By Scott Etkin and Lisa Kava
With additional reporting by Adelaide Gorton
DiDi Dumpling, a small Chinese restaurant serving dumplings, potstickers, soups and combo platters, opened August 15th at 201 Amsterdam between 69th and 70th Streets. The space was first rented out in May, but the opening was held off due to issues with the gas connection. “The Upper West Side community is very welcoming to us here,” a manager at the new location said. He thinks that the restaurant will do well because of this community and because “our prices are not very expensive.” DiDi has an existing location downtown at 34 Lexington Avenue on 24th Street.
Chef’s Table, a cafe in the lobby of the Marlene Meyerson JCC, also opened August 15th, on the corner of 76th Street and Amsterdam. The cafe was originally supposed to open in March 2020, but was postponed by the pandemic. Bruce Soffer and Ava Lang, husband and wife, are partners in the catering company Chef’s Table. They’re serving fresh, kosher food Mondays through Fridays. Soffer, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, has been a caterer for the past 25 years. “The emphasis will be on fresh, wholesome, healthy food,” he said.
Hoka One One, the running company known for shoes with chunky soles is opening on the corner of 69th and Columbus. While the shoes are commonly called “Hokas,” the company was named after the Māori language phrase that translates to “fly over the earth.” Founded in France, the company is now based in California as part of Deckers Brands, which also owns UGG and Tevas. The space used to house Reiss, the English clothing store. (Thanks to David for the tip.)
Soul Cycle is closing its spinning studio at 2465 Broadway on 92nd Street. The fitness chain is closing nearly 25% of its 82 locations, including four in New York City, the New York Post reported, Soul’s other UWS location on Amsterdam and 77th Street is expected to remain open. The Post reported that Soul Cycle has been struggling since the start of the pandemic. (Thanks to Thomas for the tip.)
Forever Coffee, a small cafe serving breakfast and lunch, is opening at 2263 Broadway between 81st and 82nd Street. This is Forever Coffee’s second location; the original, in Washington Heights at 181st Street, was founded in 2018 and features local artists exhibits, monthly open mics and weekly “drink & draw.” In addition to coffees and teas, Forever has some unique specialty drinks like Espresso Tonic and Sparkling Cold Brew Lemonade. Its breakfast menu includes avocado toast, breakfast tacos, and burritos. It is replacing 212 NYC Wireless, a mobile phone store.
A Wingstop restaurant is opening on Broadway near 101st Street. The fried chicken chain has locations all over the country and several in NYC but this will be the first on the Upper West Side. It has 15 flavors of wings on its menu – including lemon, bayou BBQ, honey rub, and mango habanero – that range from “no heat” to “all the heat.” You can use the “Wing Calculator” on its website to decide how many to order, based on the number of people and how hungry you are. (Thanks to Tracy for the tip.)