Openings and Reopenings: Soha Gourmet Marketplace, El Gallo Taqueria, Vanguard Wine Bar, Center Gallery, Key Food

Soha Gourmet Marketplace is replacing West End Taqueria at the corner of West End Avenue and 96th Street, where a bodega closed a few years ago. “Happy to report that it looks like a small grocery will be opening at the former bodega location at 96th and West End. We’ve missed the old store so much,” wrote Nina. “Here is hoping they make the next business there work! Tough corner,” wrote Meg.

El Gallo Taqueria will be opening a new site on the former location of Harriet’s kitchen on Amsterdam between 84th and 85th. El Gallo has spots in Brooklyn and down on Broome street. Check out the menu here. Thanks to Rachel for the tip.

Vanguard Wine Bar, known for its drinks and small plates, just reopened at 189 Amsterdam Avenue around 69th Street. Thanks to Susan for the tip.

The Center Gallery in Lincoln Square, operated by The Center for Latter-day Saint Arts, just opened at 135 Columbus Avenue, near 66th Street. The gallery is dedicated to “sharing the more global story of the Latter-day Saints through the arts, exhibitions, programming and events…For more information about Center Gallery, operating hours and the inaugural exhibition, Great Awakening: Vision and Synthesis in Latter-day Saint Contemporary Art, please visit our home website or the gallery site (”

Saiguette at 106th Street and Columbus Avenue is now expected to reopen on July 1. It had previously been expected to open this month. Thanks to Anna for the tip.

And a new Key Food is getting set to open at 739 Amsterdam Avenue at 96th Street. It’s not clear if the Key Food on 97th and Amsterdam is moving there– a manager there wouldn’t answer questions. There’s an application for a permit on the door to operate a liquor store there. Thanks to Dave Brotsky for the tip. Dave said a worker told him it would take two months to open.

Send tips to westsiderag at gmail, and sign up for our newsletter here!

NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 39 comments | permalink
    1. wombatNYC says:

      Hope this new Key Food figures out proper next steps – I recall a new store on 91st and Amsterdam that lasted about 6 months before the Japanese BBQ place ( Gyu-Kaku) took over and they really never even opened. Weird stuff for sure.

      • LL says:

        Want that a health food store more than a regular grocery? Anyway. So many grocery store have closed since then that i think they are bound to do well

      • Josh says:

        The Japanese BBQ is actually open now. Not sure what happened, why it was in limbo for a year or so.

      • Minx says:

        Gyu-Kaku had a gas issue for a long time which delayed its opening

    2. Mark Moore says:

      I was in the Key Food on 97th and the manager there was talking with someone about how they’re moving to 96th.

    3. Chocolate sugar queen says:

      Hey, speaking of moving places across the street…Chase is opening across the street from their Columbus and 86th st branch…are they gonna close that one and stay across the street where TDS had been located??? Thanks!

      • Christine E says:

        Yes, the Chase near NE corner of Columbus and 86 will close. The branch is moving to the former TD Bank (and Gap and Blockbuster and …?) space at SE corner of Columbus and 86 effective Oct 1, according to a letter Chase sent to customers.

        The absurd thing is that the signage for the new Chase space says something like Welcome to Central Park West or We’re coming to Central Park West.

        • LL says:

          Remember? Hollywood Video was where TD Bank is now. Blockbuster was on 87th abd Amsterdam
          I think the Gap was where the Starbucks is now.

          I wonder what will replace Chase?

          • Mary says:

            I think there was once an antique store where Starbucks is now. The Gap was where TD was.

    4. CB says:

      I’m sad about the Key Food moving from 97th to 96th and concerned about what will go into the empty space – or worse if they will build a high rise there.

      • John p says:

        I beg to differ. The building Key Foods is in now is very ugly and the neighborhood would be better off if it was demolished and anything was like it in its stead. The new Key Foods/Plantshed location has a great modern look

      • Rob G. says:

        Gee I hope so, there seems to finally be some new interest in developing the West 90s. A nice condo or rental building here would help anchor this grim stretch of Amsterdam Ave.

