By Scott Etkin and Lisa Kava
Black Lab Cafe, a space designed for people to dine with their dogs, is open on the corner of Amsterdam and 80th Street, replacing Olma Restaurant & Bar. Black Lab has designated areas for people to eat and drink and for their dogs to roam off-leash (check out NY1’s video of the dogs in action). It also has outdoor seating along 80th Street and features dog-inspired photography from local artist Vanessa Eastman. Last year WSR profiled the co-founders of Black Lab, Lise Evans and her sons Kris and Nik Powers, who aim to make Black Lab into a “sort of community center for dog owners,” said Lise. (Thanks to Melinda for the tip.)
Ample Hills Creamery, an ice cream shop with unique flavors like “Ooey Gooey Butter Cake,” “Baked/Unbaked,” “Nectar of the Queens” and “Breakfast Trash,” will open at 526 Amsterdam between 85th and 86th in early July. The previous tenant was Orange Leaf Yogurt, which closed in 2014, and the landlord has been using the space for both building work and staging, according to real estate brokers Doug Kleiman and Jason Pennington. Ample Hills started as a pushcart in Prospect Park in 2011 and now has nine locations in NYC. Rated by Time Out as among the best ice cream shops in the City, it’s also available online and in supermarkets. According to the company website, its “mission is to share joy with our neighborhoods, one scoop at a time.”
Afternoon, a cafe that showcases unique food brands, is replacing 107 Kim’s Cleaners this summer on Broadway between 107-108th Streets. (Thanks to Dan S.) Most of the brands they feature use Asian flavors or do inventive takes on traditional dishes. Highlights include: Jongro Rice Hotdog, Egglab (scrambled egg sandwiches), Mochi Mochi Donut and Croffle Haus (croissant waffles). The Afternoon concept already appears in downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Fort Lee, NJ. The owners of the UWS location, Seon and Joe, also run Koko Wings on 106th Street near Broadway, writes tipster Tracy. “They say don’t miss the egg sandwiches!”
Something new will also be opening next door to Afternoon: Kyuramen, a Japanese ramen restaurant, is replacing the longtime restaurant 107 West. An opening date isn’t set yet, but will be announced soon, Kyuramen told WSR. Kyuramen’s backstory is that its founder, Gary Lin, went to Japan to learn about the nuances of the dish. In addition to soups, the menu also has “burgers” that use rice or ramen as the bun. There are already a few Kyuramen locations in NYC – including Union Square, Bayside, Park Slope and Flushing – and more are planned to open, according to the website. (Thanks to Tracy and Molly for the tips.)
Blank Street Coffee has opened a new UWS location on Columbus between 68th and 69th, replacing a Kangol store. Upper West Siders might already be familiar with the minimalist coffee shop from its existing store on the corner of 79th and Broadway. Blank Street has expanded rapidly across Manhattan and Brooklyn since its founding in the summer of 2020, now with more than a dozen locations. The shops are typically in little storefronts and use beans from local vendors, such as Parlor Coffee. (Thanks to Dan for the tip.)
Bellini, a high end Italian restaurant serving “rustic” fare, has opened at 2 Waterline Square, 235 Freedom Place South at 60th Street, as part of what will be Harry’s Table, an artisanal market affiliated with Cipriani, which is expected to open soon. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating on a terrace overlooking the Hudson RIver – since Harry’s Table isn’t open yet, you can find the restaurant’s entrance by following the courtyard toward the water. The seasonal lunch and dinner menus include “pastas, grilled specialities, pizzas and Crudi di Pesce.” Brunch is available on Sundays from 11am to 3pm. Bellini – no affiliation to the restaurant with the same name on Columbus between 83rd and 84th – also has restaurants downtown in the Seaport, as well as in Providence, RI, and Miami.
Bondi Sushi is opening a restaurant later this summer on Broadway between 70th and 71st Street, replacing the soap shop Sabon. The menus for lunch, dinner, happy hour (weekdays from 3pm to 6pm), and take-out offer a variety of rolls, combo boxes and rice bowls. The Infatuation rates Bondi as one of their favorite sushi delivery options – ideal for the person who likes to customize everything in their order “from the type of rice (or cauliflower rice), to various side sauces and optional add-ons.” They have locations in Tribeca, Nolita, Nomad and the Upper East Side.