The area around West 72nd Street and Columbus Avenue has seen a lot of action lately.
Issa Nail announced it will open at 152 West 72nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues when the city enters Phase 3 of reopening, around July 6th, a spokesperson told WSR. It is the first brand-new opening we’ve heard of in awhile (thanks to tipster “Upper West Sider”.) Issa has been a presence on the Upper East Side, with locations on Second, Third, and Lexington Avenues. “At Issa Nail, we are pleased to offer you an extensive range of services to help you look and feel your best. From massages and manicures & pedicures to waxing,” their website says. (646) 559-2988.
Zen Medica Nutrition has moved to 137 West 72nd Street, between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, the old home of Petland Discounts. This is the third location on 72nd Street in eight years for this store, which specializes in alternative medicines and nutrition. “The best thing we can do during the pandemic, along with social distancing and good hygiene, is to keep our own immune systems up,” said owner Chow Moc. With a B.S. in clinical nutrition and dietetics from NYU, Chow is there to “educate, guide and support” customers. “You can’t rely just on prescription drugs or nutrition,” she explained. She also offers CBD products. Zen Medica is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and is available for shipping and curbside pickup. (212) 873-5610
Heather Mac Clean Cleaners has moved to the long-vacant threading salon at 265 Columbus Avenue, between 73rd and 72nd. “We’re now open!” Jane, the counter person, told us, “and all our customers have come!” They offer laundry services and dry cleaning of all fabrics, including leather. Jane said the space is “smaller and less expensive.” (212) 877-3243.
Oxbow Tavern, 240 Columbus Avenue (71st), which opened in 2018 to great excitement in place of Cafe Tallulah, has closed its doors. But Oxbow will be back one day. They posted this on Facebook: “The reason we are closing is we think it will be a long time – possibly as long as 1-2 years – before fine dining returns to 2019 levels. In the interim, for us to continue to occupy this space would be too expensive. Better to wipe the slate clean, not accumulate a mountain of debt, and sign a new lease when the dust settles.
David Barreto, who represents the property for Cast Iron Real Estate said the space is likely to be taken over by another restaurant. “Greg Hunt, the owner, just couldn’t or didn’t want to come back,” Barreto said. “He tried to sell it to the chef, Tom Valenti (of Oeust fame), but they couldn’t work it out. I mean, how do you assume ownership of a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic?” Someone may want to answer that question. “People are looking at it, proven restaurateurs,” Barreto revealed. “I can’t discuss it yet, but it’ll get rented. It’s a great location. The question is how to make it last.”
Thanks to Upper West Sider for the tips and SK for the photos. Please keep your eyes and ears open and cameras ready as you begin to explore the neighborhood again. What’s brand new and what is gone for good? Let us know at westsiderag at gmail.