    5. Melinda Smith says:

      What about a supermarket in the 80’s . There are a number of empty large storefronts here. There must be others tired of Trader Joe’s and Fairway.

      • Carlos says:

        Key Food at 86 and Amsterdam? Gristedes at 84 and Columbus?

        Agreed that another would be nice, but everyone forgets that these exists. They aren’t glamorous but they are adequate.

      • AC says:

        @ Melinda . . . I’m hearing that Zabars has a lock on that area. Several supermarkets don’t want to compete against them. If true, what a shame.

        • Huh says:

          Zabar’s is nothing like a supermarket. Any other store will be able to compete fine.

    6. Stephanie T. says:

      All great News! Thanks

    7. LL says:

      I am so happy about the place on 96th. I was so sad when the bodega closed.

    8. Ira k says:

      In the beginning Vanguard was very friendly. However in the year before the pandemic that changed. I hope they recover their mojo

      • wino says:

        I agree! Not sure if the bearded gentleman is the owner, but he is extremely unwelcoming to patrons spending $$$ on a glass of wine. I love the atmosphere but the staff keeps me away.

    9. UWS-er says:

      Saiguette’s web site says: We will be reopen on July 1, 2021. For Pick Up Only.

      Glad they’ll be open at all, but hope they include delivery at some point soon!

    10. Via Ventana says:

      The Key Food on 97th St. is a great store. The managers bend over backwards to get what the customers want. It serves a diverse population, unlike the overwhelmingly white (and mediocre at best) West Side Market. ¡Buena suerte!

      • Luhk Semborg says:

        I agree. I go out of my way to bypass the Big Bros (WF, and TJ’s) to make it there.

        Plus, way more diverse selection of foods (for the square footage), and much less expensive than Whole Paychecks

        • MaryC says:

          Many basic foods like canned veggies, pasta and even milk are much cheaper at Whole Foods. I wish that Key Food was cheaper since I’d prefer to buy there.

          • Stu says:

            This. For basic pantry staples, TJ and WF’s prices are cheaper.

            • Josh says:

              Gone are the days when Whole Foods was Whole Paycheck. Especially if you buy organic products.

          • Mark Moore says:

            Exactly. Key Food is no bargain, that’s for sure. I see sauces and other pre-packaged stuff for lower prices at Mani, never mind at Trader Joe’s where’s it half the price.

            • Julia says:

              Some basics and particular products are available/cheaper than TJ’s (I don’t go to Whole Foods) . Have you ever tried to buy a real carton of raisins at TJ’s. Or any ice creams that are no sugar added?

        • RAL says:

          Haven;t set foot in key foods for ages – dingy – rubbish cuts of meat and not very appetizing. Maybe the new space will revamp their offerings.

      • SadforUWS says:

        replace the word “white” with any other term “black” / “brown” / “asian”, etc., and WSR would not even post this comment, because it reveals true racist undertoens. Yet “white” is acceptable.

    11. Taino says:

      Hi do you know what will replace Western Beef that was at WestEnd ave. 63 st in Manhattan?

    12. Ben David says:

      Via Ventana says: “It serves a diverse population, unlike the overwhelmingly white (and mediocre at best) West Side Market …
      Anyone else find this remark about race offensive?

      • lynn says:

        I was just puzzled by it. The employees aren’t overwhelmingly white, so did he mean that only white people shop there? And if so, what is the reason for that? There are times when I have no idea what the meaning or intention is behind some of the comments made here.

      • Brandon says:


        (P.S. I’m white, and I have shopped at West Side Market but not at the Key Food. I’d say the shoe fits.)

      • Susan says:

        It’s 2021. It’s acceptable to talk like that about white people now.

        For some reason.

      • rs says:

        Not only offensive, but irrelevant and, worst of all IMO, wrong. By a lot. It sounds to me like “Via Ventana” has never set foot in the store.

    13. Jay says:

      The El Gallo Taqueria on Broome St is quite good! Between that and the excellent new truck on 90th and Bway, we’ve got the makings of a Mexican food renaissance 🙂