A Section of Amsterdam Avenue Becomes Restaurant Row on Weekends Starting Saturday; Here’s How It Will Work


Restaurants need space to spread out.

Amsterdam Avenue will be blocked off to traffic from 97th to 110th Street on Saturdays from August 8 to October 31 as part of the city’s plan to make it easier for restaurants operate outside. The Columbus-Amsterdam Business Improvement District wrote about how the open street will work:

The Columbus Amsterdam Business Improvement District (BID) is excited to be bringing “Open Streets: Restaurants” to the Bloomingdale neighborhood for the largest operation of this program in the city thus far.  Every Saturday starting from August 8th, restaurants on Amsterdam Avenue between 97th and 110th Streets will be able to expand their outdoor dining into the street from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. The thirteen blocks of Amsterdam Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic starting an hour before and ending an hour after this timeframe to allow for set-up and clean-up. During this period, buses will be rerouted to Broadway, and there will be a 15-foot emergency and bike lane down the center of Amsterdam with a 5 mph speed limit.

The Bloomingdale neighborhood is fortunate to be the home of many small, family-owned restaurants that have been offering a wide range of cuisines for generations.  These small local restaurants have been hit hard by the pandemic but have worked hard to serve the community consistently since March. The BID has been committed to supporting the hard work of these restaurants by publishing and updating the “Takeout and Delivery Guide” on the Bloomingdale Restaurants website to highlight the diverse culinary scene in the neighborhood.

Restaurants took the first step towards their recovery by offering outdoor sidewalk seating options, as permitted under the Phase Two guidelines of New York City’s reopening.  They are crucial for the revitalization of the city’s economy and are working hard to keep New Yorkers safe as they reunite with friends and family. However, it has not been easy to offer outdoor seating options.  In addition to having to navigate complex guidelines and regulations, small restaurants often do not have a wide enough store frontage to offer more than a couple of seats outdoors. Additionally, many restaurants in the neighborhood have not been able to expand to the outdoor dining option because the limits imposed by bike lanes or bus stops did not provide adequate room for social distancing.

The Open Streets: Restaurants program offers a unique opportunity for all New Yorkers to discover the local restaurants that make the Bloomingdale neighborhood so special. With this program, the 33 restaurants that are currently open on Amsterdam Avenue can use the extra 20-25 feet of space to serve more customers and better protect community members and their staff by continuing to follow social distancing guidelines.

The BID expects to keep this program running through October, with the possibility of expanding to Columbus Avenue so even more of the 86 restaurants in the neighborhood between 96th to 110th Streets can benefit.

SUMMARY: On Saturdays through October, Amsterdam Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic between 97th and 110th, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Restaurant dining will be expanded into the street from noon to 9 p.m. Buses will be rerouted to Broadway. There will be a 15 foot emergency and bike lane down the center of Amsterdam with a 5 mph speed limit.

For more information, contact info@columbusamsterdambid.org. A list of participating restaurants can be found at bloomingdalerestaurants.nyc. The success of this program is contingent on community members being diligent about wearing masks and socially distancing themselves.

The BID is still figuring out which restaurants will participate, but the list below of retaurants on Amsterdam that are open gives a pretty good sense:

Acosta Restaurant (Caribbean & Dominican)
934 Amsterdam Ave (105-106) 212-280-2130
http://www.acostarestaurant.com/
*Outdoor Seating

Amity Hall (American Regional)(Bar)
982 Amsterdam Ave (108-109) 646-930-2501
www.amityhalluptown.com
*Outdoor Seating

Arco Cafe (Italian & Sardinian)
886 Amsterdam Ave (103-104) 212-665-0033

Home


*Outdoor Seating

Awash (Ethiopian)
947 Amsterdam Ave (106-107) 212-961-1416
*Outdoor Seating

Bosino (Italian)
201 W 103rd (103) 646-755-8770

Casa Mexicana (Mexican)
894 Amsterdam Ave (103-104) 212-222-3151

Home


*Outdoor Seating

Dive 106 (American Regional)(Bar)
938 Amsterdam Ave (106-107) 917-965-2840
dive106.divebarnyc.com
*Outdoor Seating

Elis Wine Bar (Mediterranean)
1012 Amsterdam Ave (110) 212-222-2055
https://www.eliswinebar.com/menus/
*Outdoor Seating

El Malecon (Caribbean & Dominican)
764 Amsterdam Ave (97-98) 212-864-7606
http://maleconrestaurants.com/
*Outdoor Seating

Grain House (Chinese)
929 Amsterdam Ave (105-106) 212-665-0033
www.grainhouseny.com

