Openings & Closings: Peaky Barista, Morningside Playcare, Taqueria 86, Daa Dumplings

Department of Building permits show who the first tenants will be at the new retail spaces at 667 Columbus Avenue at 93rd Street across the street from Trader Joe’s. Tipster Upper West Sider got a first peek.

Peaky Barista, the newish coffee shop at 2680 Broadway between 102nd and 103rd Streets, appears to have signed a lease for one of the spaces.

Morningside Playcare will also be moving in. Its website already says it will be “Expanding to Upper West Side: UPK and Infant Care – Fall 2021.”

Another permit is described as a build out for a dry cleaners.

A Mexican restaurant called Taqueria 86 is planning to open in the old site of “Whispers” on 94th between Broadway and Amsterdam, tipster Meryl tells us. “They are working towards a Cinco de Mayo grand opening. They’ve taken the ‘Whispers’ sign down, but the new sign hasn’t gone up yet.”

West End Taqueria on West End and 96th closed for good at the end of February.  “never seemed to have much business even before the pandemic,” Nina tells us. “But their food was good. I will miss it, but not as much as the bodega that long occupied that space.” Thanks to Nina, Naomi, Mike and John for the tips, and Naomi and John for the photos.

Daa Dumplings has closed its food stall inside Turnstyle Market at the Columbus Circle subway station, Eater reports. “The team is working on transitioning to a new, aboveground location nearby, according to a post on Instagram. The company continues to sell bags of frozen pelmeni online, available for delivery in NYC.”

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 25 comments | permalink
    1. Mark says:

      Excited for biz to move into the new space on Columbus across from Trader Joe’s. But coffee and dry cleaners? There are 4+ of each already, within a 2-block radius. Sigh. Wish there was a good salad-hot food bar in the area. But at least the empty space will be filled… at least for now.

    2. LL says:

      That was, like, the second taqueria in that location, no? What was the point of opening one up when the truck on 96th street always had great business? And yeah, the Korean deli there was the best. A bunch of bodegas have opened up recently on the UWS (I mean, a new one on 87th and Amsterdam and on 85th and Amsterdam), so maybe they can open one up in that location. That deli was there for years, so…yeah. I hope

      • your_neighbor says:

        Hard to compete with a food truck that pays no rent, minimal taxes and even gets free parking.

      • chuck d says:

        If memory serves, the food truck and the restaurant were operated by the same people.

      • judy says:

        Re the bodega-first, the owner was Egyptian, not Korean. As the neighborhood changed so did the bodega, becoming a deli with great sandwiches as well as a lot of grab and go snacks. He managed to balance more upscale trends with low and moderately priced items reflecting diverse tastes–i could always find plantain chips as well as a mini sampling of what you’d find at a fancier place. And they did a brisk business with the school across the street! I wish they would come back!

    3. UWSdr says:

      Very cool that the retail space across from TJs is getting filled. It took forever for that space to get built and retail was tough even before 2020. Good luck to those new tenants! And I have walked by Whispers a lot over the past year. Never went in there in the before times. What was it like? The name makes it sound sultry. Seemed like an odd spot for a nightclub.

      • SmartGuy says:

        The owner, Carlos, was one of the nicest guys that you’ll meet. He seemed to have a crew of regulars who would hang out and drink at the bar, but never seemed to get a lot of customers for the restaurant itself. He had some different events going on like Karaoke nights, but I always thought he should’ve put more emphasis on TVs and sports to get more people in there. He will be missed.

        • Paul says:

          Agreed! Carlos was a sweetheart, and the food was really good and authentic Puerto Rican fare. Great little spaces on those side streets, hope the new joint does well.

          • elle says:

            Carlos was the best host. Everyone at Whispers was lovely; Jess the bartender,Lucky who sang at Friday Karaoke. Truly a once in a lifetime spot. Neighbourhood locals,tourists, and incredible singing and fun,and a whole lot of warmth and love. Will be missed greatly.

    4. Vic Losick says:

      The new retail spaces at 667 Columbus Avenue at 93rd Street were built on previously open sidewalks (as were a few others in the neighborhood). I was under the impression that the spaces above them were to be open to the public. Is that true? If so, where are they accessible?

      • Jay says:

        The area above the street on 93rd is for building residents. The extra sidewalk area prior to the expansion was not public, per se. It was still owned by the building.

      • Greg says:

        A lot of the development along Columbus Ave on previously open spaces is because of the original development deals made with the city. Lincoln Towers on Amsterdam, Park West Village (97th-100th on Columbus), along with smaller developments on Columbus Ave agreed to leave open space undeveloped for a period of about 50 years in exchange for being able to build large scale, multi-block developments. As those periods expire, the right to build on that land has reverted back either to the original owner (who frequently held on to future development rights when the building converted to co-ops), or to the co-op (if those rights were transferred with the conversion). Those buildings were all built in the 1950s and 60s, so the development in all these areas is occurring at about the same time.

    5. Elliott says:

      I was told by a tenant that lives at 667 Columbus that the space that the day care is taking was supposed to be a Planet Fitness Gym.
      Pity we could not have both. I could use a gym like Planet Fitness in the neighborhood, our building gym is so small, you’re practically on top of each other.

      • Gerry vali says:

        And Planet Fitness is inexpensive. 10 bucks a month plus 40 dollars yearly fee

        . Note: these are the fees in NJ may be more in Manhattan .

      • I miss the gym says:

        I would have also liked a Planet Fitness. I haven’t been to a gym since the start of the pandemic, but I miss it desperately. Once I get vaccinated I don’t know where to go, since BodyStrength on 106th and Bway burned down.

      • NP says:

        I believe OrangeTheory is opening in lieu of Planet.

    6. David Kimchi says:

      Peaky Barista has delicious pastries. It’s cute, quirky little coffee shop.

    7. RonfromRiverside says:

      Sad to see West End Taqueria close. They struggled from the start, but the food was great. It was great grabbing food there and bringing it to the park to eat and listen to live music.

    8. susan says:

      West End Tacqueria wasn’t there very long. It replaced Aqua, a family-style Italian restaurant with good food & pleasant atmosphere. It was our go-to when family was in town & we were sad to see it go.

      • MaryC says:

        Acqua was on Amsterdam Ave at 95th and was replaced by a “tequilaria” which is still there (not a taqueria) This article is about 96th street at West End Avenue

    9. James says:

      Coffee shop, please, at West and 96th.

    10. Balkan Coffee Drinker says:

      Peaky Barista is great! Hope they are expanding and not relocating.

    11. Maryellen says:

      I adore Peaky Barista — it’s been a lifesaver for me throughout the pandemic. I hope the Columbus Avenue space is a second location and not a move.