By Scott Etkin and Lisa Kava
An Italian restaurant and cafe from the operator responsible for The Smith is opening at 320 Columbus Avenue on the corner of 75th Street. The plexiglass-enclosed space with planters used to house the Indian restaurant Saffron, which closed in 2017. At a recent Community Board 7 meeting, Jeffrey Lefcourt, the CEO and founder of Corner Table Restaurants, said that the menu will feature pastries, pizza and pasta and marks the company’s “first venture into another style restaurant.” The Smith, a casual American brasserie, has several locations in the city, including one near Lincoln Center.
The Goodwill thrift store on 72nd Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues is closing on September 25th. “Thank you to our neighbors for supporting our mission of employment and sustainability,” read a message posted on the storefront. “We will miss you!” Goodwill will no longer have a presence on the Upper West Side (it closed its other location at 219 West 79th Street back in 2018), but it has two East Side locations at 88th and 2nd Avenue and 61st and 1st Avenue. Goodwill is a national nonprofit that helps people join the workforce; last year it trained more than 123,000 people for careers in industries such as banking, IT and health care. (Thanks to Joy and Frances for the tips.)
Chip City Cookies is opening on September 16th at 11am at 370 Columbus Avenue between 77th and 78th Streets. A free cookie (with purchase) will be given to its first 100 customers. Chip City Cookies was founded in Astoria, Queens in 2017 by two childhood friends – the UWS shop will be their 14th location. Theodore Gailas, one of the co-founders, told West Side Rag that Chip City has more than 40 cookie flavors and there is a rotating weekly menu of six cookies, which always includes chocolate chip and a dairy-free option. “We take pride in using the highest quality ingredients and serving cookies that are delicious, perfectly baked, and served warm,” he said. The weekly menu, ending September 18th, also includes oatmeal apple pie, chocolate peanut butter, s’mores, and cookies n’ cream. The cookie shop also serves coffee and tea, Galias said. It replaces 78 Columbus Deli. (Thanks to Thomas and Steve for the tips.)
Wafels & Dinges, known for its decadent Belgian dessert waffle trucks, is opening a retail location at 392 Columbus Avenue on 79th Street. The company, founded in 2007, serves waffles made from dough instead of batter and has operated food carts throughout Central Park for a number of years, in addition to stores in Brooklyn, Bryant Park, and Herald Square. They also ship nationwide. “Dinges” refers to waffle toppings and is a Belgian slang word meaning “whatchammacallits.” The space was formerly the cafe Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
Magnolia Bakery at 200 Columbus Avenue (at 69th Street) is closed for two weeks beginning September 12th for “much needed renovations,” a representative from the bakery told WSR. “It is an old building and since it is such a busy location, there has never been time to do it.” A sign in the window encourages customers to visit the nearest Magnolia Bakery location on Broadway between 58th and 59th Streets. A note about the temporary closing “for renovations and improvements,” can be found on the website. Magnolia Bakery is a neighborhood favorite, selling cupcakes, brownies, cookies, cakes, and, of course, their famous banana pudding. (Thanks to Jill for the tip.)
A family-style seafood restaurant is planning to open this October at 635 Amsterdam Avenue on the corner of 91st Street. They will be open for lunch and dinner and plan to install a plexiglass roof over the patio so that it can be used year-round. It replaces Blockheads, the Mexican restaurant.
Bummed about Goodwill. Where else does one bring clothing donations on the UWS?
Meant to say Holy Name thrift shop at new location at 97th and Amsterdam.
Housing Works at 73rd and Columbus and Broadway between 96and 97th Streets. Also, St Francis thrift shop on Amsterdam and 97th.
I’ve been dropping off at Holy Name church at 96th and Amsterdam. Entrance to thrift shop west of Amsterdam on 96th. See hours and guidelines on their website “holynamenyc.org”
Holy Name Church on 96th near Amsterdam. Saint Francis Thrift Store. It’s temporarily relocated around the corner now. It was an excellent thrift shop, far better than Housing Works. They are accepting donations and there were people in there shopping when I left some stuff this summer. Surprised only one other person mentioned it. Check their hours before you go, tho.
Not sure where you are located, or how much you’d like to donate, but Cathedral Community Cares (on the grounds of Cathedral of St John the Divine) has a drop box which is very active. The security guards will happily point it out to you.
The Salvation Army at West, 96 street between West End and Broadway.
It’s closed and the building was torn down.
It is closed.
Not Housing Works. Their prices are outrageous. There’s a thrift store at holy name church on 96th St. between Amsterdam and Broadway. A real thrift store.
I agree about Housing Works. Holy Name benefits the neighborhood.
Housing Works on Columbus
Unique Boutique, Columbus and 84th.
Though Unique Boutique sells second-hand clothes, I think it’s a for-profit store. This is OK, and helps keep clothes out of landfills — but unlike HW, Salvation Army, or Goodwill, proceeds don’t benefit a charity.
