Openings: LPQ, Max Chess Academy, Old John’s Diner

The small Le Pain Quotidien cafe is open outside the subway station on 72nd Street. “The guy at the stand said he was happy to be back. I’m personally happy to have them back,” wrote tipster Hannah.

Max Chess Academy, a chess school led by World Chess Champion Grandmaster Maxim Dlugy, has opened at 110 West 79th Street, according to an Instagram post. The space was last home to Bag One Arts, the art gallery owned by Yoko Ono that closed around five years ago, according to tipster Upper West Sider.

Old John’s Diner is opening this month at 148 West 67th Street, Old John’s was open for 60 years at that spot before closing last year. Now, new owner Louis Skibar — who once worked as a deliveryman and short order cook at Old John’s — is reopening the spot with some of the classic recipes. It’s got a retro design with its own soda fountain counter. They don’t have a specific opening date but are aiming for the middle of the month, they tell us. We last wrote about it here.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 12 comments | permalink
    1. Bill says:

      I hope Old John’s does well. So convenient to the Kaufman Center.

    2. Jay says:

      Is the structure of the 72nd street subway plaza Le Pain Quotidien kiosk still falling apart?

      It looks like it was thrown together for a 3 month summer run back in 2006, and hasn’t had more than a bit of paint since. This includes the outdoor seating area.

      • cpwpj says:

        The outdoor seating at NE part of Verdi Square looks better and more welcoming than ever. Last night we were sorry to find it closed, with 2 more hours of daylight still ahead.

    3. AlanG says:

      So glad Old John’s is back, I’m not sure what was there 60 years ago. But, before he moved there, John’s Coffee Shop was on Broadway and 66th, next to the movie theater, before they tore that building down. I’m guessing we’re talking the 70’s or early 80’s.

    4. Hugh Van Dusen says:

      you might mention 41 story tower goi ng up at 100 Claremont Ave, next to Riverside Church With a photo. Dramatic.

    5. Party Boy says:

      Can people go in and play games at Max Chess or is it more of a school for kids? Check!

    6. Victor N. says:

      Le Pain Quotidien in Central Park just north of Sheep Meadows is also open. Still waiting for LPQ by the Conservatory Water on the east side of the park

      • w 71st resident says:

        I’m so glad to hear this! I’ve not been by there in a moment and this is good news.

    7. EdNY says:

      I seem to recall the Old John’s site being called Center Court back in the 80’s – anyone remember that?

      • davidaron60 says:

        Yes. I once applied for a job there. As the name would suggest, it had a sort of tennis motif going on.

    8. inna says:

      thank you for your post about Chess Max Academy