By Scott Etkin and Lisa Kava
Telio and Perfecto Ristorante, the Greek and Italian restaurants next door to each other on Broadway between 92nd and 93rd Streets, have closed. Both were longtime establishments – Perfecto opened in the early ‘90s and Telio in the mid ‘00s – under the same ownership, and they closed due to a rent increase. However, Telio will live on through a unique arrangement with Good Enough to Eat. The brunch spot will open in the evenings as Telio’s Taverna, with the same menu, pricing and chefs from the original Telio on Broadway. Perfecto Ristorante, also known as Perfecto Pizza, sold brick oven pizza pies, pizza by the slice, soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches and wings. “The Meatball Parmesan hero was the best I’ve had on the Upper West Side,” wrote Susan, a regular, on Yelp. “I leave this review in honor of the many years I have patronized this restaurant.” (Thanks to Sally for the tip.)
Essential by Cristophe, an upscale French restaurant, is opening on December 7th at 103 West 77th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam, replacing the restaurant Dovetail. It is the first restaurant led by Michelin-starred chef Christophe Bellanca, who formerly worked at Le Cirque and Atelier Joel Robchon. The menu includes á la carte dishes as well as three prix fixe options: an eight course meal called “Évolution,” and a Winter and Vegetarian menu, each six courses. The “nearly 100-seat dining room [is decorated with] leather, brass and delicate touches of Élitis wallpaper and porcelain tile.”
Shun Lee Cafe, the Chinese fine-dining restaurant is in a “soft opening” at its newest location, 98th and Broadway – the space formerly occupied by Hunan Balcony. A limited takeout menu is available for pick up by calling (212-222-1216) or from Uber Eats. The restaurant is also taking dine-in reservations over the phone. A manager told WSR that they hope to officially open on Friday December 9th. A sign in the window says the restaurant is currently hiring assistants, a front desk cashier, and bus boys/girls. The space has been under renovation since January this year. Shun Lee has a few other NYC locations: Midtown East (Shun Lee Palace), which opened in 1971, and on West 65th Street near Lincoln Center (Shun Lee West and Shun Lee Cafe), which opened 10 years later. (Thanks to Robert for the tip.)
St. Agnes Library at 44 Amsterdam Avenus between 81st and 82nd Streets, which was closed for renovation, is reopening in mid December, a representative from the library told WSR. The NYPL branch has been closed since August for a floor replacement and repairs throughout the building.
Sephora, the cosmetics and beauty chain, is moving its location in the Shops at Columbus Circle to a vacant space on Broadway between 61st and 62nd Streets. “Frankly [I] think it will be great because it will bring more pedestrian street traffic,” wrote Monica Blum, President of the Lincoln Square BID, in an email to the Rag. The BID has heard similar news but is not involved in the lease. The interior construction work is still in progress in the retail space on 61st beneath the Park Loggia, a luxury apartment building. (Thanks to Amy for the tip.)
Re. Telio/Perfecto’s … I don’t understand how landlords could plausibly be increasing the rent on that stretch of Broadway. It’s dirty and dismal between all the construction sheds and vacancies…
It’s a block from an express stop and there’s some fairly new high end residential buildings opening a few blocks north but I agree it’s not the prettiest intersection. And it’s not like newcomers won’t eat Greek or Italian! I’ll miss the milkshakes at Perfecto.
But they probably had a 20-30 year lease. Those are notoriously hard to negotiate, especially in an environment when inflation is far less predictable.
Perfecto will be missed. Their pizza was excellent. I am not a fan of the place diagonally across the street – their crust tastes funny.
I agree. It is very very strange. Also. I ordered from there just last week. Very sad.
Re: “…The NYPL branch has been closed since August for a floor replacement….”
Well, of course! It takes quite a while for some workers to hold up the book-shelves while others replace the floors beneath the shelves…Oui??