Guacamole (Mexican)
786 Amsterdam Ave (97-98) 917-265-8173
*Outdoor Seating

Happy Hot Hunan (Chinese)
969 Amsterdam Ave (107-108) 212-531-1786

Lion’s Head Tavern (American Regional)(Bar)
995 Amsterdam Ave (109) 212-866-1030
www.lionsheadnyc.com
*Outdoor Seating

Living Thai (Thai)
931 Amsterdam Ave (105-106) 212-222-2600

Makana (Hawaiian BBQ)
161 W 106 st 212-665-0033
www.makanabbq.com
*Outdoor Seating

Mama’s Pizza
941 Amsterdam Ave (106) 212-531-3797
https://mamaspizza.nyc/
*Outdoor Seating

Marlow’s Bistro (Mediterranean)
1018 Amsterdam Ave 212-662-9020
Go Fund me link
*Outdoor Seating

Moonrise Izakaya (Japanese Pub)
774 Amsterdam Ave (99) 646-969-8361
https://www.moonriseizakaya.com/
*Outdoor Seating

Mokja (Korean)
852 Amsterdam Ave 646-964-4296

Nobody Told Me (American Regional)
951 Amsterdam Ave (106-107) 917-409-2050
https://nobodytoldme.nyc/
*Outdoor Seating

New Kam Lai (Chinese)
890 Amsterdam Ave (103-104) 212-749-8388

Noche Mexicana II (Mexican)
842 Amsterdam Ave (101) 212-662-6900
https://www.noche-mexicana.com/
*Outdoor Seating

Ozen (Chinese Fusion)
760 Amsterdam Ave (97) 212-678-0300
*Outdoor Seating

Panchos (Mexican & Pizza)
964 Amsterdam Ave (107-108) 212-316-5400

Pearls (Chinese)
796 Amsterdam Ave (99) 212-749-0300

Order Online


*Outdoor Seating

La Piccola Cucina (Italian)
844 Amsterdam Ave (101-102) 212-866-1336
*Outdoor Seating

Raenu Thai (Thai)
964 Amsterdam Ave (107-108) 212-665-0033

Ranchito (Caribbean & Dominican)
924 Amsterdam Ave (106-105th) 917-675-7262
*Outdoor Seating

Roti Roll (Indian)
994 Amsterdam Ave (109-110) 212-666-1500
*Outdoor Seating

Suite (Bar)
992 Amsterdam Ave (109) 212-222-4400
*Outdoor Seating

Spice (Thai)
975 Amsterdam Ave (106-107) 212-864-4168
Spicethainyc.com
*Outdoor Seating

Suma Sushi (Japanese)
964 Amsterdam Ave (107-108) 212-222-0229

Tropical Sensation (Caribbean & Dominican)
953 Amsterdam Ave (106-105th) 212-222-0098
*Outdoor Seating

FOOD, NEWS | 45 comments | permalink
    1. Leon says:

      Sounds great until you get sucker punched. I wish these restaurants well but will stick with takeout for now.

      • Sara says:

        I am with Jerry, Steen, Brunnhilde and Lady Di! We are all just trying to get along during unprecedented times, and we should care about the financial plight of our neighborhood restaurants and their employees. I think the brief avenue closure is a wonderful idea. I only wish it would be extended to longer hours, more days, and south to 72nd Street.

    2. Mking says:

      That area has become so riddled with crime and the wild west in the evening. Why wouldn’t they want to open those streets that are much more populated with restaurants from lower Amsterdam and 79-86 where it is much safer and more populated with diners. I live in the area above and I won’t go out past 9:30. The UWS is not the same as it was pre-Covid and it is sad as all of the comments in so many of your articles discuss.

      • Cyrus says:

        @Mking, I agree. This program would be far more successful and safer in the 70’s and 80’s. I appreciate the effort to help these restaurants but that is just not a safe area right now.

    3. Honest Bob says:

      I lived in this area…no thanks

    4. JS says:

      Detouring buses to Broadway is actually a hardship for some people – elderly, people with limited mobility, parents with small kids, and workers at night with safety concerns.

      People are entitled to have full access to bus mass transit – it is not ok to treat bus riders like third class citizens. And if buses are not permitted, bicycles should be banned as well.

      • Boris says:

        Sounds foolish to impact bike riders because buses have to be rerouted. Will that your problem go away? Very selfish and misguided to want others to share your pain when it’s not their fault.

        • JS says:

          Hello Boris,
          We all have our opinions and context for such.
          But insulting others, complete strangers, with differing opinions is not cool.

          With respect to cycllsts, many if not most cyclists in Manhattan completely disregard and endanger pedestrians. My kids, friends and neighbors have been hit by cyclists. Several serious injuries, long-term rehab.
          If this area is for dining, it should be pedestrian only.

    5. Dave Cook says:

      Pictured, open, but missing from your list:

      Thai Market
      960 Amsterdam Ave (107th-108th) 212-280-4575

      Not sure about outdoor seating.

