Openings and Closings: Trudy’s Ice Cream, Street Taco, Madison Reed, Munch & Ooo’s

By Scott Etkin

Steve Hlay, owner of Crepes on Columbus, is bringing his family’s business Trudy’s Ice Cream to the corner of 108th Street and Columbus Avenue, replacing Zanny’s Cafe. “The space that I was looking at opened up and since I’m crazy enough, I said, ‘yeah, that might work out,’” he said. Steve’s parents started Trudy’s, named after Steve’s mother, in 1953 in West Virginia. Steve took over the business after they retired and he still runs ice cream concessions at state fairs in West Virginia and South Carolina. 

The flavors they’ll serve – including Peanut Butter, Bacon Maple Walnut, Pumpkin Pecan, German Chocolate and Coffee Toffee Crunch – are a mix of ones created by Steve and his parents over the years. These treats, along with the cinnamon crisp waffle cones, are all homemade. Steve moved to New York in the ‘80s as an actor and opened Crepes on Columbus in 2004. “My first apartment was right here on 109th Street and Columbus Avenue,” he said. “Never knowing I’d open up a restaurant some 20 years later.” (Thanks to Aaron for the tip.)

Street Taco, a casual Mexican restaurant with street art-inspired décor, is opening on the corner of 102nd Street and Broadway on May 16. Brunch options like the Bodega Sandwich, Churro French Toast and Hangover Burrito stand out on the menu. There’s also a creative list of cocktails and margarita flavors, such as passionfruit jalapeño. The first Street Taco is downtown on the East Side and the new UWS location replaces the restaurant Mexican Festival. (Thanks to Ryan and Bill for the tips.)

Madison Reed, a hair color bar, is now open on Columbus between 72nd and 71st Street. The salon specializes in coloring with premium ingredients that aren’t damaging. They offer a free consultation with a “licensed colorist” in the shop or over a video call. They’re open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 7pm.

Munch & Ooo’s, a bodega selling snacks and smoking paraphernalia, is coming to 200 West End Avenue near 70th Street, where Beverly Hills Dry Cleaners used to be. “Happy to see something in this space – vacant for too long.” writes tipster Alexandra. (Thanks to Willi and Sasha for the tip.)

Do you have a tip about an opening or closing? Send it to info@westsiderag.com

COLUMNS, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 44 comments | permalink
    1. Naveed says:

      Go, Steve! Can’t wait to try the ice cream.

    2. tim says:

      will miss the hole-in-the-wall neighborhood vibe of zanny’s … but welcome to the new business!

    3. Tostonesfix says:

      Best of luck to street Taco. That spot has been a few different Mexican restaurants over the years. I hope this one sticks. One thing that would help would be a menu that has less expensive menu items. Something like the old Gabriella’s on Amsterdam — it had some higher priced entrees but their basic menu was affordable. A couple should be able to go out and have a light meal and a couple of margaritas and not spend $100. If they can accomplish that then they will get more repeat customers. A number of the Taco joints in the area get pricey, especially with delivery. Just can’t in good conscience pay $25 for a burrito.

      • TravelgalNYC says:

        This kind of attitude is why we don’t have many good restaurants on the UWS. Yes, to get excellent food you might have to pay a little more. Food costs are up, cooks and servers are underpaid, so if you want to eat out, please be willing to pay for it! I’m so tired of the UWS community wanting “cheap” everything. There are plenty of cheap eats on the UWS (or above 96th) if you want to venture farther up. I’m dying to see some downtown-quality menus that aren’t nachos and buffalo wings. Something like a Left Bank (in the West Village) that isn’t break the bank, but excellent food and charges accordingly!

        • Carol says:

          I didn’t read that Tostonesfix wants “cheap everything” or isn’t willing to pay more for premium items. The post specifically said “$25 for a burrito”. That’s “generally” a far cry from a meal that would likely involve particular chef skills that you can’t do at-home. Burritos may involve a good bit of chopping ingredients, but …… not usually the same stuff involved as some other menu items with different skills required.
          Absolutely reasonable to expect to be able to grab some casual food and a couple drinks for under $100!

          • Melissa Hurwitz says:

            You can get better food cheaper downtown, and I doubt that their rents are lower. Something is weird up here. It’s not unrealistic to not want to pay too much for mediocre food.