The last renovation ruined that once-fine library when they turned the first floor into a day care center. They used to sell used books there but then minimized that. If they close the occasional book sales area in the basement (they’ve never seemed to offer much in the way of encouragement to the book sales volunteers) St. Agnes will then have completely moved into the realm of shadow, where completely useless artifacts continue their gradual & seemingly relentless decline, like that Romanesque church a few blocks away on 86th.
But hey: hope, however misguided, springs eternally in the human breast
so there’s that.
The first floor is an incredible resource for kids and has taught many neighborhood kids of different backgrounds to love reading and learning.
Sorry this doesn’t work for you but the second floor is great for adults so give that a try.
I was under the impression that libraries were there to be used by people of all ages. Selling used books for a few dollars is not the primary reason for a library. Book sale volunteers are important, sure, but what about everyone else’s needs?
I think it’s great that lots of little kids and their caretakers spend time in the library, what could be better?
About those “completely useless artifacts”? Those same little kids get time away from the screens we think they should avoid while upstairs adults of all ages have access to technology and the information it can provide.
Telio is reopening at the Good Enough to Eat spot in the evenings starting this week. Great news!
Miss Hunan Balcony very much .. Shun Lee is a nice addition. Hope it survives the cesspool streets of the 90’s /Broadway
Cesspool is quite offensive to some of us who live in the 90s. Granted, there are some not-so-pretty spots (Shun Lee will brighten one). But UWSiders that think everything below 86th is Shangri La should take a good look at a stretch between 73 and 68th on Broadway that is not too appealing.
You mean the stretch between 73rd and 68th on Amsterdam, right? Broadway is fine.
So staggeringly expensive, though. “$19.95 lunch specials” as proclaimed on their sign sounds not at all special (at least not in a good way) to me.
Shun Lee opened a similar “neighborhood style” cafe on Third Avenue i earlier this year.
Heard a report this morning (think it was wabc) that Rite Aid will be closing all Manhattan locations (20-30) due to ongoing shoplifting problems. Only one left on UWS is 97th and Col.
Rite Aid announced in their April 2022 earnings call that they would be closing up to 145 underperforming stores.
This wasn’t unexpected, and it’s not due solely to theft. The company has a history of poor management.
GOD but I hope you’re wrong. I’m on 72nd, I was just going to hoof it up there to the one on Columbus and 97th, since they’ve already closed the one off 70th, just a couple blocks away…
Damn. What does that say about us as a culture that we can’t even keep stores open in NYC?
I called Rite Aid on 97th… I hit #5 to get connected to a human… it rang 30 times then the machine again: “Thank you for calling Rite Aid…”
So I committed to walking the 50+ blocks & off I went in the December gloom…
I got there and spoke to Maria, a woman of the blonde persuasion; suddenly everything was fine, even great; she devoted time to me, offered me alternate ideas on various purchases: well worth the walk.
Then I asked the question: “Is it true…?”
She said, “the main office tried to close us down last summer, but after a big email campaign by the neighborhood customers, the company stayed it’s hand… but…”
I took that to mean that the Sword of Damocles is still above their collective heads (Maria herself was transferred to the 97th St Rite Aid from a previous store that was closed).
What a shame that rampant and unpunished thefts by large numbers of brazen & fearless criminals cleaning out these stores almost daily, like the depredations wrought by armies of locusts.
Nobody tries to arrest or even dissuade these criminals from attacking; nobody even gets in their way. I frankly don’t blame Rite Aid for closing down these profitless stores; who can do business under these conditions???
NOT sending in the police is a crime; it’s harmful to those citizens relying on these pharmacies, it deprives the neighborhood of the cheerful aspect of a lit and welcoming store and harms all the workers like Maria, depriving them of their jobs and the opportunity of helping people like me, and even deprives me of meeting people like Maria & basking in their friendly & helpful warmth on a dark and clammy December afternoon.
I agree. Because of a failure to aggressively protect their stores from open theft, we, the people who depend upon them for maintenance of our health, are being shut out. The criminals have been notified that there is open season on theft and law abiding citizens end up suffering.
