Openings & Closings: Curry Mania, Book Nook, The Hoptimist, La Pecora Bianca, SA Hospitality Group

A new restaurant called Curry Mania opened at 267 Amsterdam Avenue between 72nd and 73rd Streets a few weeks ago. They serve various kinds of curry and special Japanese sandwiches. Some early reviews are quite positive. “The rice is amazing. I say this as a rice aficionado. Koshihikari is fluffy, fragrant, sweet, and perfectly tacky in texture (also a good thing). It pairs fantastically with the curry. Koshihikari rice can retail 5x more than a generic long-grain Jasmine, and it’s so worth it,” wrote one Yelper. See the menu here.

Book Nook, a children’s literacy studio, just opened a new outlet at 59th Street and West End Avenue.

The Hoptimist appears to be a new beer shop opening in the former home of the Beer Shop at 422 Amsterdam Avenue between 80th and 81st streets. We don’t yet know all the details, but we’re trying to stay hoptimistic. Thanks to Anita for the tip.

A new restaurant called Le Pecora Bianca — the white sheep in Italian — is taking over the spot on 77th and Columbus that was most recently the home of 8th Hill, and before that Isabella’s, according to the Post. La Pecora Bianca has other locations in the city. Check out the menu at its midtown spot here.

The Post also reports that SA Hospitality Group, which operates restaurant and wine bar Felice, is planning to open a new restaurant in the former home of Oxbow Tavern at 240 Columbus Avenue off of 71st Street. It’s not yet clear what the name will be. “We have always looked for the perfect location for a Felice on the Upper West Side,” SA partner Jacopo Giustiniani said, noting that the pandemic provided a perfect opportunity. “The Upper West Side is an iconic neighborhood, and we hope this opening will help in its recovery.”

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    1. Elizabeth says:

      don’t get too curried away guys!

    2. I wear a medium says:

      I think it would be fun for the hoptimist to host a weekly
      podTimist to highlight all their great beers.

    3. Dan says:

      Is curry mania a stand-alone restaurant or just a menu offering inside a ramen place (Kitakata I think)?

      • Paul on W 67 says:

        It’s just a menu inside the ramen place. I have yet to figure out how to pre-order so I went up there today to get lunch. It took quite a while to get my order (and waiting outside on Amsterdam & 72nd is an utter nightmare) but one bite of the curry made it all worthwhile. Just spicy enough, the pork katsu was crunchy outside, tender inside. Made me wish I was in Tokyo. Since curry is not a low-calorie food, having them in the neighborhood could be damaging to my waistline.

    4. Kbulv says:

      Another tip: they’re opening an exterminator shop next door……..Pestimist

    5. Pucci says:

      Anyone know what’s going on in the Saffron space?

    6. Ponald J. Plump says:

      The Hoptimist is the same owner as Caledonia next door – will be a bar and beer shop.

    7. Citygirl says:

      Super excited about Felice!!

    8. UWS_er says:

      FYI it also looks like there’s a new restaurant called Covacha opening in the Cafe Frida space on Columbus. I saw recently that they had taken the window paper down and posted menus.

      • Jeff says:

        Yep, Covacha opened Saturday. My wife and I ate there on Sunday, the few dishes we tried were definitely of a higher caliber than those found at Cafe Frida.

        The tortillas are thick and flavorful (albeit still with a bit more room for improvement), there’s a salad with interesting greens (mache and nettles, I think), and the shrimp aguachile is nearly black with some sort of ash (maybe from charred chili peppers, not sure).

    9. Mark Moore says:

      More fried chicken!

    10. jms says:

      If the Felice people are still pondering a name for their new spot, I propose Itations, especially if they plan to offer Jamaican cuisine. Then again, if it’s Spanish food, the name should be St. Nick’s, obviously. Otherwise, how about The Incident?

      Of course they could always call it Felice 71.

    11. BWC says:

      Thanks to the WSR for keeping me up to speed on curry-nt affairs.

    12. Chicken tikka masala says:

      I want to see a restaurant that is specialized in Chicken tikka masala. It sounds like Indian dish but only exists in Great Britain.