        • Carlos says:

          In case you were wondering, the owner/chef at Left Bank was previously the chef and minority owner of the UWS Mermaid Inn.

          I agree that the UWS isn’t necessarily the place for “destination dining” but if you dream of places like Left Bank (which I agree is excellent), there are options here.

        • Tostonesfix says:

          I pay more for excellent (and not so excellent) food all the time. We dine out regularly all over Manhattan and Brooklyn. I was just saying that I wish there were a go-to Mexican restaurant on the UWS side that was good and affordable. A place one can go often with a family and not feel like it was a one time, special thing because of the cost. I really like Noche Mexicana but I recently had a bad experience with a piece of meat there so I am delaying my return. I like Tacombi too but in small doses. I guess I just miss the old Gabriella’s. Maybe it’s just nostalgia but it was the kind of restaurant that made me happy to live in New York and happy I chose the Upper West Side. The second location came up a bit short for me though we did go often (mostly for brunch) because it was so close to where we live.

      • Leon says:

        When that spot was Mama Mexico the prices weren’t bad. Sure, there were plenty of more expensive items on the menu, but there were also lots of staples at reasonable prices. It was a really great place.

        Until about 15 years ago there was a good, cheap sit down Mexican place roughly where Elea is now at 85 and Broadway. I forget the name but it was a good spot for tacos or enchiladas with a beer or margarita. None of the “we will charge you $20+ to make customized guacamole at your table” which is fine but not suitable for a normal meal.

        • rteplow says:

          I believe it was called La Cocina. I remember that they had a good choice of margaritas.

          About Street Tacos: the original Mexican restaurant had opera nights on Fridays, with some fabulous singers! I hope that can resume at some restaurant in our neighborhood.

    4. Common Scold says:

      Re: “bodega selling snacks and smoking paraphernalia”
      Gotta wonder…just a few doors away is a CVS that, as do most CVS locations, carries all sorts of candies, frozen meals, ice cream, etc.
      OH, silly me! Wonder Bread does NOT have CBD, which is what patrons of Munch & Ooo’s are probably seeking.
      Let’s hope that this nice quiet street will NOT turn into something like the increasingly disgusting area of Amsterdam between W.70th and W.71st, where a CBD shop recently opened.

      • UWS_lifer says:

        I understand why some older folks are hesitant about all these CBD/Kratom/Cannabis(eventually) stores opening in their neighborhoods.

        However, we have liquor stores on every other block as well and no one seems to have an issue with that. Trust me, alcohol sales and use are responsible for way more societal harm than marijuana will ever be.

        Public drunkenness, public urination, violence, panhandling, do I need to go on?

        Anyway, I’m old enough to remember when we had OTB’s all over the city too and people had similar complaints (gambling, drugs, undesirable elements in the neighborhood, etc.) As my mother used to say, “that’s life in the big city”.

        • KS says:

          It’s not just older folks. The problem with weed that is ADDITIONAL to alcohol is the stink. I am so sick of smelling it everywhere – it really is a gross smell.

      • Jen says:

        That’s. The third “smoking paraphernalia “ shop within 2 blocks. I don’t think it is normal. It is not normal as well to smoke pot everywhere in the park. Just today, on a very nice day, I couldn’t take an enjoyable walk in Central Park because acrid smell of pot was everywhere. One lady just sat down on a bench next to 2 moms with baby strollers and started puffing up. They had to leave. Doesn’t matter that smoking is not permitted in the park – if you complain or politely ask them to stop, you will be labeled as another Karen and will lose your job.

        Lawlessness rules in NYC; it is not against mainstream trends.

        • Brandon says:

          You’re saying “lawlessness rules in NYC” after you saw someone smoking in the park near other people? Sounds like you could use a puff or two to calm down.

          • Jen says:

            What a condescending comment. I have seen more egregious things on UWS: should I have mentioned all of them before I dare to criticize “people smoking close to other people”? First, these people weren’t just regular lunch crowd, they were moms with babies. Second, plopping yourself next to someone and starting puffing is inconsiderate to put it mildly. Third, smoking of any kind is prohibited in NYC parks.

            The fact you don’t see a problem with this is a proof “smoke shops” are not good for the community. Only for the ones who want to do it anywhere they please.

