Some UWS Restaurants are Essentially Acting Like Grocery Stores Now; Welcome to Fiorello Gourmet Market

Chef Brando at ‘Fiorello Gourmet Kitchen’.

Restaurants are struggling to stay open now that the state has said they can no longer serve people inside. So some have found new ways to sell their goods to customers.

Cafe Fiorello is one of those innovators. The restaurant on Broadway and 64th, traditionally a hot pre-theater spot (back when we had theater) is now selling prepared foods and other items like a retail store.

“After the city banned in-seat dining in restaurants, the owners of Cafe Fiorello quickly decided to take the food they had in stock and just sell it, including prepared foods like soup and pizza, as well as produce and other items to cook at home,” NY1 first reported. They’re now calling it Fiorello Gourmet Market.


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And they’re not the only ones. Vietnamese spot Bonmi at 150 West 62nd Street is selling “meal kits” that people can cook at home. So you too can pretend to be a Vietnamese chef, with all the ingredients. “In addition to our everyday menu that features favorite signature dishes and build your own options we are now offering fresh meal kits, as well as proteins by the pound,” the restaurant said in an email to customers. “All of our offerings are available via contactless delivery or pick up.” They’re at 646-346-5142 and you can call from 10 a.m,. until 7 p.m. to place an order.

FOOD, NEWS | 18 comments | permalink
    1. ben says:

      That’s an excellent idea. Hope more restaurants would adopt it!

    2. Sam Koo says:

      Together we’ll overcome this.
      New York, New York – If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere

    3. Heidi says:

      That’s great. Very creative problem-solving.

    4. LarryK says:

      Great creativity on their part. Hope them well and that more restaurants copy them to help stay in business.

    5. Filatura says:

      I just saw via email that La Mirabelle, on 86th just west of Columbus, is offering takeout, curbside delivery and free home delivery. I’ll have the moules mariniere and the wonderful roast duck with mirabelle plums, please. Too bad they can’t send along the singing waitress to serenade you with “La Vie en Rose.”

    6. Maryellen says:

      They should sell the excess paper products and toilet paper they’ve got in stock, too. I’m sure that they have more than enough since they won’t be serving customers — and that’s something else that people will buy.

    7. Annie says:


    8. Nancy says:

      Excellent, for both the restaurants and customers. Helping all our neighborhood businesses stay afloat through this is so important.
      Stay safe and well, neighbors!

    9. Janie says:

      makes sense, why let food spoil

    10. Pedestrian says:

      Great idea!

    11. Daniel Javitch says:

      Can u tell us wat other restaurants are offering free delivery of their food?

    12. MaryAnne says:

      Bella, Bella. You know it was the Italians in 1906 that out of necessity started the Bank of America after the San Francisco earthquake. Great ingenuity, reinvention, and noble inventions. I am sure ,this approach will help many people, today. Graze!

    13. Kathleen R says:

      Local shopping update (Thurs midday):

      Just went to both the GrowNYC farmer’s market at Tucker Square (66th and Broadway) – they have new sanitary procedures in place and a few vendors (4 instead of the usual ~10). Compost collection is on, which was great given I’m cooking more at home and had more to contribute. Vendors are selling produce (apples, potatoes, carrots, onions), pastries (Irish soda bread, muffins, donuts), and meat, sausage and eggs. Vendors were incredibly kind, helpful and appreciative of the business.

      Then on to Fiorello’s where the signs said ‘closed’ but door was unlocked – I was the only patron and bought boxed pasta, tons of fresh produce (lemons, ripe avocado, tomatoes, huge bag of arugula, romaine, peppers), their own sauce, and huge loaf of bread. It was just like the video – They have tons of pastas, jars of Italian food goods, toilet paper ($2/roll) and fresh and frozen dishes, with the chef there to help. They will flip the signs to ‘open’ but said ‘if you see us inside, we’re open and here to help’ – what a great neighborly attitude. Some things very reasonably priced, some things more expensive than the store, but makes sense given the quality and they have to survive – I’m happy to support.

    14. Janis says:

      I was saying to my husband, last night, that some of the restaurants in the high 80’s and low 90’s should sell their food. It would be a shame to see all that fresh food go bad.
      Hopefully some will adopt…Gennaro’s are you reading this?

    15. Francesca says:


    16. Marci says:

      Does anyone know what time they’re open for grocery?

    17. Marci says:

      We went down there today. They didn’t open until close to noon, but they’re so pleasant, who cares? They didn’t have any prepared dishes yet because of a key mix-up, but we picked up some things and had a great chat with Brando, the first guy in the video. We fell completely in love with him! They don’t know how long they’ll be able to sustain staying open, so go support them while you can!

    18. Lisa says:

      Please don’t touch the tomatoes you’re trying to sell with the same gloved hand that you touch the front door handle