      • Amaro says:

        Thai Market is indeed participating, with outdoor seating. Ate there Saturday night, did not disappoint.

    6. Marissa says:

      How does this work with cars parked on streets that don’t go through to Columbus? The only way out is to turn onto Amsterdam in many cases…also, how will this work with parking? Parking is already incredibly difficult and to not be able to loop between broadway and Amsterdam is going to be even more challenging. What if I need to pull up to my building on amsterdam?

    7. BeckyO_UWS says:

      This is great! It should be year round. Looking forward to this.

    8. Bodhivata Dharmashanti says:

      What about HiLife which is an amazing restaurant on Amsterdam and 83?
      By far some of the very best food in town.
      Why are they not listed? Political discrimination in action again?
      Bodhi

    9. Rosie says:

      It is extremely important to understand the implications of re-routing the buses and to ask the question how will ambulances get to St Luke’s Hospital (Mt Sinai North?)???? There are elderly, mobility-challenged and a host of other populations to be affected by the important but poorly thought out plan to help restaurants re-open. Exactly who came up with this idea and who approved it?

      • Paul says:

        The St Luke’s Mt Sinai point is excellent and routing ambulances up Broadway instead of Amsterdam will invariably add to response time and could endanger lives.

        Elderly and mobility impaired people are already inconvenienced by “open streets,” for example cabs can’t routinely cruise down West End between 96 and 86, there used to be a constant stream of them (because demand was there) and people now have to walk to Broadway. Easy for most, but not all.

        Much of the pandemic related actions are warranted in our emergency. However, The City needs to do surveys and impact analyses independently of the input of the advocates pushing for permanent change.

      • Balebusta says:

        Ding ding ding! Another voice of reason that will go ignored. Blocking off the streets like this is not safe, especially during a pandemic, as it limits the ability of first responders to route vehicles appropriately and gain access.

        • World Peacenik says:

          The strain of the Covid Crisis has caused most to act in inexplicable ways.

          So don’t look for an explanation.

    10. Small Business Owner in 80s on Amsterdam says:

      What about the small business restaurants In the 70s and 80s on Amsterdam? We are struggling to keep our staff employed and businesses open as well!

    11. Jerry says:

      Alas, in order to be more accurate, perhaps we should consider renaming the Comments section of West Side Rag the Complaint section, since that seems to be the first, loudest and most knee-jerk reaction for so many. And, as a service to readers, maybe we could also include ratings for greatest degree of whining, histrionics and hyperbole, declaring a winner each week? Fortunately, I myself still live in an absolutely wonderful neighborhood and regularly enjoy all that is the UWS from Columbus Circle to St. John the Divine and from Riverside to Central Parks.

      • Mark says:

        And I bet you do so without needing portions of a major avenue closed down too, correct?

        Why do so in an area where these restaurants aren’t even taking advantage of the ample sidewalk space already available to them?

        • Jerry says:

          Responding to Mark…

          On Thursday evening my wife and I walked south on Amsterdam from 106th to 94th, making note of several restaurants that we thought we’d like to try. We will go to one of them tonight for dinner specifically because the avenue is closed to vehicle traffic.

      • RL says:

        Amen. No one ever has a positive reaction to anything on this page. Good for this BID that they fought to get this – limited hours for weekends. Restaurants from 97th up need more help.

      • Steen says:

        Thank you Jerry. This comment section is utterly ridiculous these days. Restaurants need this to survive. I read the thoughts of so many unpleasant whiners that I almost want to stop reading WSR. It’s sad how the default on here is to moan and predict the end of the world for any change.

    12. Mark says:

      I live in this neighborhood and just walked this as they were blocking off traffic at 97th.

      This is so ill-conceived. From 97 -105, there are zero restaurants on the east side of Amsterdam. On the west side of Amsterdam, at least from 97-105, any restaurant with the exception of two have hardly any table seating that numbers more than 4-5 tables even on the side walk, let alone extended into the street.

      Maybe we’ll intentioned, but a terrible idea and not justified based on how these venues are using existing sidewalk space at an already minimal level.

      • Sb says:

        Walked the route tonight and was disappointed as there are barely any restaurants on the east side of the street and minimal on the west side and many seemed fine with just sidewalk seating. There was barely any foot traffic on Amsterdam ave and for several blocks I was the only one walking. It’s a nice idea but I just think that other blocks/avenues would have benefited more from and Avenue shut down.

      • Mark says:

        Complaints? Yes, absolutely, especially when the decisions made or approach taken makes no sense.

        I’m 100% behind supporting local businesses and more so for these restaurants that are in dire need of revenue. But to close off an major avenue for a stretch that has zero restaurants on one side for 8 blocks and the restaurants that are there who aren’t even taking advantage of the side walk space is asinine.

