Openings and Closings: Yoto, 7-Eleven, Sushi W, Empellón Taqueria, Excellence Barber Shop

A pop-up shop selling audio players for kids, Yoto, has opened on 80th Street and Columbus. “Yoto is a connected speaker that’s simple and safe enough for young children to use. It plays stories that promote learning and creativity. Yoto will also be using the space, which was recently vacated by Flying Tiger, to host family-friendly events throughout December,” writes our tipster Scott.

7-Eleven has closed its doors at 600 Columbus Avenue at 89th Street. It opened in 2012. Thanks to Colman for the tip.

A new omakase sushi restaurant called Sushi W has opened at 2673 Broadway (102nd). “It’s delicious, very reasonable, and owned/run by a wonderful woman,” writes our tipster Heather. Omakase is a Japanese phrase meaning “I leave it up to you”, according to the Sushi W website. “It is a traditional Japanese tasting menu, carefully curated by the chef based on the best ingredients of the season.” Here’s the menu. A “basic omakase” costs $48.

Empellón Taqueria has opened a location in Waterline Square at West 59th Street and Freedom Place South. “The menu focuses on tacos, guacamole, queso fundido, and seasonal vegetable dishes, all served in a comfy neighborhood setting,” the website says. Here’s the menu.

A new barbershop called Excellence Barber Shop recently opened in the former City Brows location at 2265 Broadway (81st-82nd). Thanks to Upper West Sider for the tip.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 33 comments | permalink
    1. Sid says:

      Um Excellence Barber Shop has been open and operating in that location for well over a year.

      • WSR says:

        Actually, Excellence’s owner John told us the shop on Broadway was recently opened as stated. It is Excellence’s second location. The one you allude to is at 473 Amsterdam (82-81).

    2. Trish says:

      It feels dumb to mourn a 7-11 but that one is right by my office and I used to go there because I could mix caff and decaf coffees to my precise desired level. So yes, I have the sads.

    3. Curious Westsider says:

      Any news yet on what store is opening and when at the corner of West75/Columbus NorthWest side? Where are these Upper Westside tipsters and sleuths? Very litte progress in the past few weeks.

    4. UWSmama says:

      I stopped by the 7-11 on its last day. My kid was hoping for one last slurpee — alas the machines were already down. According to the staff, they closed due to crime — too many robberies. City officials, are you listening???

      • Sarah says:

        Always be suspicious of statements like that. I’m not saying they’re never true, but counterpeople are rarely privy to the bases of corporate decisions. Store opened in 2012, so its lease was probably up for renewal next year. That seems more likely to be the reason.

        • Counter Person says:

          Yeah, after all, what would the counter people know about robberies?

          I’m more suspicious of the denials like yours, and the motives of people like you.

    5. Adam says:

      Sushi W is indeed very very good! And a fun experience. A very welcome addition to the neighborhood.

    6. Via Ventana says:

      59th St. and Freedom Place is the UWS? Not my UWD, for sure. Get real.

      • Becca says:

        I work in this area and it is indeed officially considered the UWS. Looking forward to this place!

      • Mark P says:

        To me, both Via and Becca are right. A simple definition of UWS could be the area to the west of Central Park…59 to 110.

        However, most of us know that the feel of various areas within that boundary varies widely. W 59th and Freedom Place is vastly different than, say, 75th and Columbus. In that sense, to me, W59/FP isn’t Upper West, or even Lincoln Square. I think of it as Riverside South. A series of historically new, some very nice and some kind of homogeneous skyrises that are wayyy west.

        If residents of what I think of as Riverside South or brokers for the area like to call it Upper West Side, I can’t disagree – it’s just a very different UWS to me. Not a snooty thing. Just a knowing the neighborhood as actual place vs map boundary thing.

    7. soldier says:

      What is it with the quite sudden proliferation of “mini markets”/”delis” (actually more like bodegas) on every other corner?

      • lynn says:

        I walked from Columbus to WEA today and was surprised to see 2 new markets on 72nd (one has 2 floors, possibly they’ve been there for awhile but I hadn’t seen them). Does anyone know when the new deli is going to open on the corner of 72 and WEA (formerly Pier 72)?

    8. LARRY BRILL says:

      Sushi W … very reasonable?????????

      • lcnyc says:

        For Omakase, those prices are very reasonable, yes.

      • Roger says:

        For Sushi….hopefully good sushi….it is very reasonable.

      • Mark P says:

        Especially when you factor in the no-tipping policy stated on the menu.

        I haven’t been to Sushi Yasaka on W72nd in a while but think they have or had an omakase in this price range. While it wasn’t as good as omakase I’ve had at double the price or more, it was very good value for the experience and quality. Probably what Sushi W is aiming for also, in a different area of the nabe.

    9. jd says:

      sushi w is wonderful

    10. LL says:

      Someone said before that
      the bakery on 89th or so is expanding. It is not. It is moving directly next door, where the copy place was.

      Does anyone know what is opening at the former home of th. Banana Republic?

    11. Mitch says:

      Too much crime at that 7/11 so they closed it down. Mayor-Elect Adams, are you paying attention? Stop this kind of stuff from happening.

    12. JD says:

      Empellón Taqueria: 2 chicken tacos for $16 – good to know the owners have a sense of humor!

    13. Bill says:

      We loved Sushi W. Quality sushi and a very different experience. They don’t have a liquor license yet so BYO.

    14. Wayne Z. says:

      Happy to see 7-Eleven shut down. That joint was a hobo magnet. And we could use less corporate establishments in the neighborhood.