By Scott Etkin and Lisa Kava
Mochi Dolchi, an Asian-fusion treat shop serving mochi donuts and boba tea, is in its soft opening at 222 West 79th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam. Its owners, Aoommie and Leo Cutone, have lived on the Upper West Side for 20 years and the menu is inspired by the foods their three kids love to eat. “We wanted to open something in the neighborhood that is kid-friendly – where they can sit down and hang out,” said Aoommie.
The new pink storefront brightens a stretch of 79th Street that has seen many closings since the start of the pandemic (it replaces Kefi, the Greek restaurant). “We don’t want it to be scary for our kids to walk down the street,” she said. There is a kitchen downstairs where the treats are baked daily. “They’re not too sweet – even the boba tea,” she said. The front of the shop is expected to open fully in the next couple weeks. There are also plans to turn a space in the back into a speakeasy for parents, so there’s something for everyone in the family.
StretchLab, a studio for one-on-one assisted stretching, has opened at 330 Columbus Avenue between 75th and 76th Street. “We’re seeing a great representation of the neighborhood – everthing from high school students to retirees,” said Zach, the location’s general manager. “We definitely have seen the athletes coming in who are prepping for the [New York City] Marathon. But also anyone who is sitting at a desk with tight hips, tight shoulders, neck.” The “flexologists” who do the stretching usually have backgrounds as personal trainers, massage therapists, physical therapists or professional dancers. They have gone through 100 hours of certification from StretchLab and 25 hours of training at a StretchLab facility. An introductory session costs $39 for 25 minutes or $59 for 50 minutes.
Zai’s Dessertery at 470 Amsterdam Avenue between 82nd and 83rd Street has closed. The dessert shop opened in August last year and sold macarons, ice cream and other baked goods. Zai’s has other locations in New Jersey. (Thanks to Brittany and Ryan for the tip.)
New Plaza Cinema, a non-profit showing independent and classic films, held its opening weekend at its new location at 35 West 67th Street. A group of neighborhood cinephiles came together in a grassroots movement to form New Plaza after Lincoln Plaza Cinema closed in 2018. The 67th Street location is a partnership with Macaulay Honors College, a branch of CUNY. Its upcoming showtimes are on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Read more of the WSR’s coverage of New Plaza Cinema here.
Lovesac, a furniture company specializing in modular sofas that are easy to clean, is opening at 230 Columbus Avenue between 70th and 71st Street. Founded in 1995, the company first gained popularity with its line of large, round bean-bag chairs. There are now more than 100 Lovesac chain stores across the country. It replaces a Theory clothing store. (Thanks to Tierney for the tip.)