        Maybe you all complaining about the complaining should exercise some common sense. I’d venture to say most of you go nowhere near this stretch. If so, you’d know how poor this decision is.

        • Jay says:

          Sidewalks are for pedestrians to use. There is zero reason why these restaurants and neighbors can’t use the roadway for the weekend for more space.

        • Jerry says:

          Responding to Mark…

          I started on Amsterdam last night at 88th around 7 p.m., walked north to 98th, had dinner at a restaurant on Amsterdam between 97th & 98th. After dinner, I walked north on Amsterdam to 104th, turned east to Columbus and proceeded down to 88th. I was in the heart of the stretch, had a perfectly nice evening, very much enjoyed the car-free arrangement on Amsterdam, and don’t think all of your whining and complaining is an exercise of common sense.

    13. Brunnhilde says:

      Complain, complain, complain! (a nicer word than I wanted to use)…. So what’s wrong with trying something new? It’s a great idea to try something new – people can get out of their boxes a bit. Great idea for the center lane for bikes and emergency. Good thinking on whoever thought this up…BID?? Wish it could go all the way down to 79th.

      • Lady Di says:

        amen! if one didn’t exist, the habitual whiners and complainers would find something to bitch about. Jeez people – I’m sure some of the concerns you’ve voiced have been considered – you are not the only “savvy Upper West Siders”! A Covid economy is unchartered territory so unless you want to live in a ghost town for the next decade, we need to try solutions and see what works and what doesn’t.

    14. michael stearns says:

      There is no discussion about access to the parking garages on 101st and 108th streets. If the city and neighborhood associations are going to make plans that impinge on. traffic flows, those entities need to consider all of the implications and anticipate questions that should be routine.

    15. Dine Harlem says:

      Congratulations Amsterdam Avenue! Central Harlem could use the organization and close Frederick Douglas or Adam Clayton Powell for outdoor dining hours.

    16. Buffed-Up History Buff says:

      NOBODY even bothered to ask “Why Bloomingdale? Does it have anything to do with that bastion of capitalism?”
      The short answer is NO.
      The long answer is: thank the Dutch, who created Nieuw Amsterdam (hmmm…whatever happened to that place?) and Nieuw Nederland around 1624.
      Per Wikipedia, they named this area “Bloomingdale” (probably thinking of “Bloemendaal”, a town back home).
      And, from 1821 to 1889 the area was also home to The Bloomingdale Insane Asylum.!
      Today it’s the site of Columbia University.
      N.B.: any conclusions drawn are yours alone…not mine!

    17. SBG says:

      I walked up Amsterdam at 1pm today, planning to have lunch at Noche Mexicana. It looked dark — a sign on the door said “Takeout Only”. I walked on to Arco, which was closed. Both these restaurants were on the list. I walked up the west side of Amsterdam to 105th & saw only one small deli which had a few tables out. I went over to Broadway & ended up having a treat — delicious “House Fried Rice” at Ollies in an expansive, sheltered sidewalk area. Go Ollies!

    18. Isabel says:

      Not sure they got the dates right…Walking up on Amsterdam and 100th street and avenue is opened to traffic.

    19. NHU says:

      NYC restaurants are slowly and intentionally being destroyed by deBlasio’s policies. The metrics to allow indoor dining keep changing at whim. deBlasio knows that outdoor dining wont save NYC restaurants long term. He’s stringing them along until enough collapse under the economic strain.

      • Jerry says:

        Responding to NHU…

        Hard to know where to begin with this one. Decisions on phases, including the roll out of in-person dining, are made by the Governor. Beyond that, why would any official want to undermine restaurant businesses??

    20. Shawn says:

      I wish these restaurants well. I tried eating outdoors on Amsterdam and 78th. A guy walked by and stole my phone off the table.

    21. Debby says:

      I’m confused. We ate yesterday afternoon (8/9) at Thai Market at 3:30 or so. Amsterdam Avenue was not closed to traffic. It was a lovely interlude, the food and drinks were great, but there were cars and buses passing the whole time. ????

      • Confused says:

        I was in the area just before noon on Sunday and the street was not closed down, no restaurants were setting up, most didn’t even look like they were open or about to. Are these places regularly open for Saturday and Sunday lunch? I know the area is set up in the evenings, but I was hoping to eat there during the day.

    22. SMB says:

      We went Sat evening about 6pm, and it was a real disappointment. At least 5 of the 13 blocks are residential and have no restaurants- so closing down those blocks seemed unnecessary. There was one restaurant that had a live singer whose volume was so loud as to be ear-splittingly uncomfortable even from across the street. The best blocks were 106 st to 110 street, where it looked as if the restaurants made a serious effort to create inviting seating on the asphalt.