!

    11. Merrick Dean says:

      Glad you posted the Au Jus information but that’s the wrong menu! They do have one at
      https://www.aujusnyc.com/upper-west-side-menu/

    12. Tom D. says:

      25 years for Broadway News seems on the short side. I’m almost certain they were there in 1993 (i.e., 1993) when I first landed in the neighborhood. But truth to tell, I probably haven’t been inside since the 1990s. Amazed that they stayed open as long as they did.

    13. Terence says:

      Get yourself some takeout or delivery from Au Jus on 99th.
      We can say that the portabella platter, Burrata, and of course the ribs, are first rate.

    14. Colleen says:

      The Le Pain Q. on 65th Street is also still open with limited bakery items (and not sure what else)

    15. Lucy says:

      Let me also mention that it’s funny how they want to act like they care about their employees, but firing all of them at once because they don’t want to pay them their legal sick days and PTO after making them come in to clean their store and letting them go as laid offs just to be terminated the next day, employees that have been with the company for ages breaking their back to get LPQ where is at today, in the middle of pandemic how inhumane can a company be?