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.)
Thanks for the update on Didi’s! I’ve passed by several times this week and didn’t notice that it was open (maybe too early in the day). Can’t wait to try the food. : )
I went past yesterday @ around 3:00 and there perhaps 8 or 9 standing in line waiting to get in. .
I was so sad a few weeks ago to see that 212 Wireless had closed. They were amazing. Still. Sounds like a cool new cafe
wow they were around for many years
They also opened ANOTHER tacky smoke shop on 83rd and Columbus.
Conveniently across from a complex of schools. In the space recently vacated by Matsu. Not to be paranoid, but one has to wonder who is financing these places, all of which have a similar garish vibe.
And another on Columbus & 87. Really? 2 are needed within 5 blocks? So many schools, so little thought behind this move.
Why never anything ever opening in the 90’s or 100’s?
Because of all the problems with the mentally ill, the aggressive panhandlers constantly coming up to people on the sidewalk and IN the stores and the shoplifting and crime.
This is not a desirable neighborhood for a small business and I am a small business owner in the West 90’s so I know. I have struggled continually with this from even before the pandemic. If you really care about your small businesses, then we need to get a grip on crime and the quality of our neighborhood. No one wants to shop our area due to the constant problems and I would have never opened a store here if I knew how bad things are. More and more stores will leave the 90’s and 100’s due to the excessive problems. It is not the rent.
State Senate candidate MARIA DANZILLO is running for the new District 47and has addressed everything I have said and I am praying for her to win. Your 90’s will be much better off under her. She is a Democrat, liberal and pro-choice but cares significantly about our safety and quality of our neighborhood. Your stores need help and the West 90’s and 100’s especially.
Why would anyone vote Democrat again??? Their policies have run this once fantastic city into the ground. Criminals not being punished, those same policies have handcuffed the police, filth in our streets and fear for our safety. What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Come on people! You get the government you elect.
I don’t know which is sillier the original question or the crazy screed in reply. FOUR new restaurants have opened at 100/101 and Bway alone in the last few months (W sushi, Wolf Nights, Just Pho You and Wingstop). But don’t let the facts get in the way of your narrative.
Have you counted how many vacant stores are on Broadway between 90th and 105th? A 15 block radius had 16 vacant stores the last I counted. And restaurants are only one type of business, completely different than retail. THOSE are the facts. Want more facts? Ask how many 911 and 311 calls are made each month by the local businesses for help for crime, robberies, shoplifting, and aggressive behavior of mentally ill in just one month. THOSE are facts.
So the point is not valid? I’d much rather hear from a business owner that deals with this every day as opposed to a casual observer
Amen! I went into the Duane Reade on 94th and bdwy last night to buy calamine lotion for my daughters bug bites but it was under a security lock! To access any of the allergy creams/antihistamines you need to press a button for staff to come and unlock the shelves…insane. I left and ordered it on amazon. While I was there I witnessed one mentally ill man screaming at the cashier that his EBT card wasn’t working and two irate women in a verbally escalating shouting match about cutting the checkout line.
Duane Reeds and other stores are struggling and locking everything up because of crime gangs like Ron Rubinov who employed 50 thieves to steal for him and amassed over 3.5 million in goods when arrested.
This is happening NOT due to mentally ill people or poor people ( as you posit) but to a professional criminal who also has a pawn shop on 47th street and in Flushing and you can be sure there are other comparable gangs.
It is not simply due to “crime gangs.” Individual thieves are making out like bandits as well, knowing that bail reform is basically a free pass to steal.
I have had very similar experiences and now i just order on amazon .
And that is exactly why there will be less retail small businesses opening and many leaving. People now want to only shop online rather than walk down Broadway and be aggressively approached. Less people trying to shop local stores because they are hassled or frightened by the crime and environment. A fact I cry over.
People want to shop online primarily because it’s cheaper than buying in a brick and mortar store. Though if I needed medicine for my child, I would not hesitate to push a button at Duane Reade as opposed to waiting for an Amazon delivery.
People shop online for many different reasons. As a senior, and a. car owner, the illegal opposition to cars, makes it too difficult to drive places, so unless I leave the City to shop in Jersey or elsewhere, I can’t spend my money in NY stores. So much of the support for Open Streets came from young parents for whom the project eased their lives from having to walk to the park two blocks away. But without us spending money here, the City will go down. Open Streets will be a memory when there’s no money to fund them.
There’s nothing illegal about closing a street. As a senior without a job you have the other six days a week to do anything you want. Can’t you just let us have Sundays for two months? Is that so terrible?
I shop online because I’m not comfortable going to the stores. Too many robberies that are now called shoplifting. For me it has nothing to do with a price but safety. Id rather support local businesses but without endangering myself.
Yes, my point exactly! Thank you for voicing what I have heard over and over and affects all your local businesses.
Anyone know what happened to Francesca pizza on Columbus and 68th?
They are on vacation this week as per notice on their door.
Just to note, the Wingstop doesn’t replace the Dunkin Donuts.
The old DD space is now Zelma’s Cafe.
The Wingstop is taking part of the space occupied by Schatzie’s Prime Meats. Schatzie’s used to occupy both its current storefront and the adjacent one, where Wingstop is moving into.
Does anyone ever stop complaining about everything—so many fantastic new stores opened in the 90s and the 100s.
Yes, we have a street culture with people hanging out in the streets, but I’m not sure they are “homeless.” Summer bothersome, keep.walking some folks are just hanging out doing nothing.
I’ve been in the neighborhood since 1983. We have SROs in the hundreds and high 90s, and folks hang out in the street.
They are our neighbors too. Let’s stop complaining about people from SROs hanging out in the street.and blaming them your quality of life problems. I think gentrification is more a quality of life issue and greedy landlord’s a problem.
So all the homeless and derelicts I see on the streets are the fault of “greedy landlords”?
And meanwhile I find the massive numbers of ‘sheds’ at least one on every block substantially more offensive! Totally destroying the beauty and cleanliness of our formally wonderful neighborhood.