Salvation Army Thrift on West 96 between Broadway/RSD and St Francis Thrift on West 96 between Broadway/Amsterdam.
No salvation Army on 96 St-it has been closed for a while. I don’t think the building is even there any longer.
Salvation Army closed (building razed? ). It was on 96th St between Broadway and West End Avenue, though Housing Works should still be open on Broadway between 96th &97th streets.
Housing Works never sells second hand clothing only new items from manufacturers~ ! Only place that’s still functioning in NYC these days is the Salvation Army. Look up locations on line.
Housing Works like most thrift shops sells mostly used items. Where did you get the idea that they sell “only new items?” The prices there are high though
Not so. Housing Works welcomes donations of “gently used” clothing (as well as shoes, handbags, and housewares)
Housing Works on Broadway at 97th St.
Housing Works at Columbus between 74-75.
Housing Works at 96th and Broadway.
Me too, it’s a shame. One good alternative is the Housing Works thrift shop at 74th & Columbus. Also, there’s a used clothing collection site at the greenmarket at 77th/79th every Sunday from 9 to noon: https://www.grownyc.org/clothing
Do not leave clothing or fabric on the street. It will wind up clogging landfills. No thanks. Not appropriate.
Housing Works Thrift Shop, 2569 Broadway, between 96th and 97th Streets.
I’d like to know that too. The intake bins were always filled with clothing so I know that people in the neighborhood were donating there. It would be nice if we had something that was larger and organized with good lighting like the one on 2nd Avenue.
Housing Works on Columbus betw 74th/75th? I’m also sad about Goodwill. My daughter will be even more so – half he wardrobe has come from there!
Housing Works on Columbus and 74th!
I remember when Magnolia used to be Ryukyu Japanese Restaurant. I miss that place! Each year during the Columbus Avenue Festival, they would have a sushi war with the place up the street and sell $1 California rolls. Even though I lived less than a block away, I never went into Magnolia.
Didn’t Magnolia used to be Lenge? Also a Japanese restaurant.
I remember Lenge in that space before that.
This store had many problems with people leaving donations outside their door when the store was closed. This created a trash problem. A few weeks ago I saw a guy with a moving truck (!) unloading multiple bags of unwanted items and leaving them on the sidewalk in front of the store (it was unexpectedly closed on a Sunday, when it is usually open).
It wouldn’t surprise me if the landlord has been fined numerous times for these violations and has said “no mas”.
My building has a Housing Works bin in the basement, where you can deposit clothes that will be picked up by HW. If needed, there are receipts on the bin for those who take tax deductions for donations. Perhaps others can inquire about having such a service if there’s space available.
My landlord at 21 West End Ave. has one of those but nothing ever gets taken away!
If the landlord had sense and a heart, he would have simply taken them in and then brought them to the store when opened. It’s a national CHARITY, for cryin’ out loud. Who doesn’t know Goodwill?
Donating used clothing to Housing Works is a waste of your time! It will never be seen again!
Any clothing they have for sale is new, nothing ever second-hand.
Take stuff to Salvation Army.. For locations you’ll have to google it.. Their former location on W. 96th st. closed… There are others throughout the city however.
…what? You must not look very closely at their offerings.
Nonsense. Most items at Housing Works are used. It’s very obvious when you look at the items.
Before Saffron, there was Mughlai which survived for a very long time. From 2015 in WSR:
“Mughlai, the Indian restaurant at 320 Columbus Avenue at the corner of 75th street, will be making way for another Indian restaurant called Saffron Indian Cuisine. Owner Raju Brahmhatta plans to stay open from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., and until midnight on weekends, and offer delivery. He will be making cosmetic changes to the interior will open sometime between late March and early April. The license was approved by the committee.”
A bodega replaced by bespoke cookies. Not the direction the neighborhood should be going in, I think.
I hear the Seafood place coming to 635 Amsterdam is from a really good group. Supposed to be fantastic and at reasonable prices. The neighborhood yearns for that.
I was scared for a minute when I first saw Magnolia Bakery on the list, along with the papered windows. Great to see they are just renovating. It’s also nice to see someone _finally_ filled the Saffron spot on 75th & Columbus, that’s been vacant for 3-4 years.
We on West 80th Street Welcomes‼️ Our new store neighbors to the Upper West Side for both Chip City Cookies (Columbus Avenue at 75th St.) and Wafels & Dinges Columbus Avenue at 79th St.
And just in time for the opening of Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation at AMNH at 79th Street and Columbus Avenue in February 2023.
I am sad that the Goodwill is closing. There are so many empty store fronts on the UWS – one would think they could find another location at a reasonable rent. There are many people who shop there, many who donate there and a number who are employed there.
A shame about Goodwill. But I’ll check out Holy Name Church. Agree about bypassing Housing Works.
Italian restaurant Coppola’s West on W. 79th St. is closed for the next 10 days undergoing renovations but they are continuing to deliver orders.
The German Italian Bettola Restaurant on Amsterdam Avenue at 79th/80th Street closed their doors.