      • Carol says:

        Agreed! And as a person who has had a medical card for YEARS (and yes – there are different blends and distinctions between CBD or THC or some combination of both), I was always sorta weirded-out at the vibe in the dispensaries, even when the ONLY way to shop there was with a medical card!

        Not one thing clinical about it. Barely any seats, let-alone seats more than 8” off the the ground and with a back on it. (Ie, if you have degenerative problems, spine and mobility issues and use assistive devices, etc….. NOT very user-friendly!). It was like a sketchy “bar” with all the lights on and that was trying to appear a bit more “upscale”. The pharmacists there were the only employees with whom I spoke who seemed interested in anything more than how each blend made you “feel”. And the Pharms were all behind a door and only came out for a short consult.

        They definitely aren’t catering to a “clinical” crowd.

    5. LibTurningConservative says:

      You’re mistaken, Common Scold. They’re not selling CBD, they’re selling THC. Brazenly — right there when you walk in, edibles, pre-rolled joints, and when you ask, flower. Not Delta 8. Real weed and weed derivatives. I have no problem with adults getting high in their homes, etc. But the fact that stores like this are opening up and selling to anyone old enough to see over the counter (trust me, I’ve seen it) is just another example of law and order not being enforced by feckless politicians. Where are our politicians? What has happened to law enforcement when “entrepreneurs” feel they can just sell weed with no license, etc? Call the police, call Gale Brewer’s office, call Linda Rosenthal’s office and tell them they need to intercede. Otherwise watch our whole neighborhood continue to deteriorate.

      • UWS-er says:

        Munch & Ooo’s hasn’t opened yet, has it? How can you know what they’re selling and who they’re selling to?

      • Lincoln10023 says:

        I guess you can say that the neighborhood is going to POT!

      • Lanie says:

        And I’d like to add that this store is around the corner from a school. Please write to our local politicians

      • George says:

        No worries eventually when the real “licensed” stores open these un-licensed dealers that are everywhere selling loosies and flower will be charged with Tax Evasion and shut down. But as usual Albany is dragging their arses.

    6. ml says:

      BTW lots of cannabis, CBD shops opening up all over NYC.

      On the LES, within 16 square blocks Allen/Essex/Houston/Delancey there are more than 10 such stores.

      Among other things, they end up forcing out regular neighborhood stores as landlords happy to raise rent which cannabis stores will pay…

    7. M. Taylor says:

      Welcome, Trudy”s! Please include sugar-free, and / or no sugar added options to your menu of delicious treats. Many thanks in advance.

    8. iz says:

      Also, looks like the space next to Fump where 107 Candle was is now going to be a Ramen place. They put signage up!

    9. JC says:

      People need to be aware, you can buy weed at these smoke shops now. They sell it over the counter, quietly. Just ask. NY is going to legalize it and open dispensaries soon, but the small smoke shops are already selling.

    10. Dan says:

      Is Trudy’s open today? Can’t tell from website.

    11. Joe says:

      All the cannabis and CBD stores are just going to add to the crime, homelessness, assaults, attacks. Substance abuse never a good thing to decrease crime.

    12. Carol says:

      And PS, regarding cannabis sales (and btw, if I hear CBD, I assume literally only CBD and not THC….. otherwise, that’s marijuana) – as with many other things, there’s use, and then there’s abuse.
      I’m not against appropriate use. (Whatever varied definitions that might be). I AM, however, against abuse. And unfortunately, invariably, we get that.
      I’d be fine with all dispensaries and shops being few and far-between. And I use them!

      • Dani says:

        I wonder if anyone will consider not putting too many of these places in one neighborhood.

    13. RonfromRiverside says:

      I’m I the only one that feels bad for these new businesses. They are set up to fail here, they have no margins for making a profitable business due to: excessive real estate lease costs, rising food prices and customers who bicker at a night out that costs over $100. Best of luck. But next time perhaps try Little Rock, Arkansas.

    14. Daniel says:

      Harry’s Table in Waterline square opens today. The cafe has been open for about a week but the food store section opens today.

    15. John says:

      Congratulations Steve! Can’t wait for Trudy’s. My wife’s first order is for Pumpkin Pecan. (Crepes on Columbus is STILL EXCELLENT btw! It’s been years since Bethpage drive together; haven’t seen you in a bit!) Cheers and Best!