Have you been in the Duane Reade on Broadway between 71-72 lately? So much if the inventory is behind lock and key now. Difficult to shop there and crazy vs what it was like when I moved to 71st 10 years ago
Yeah, it seems to be a choice between spending money on security and locking away the toothpaste, which drives away customers. Lose/lose, but investing in your business is usually the better move if you care about its success and aren’t just waiting for the lease to end.
Maybe they should have addressed the issue (along with DR and CVS), when this started happening years ago, instead of taking on the laissez-faire attitude of ‘we’ll let insurance pay for it.’ IMO it just created more crime because everyone knows they can get away with it.
How do you suggest individual stores address the crime? I think of that as the police’s job.
Sandy, But the city cannot realistically place a police officer in every store. We need an armed guard in each store. If necessary, the stores can raise prices to pay for these guards. We already pay for these thefts when the stores have to raise prices to cover the costs of these thefts. What is next? Robbery of prescription drugs that the criminals can sell on the street, coupled with the inability of legitimate customers to get essential drugs?
This is just one of MANY stories from 2018. It’s nearly 5 years later and the problem has only gotten worse. https://nypost.com/2018/04/30/duane-reade-has-a-major-security-problem/
DR repeatedly claimed that it was too expensive to hire their own security and it was cheaper to eat the costs of the thefts. I’ve been witness to numerous thefts (shoplifting) and 3 armed robberies since 2018. When there’s no security guard and you’re standing on line and someone is holding a gun and staring you down and blocking the only door/exit you can’t whip out your phone and call the police. When they block an escalator so you can’t get downstairs to the only door/exit you’re a sitting duck trapped on the 2nd floor. The police only show up after the fact, and they’re in DR on 72nd and Broadway on a regular basis, but I don’t believe it’s their job to babysit for DR, CVS, or any other corporation.
*I just want to add that the manager at this location has gone above and beyond trying to stop thefts. I’ve seen him put himself at risk many times, and this isn’t something he should have to do. My complaint is with the corporations not protecting their employees and their customers.
While it is nice that Telio’s will survive, for me it was Perfecto, whose pizza lived up to its name, that will be sorely missed. I guess half a loaf is better than none.
I will miss Telio. Particularly the Friday night opera meal. Unfortunately, Good enough to eat is a bit far for me.
Omg ! We are so lucky to have Shun Lee uptown.
I am so happy😍 they are finally opening. My favorite Chinese restaurant.
Good Perfecto closed, freaking expensive subpar slice was $4.25 at the end. The Vera next to Mc Donalds at 96th is $3 a slice and they taste good.
Enjoyed a delicious dinner at Essential by Christophe tonight! Pricey, yes, but a true fine dining experience right here in the neighborhood. Food was excellent, service was impeccable and the space is tastefully done. Wishing them much success in this location. Will be back!
Shun Lee Cafe Are not the same owners as the ones that were on West 65th St.
Don’t get your hopes up…..
Had dinner tonight at Essential. Honestly, possibly the best meal/experience I have ever had. Wonderful!
Will Saint Agnes bring back its FABULOUS basement book sales?
Thanks for reporting on the St. Agnes reopening. I was just wondering when that would happen.
Good luck to Shun Lee–in that spot they’ll need all they can get. I’ve lost track of the number of restaurants there that have come and gone in the last ten years. If I believed in magic, that’s the first place I’d think was cursed
So sad about Telio/Perfecto. The staff was always friendly, the ingredients were always fresh, and the food was always delicious.
The greed of landlords amazes me. Telio/Perfecto has been a go to spot for us for years. We know the waiters and get takeout as well. It always seems busy especially the takeout side.
I’d put the over /under at another tenant occupying the space at 2-3 years. Cleopatra’s cafe that was next to telio is still open.
Cleopatra’s has been closed for 2 years.