By Scott Etkin and Lisa Kava
The North Face in the Ansonia building at 2101 Broadway (at 73rd Street) will close on January 15th. The store, which occupies two floors, sells men’s, women’s and children’s winter apparel including jackets, puffers and gear. A salesperson in the store told WSR that the “lease was not renewed.” A selection of merchandise is on sale at 40% off. “I was just in the store and there’s practically no merchandise,” wrote tipster Gretchen. The store opened in 2003 and was the company’s first location in NYC.
Wafels & Dinges, known for its decadent Belgian dessert waffle trucks, is “soft opening” at 392 Columbus on the corner of 79th Street on January 11th, the project manager told WSR. A full opening will happen in a few weeks, he said. Hours are “to be determined.” The company, founded in 2007, serves waffles made from dough instead of batter and operates food carts in Central Park, 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. The new Columbus Ave. store will be the largest one to date for Wafels & Dinges, the project manager told us. (Thanks to Carina for the tip.)
The Rite Aid at 741 Columbus (at 97th Street) is planning to close at the end of January, a store clerk told WSR. “We won’t pay February rent,” the clerk said. “Three years of shoplifting, plus a rent increase, is why we are closing.” Rite Aid previously had another store on the UWS at 210-220 Amsterdam between 68th and 70th, which closed in the fall of 2021. This past summer, Residents of Park West Village (the apartment complexes on Columbus and Central Park West between 97th and 100th Streets) led an email campaign to the President and CEO of Rite Aid, Heyward Donigan, to save the Rite Aid at 741 Columbus from closing. “[The pharmacy] is frequented by many senior residents who rely on the store to fill prescriptions, who would experience severe challenges in obtaining life-saving medications,” according to the letter. After the closing, there will be no other Rite Aids in the neighborhood. (Thanks to Jose for the tip.)
Zootiez, a smoke shop, has opened at 447 Amsterdam between 81st and 82nd Streets. Blondi’s hair salon previously occupied the space. The store sells edibles, pre-rolls, cannabis flower, disposable vapes, and cartridges. They also sell “munchies” such as popcorn, pretzels, and potato chips. Zootiez opened on December 30th and “business has been steady,” a store clerk told West Side Rag. The brand is name-dropped in a hit record by Future, “Puffin on Zootiez,” and the company sells expensive merchandise, including a varsity jacket for $400, on its website. Currently, there is only one store, a Housing Works in Greenwich Village, that is licensed to sell cannabis in the city. “If [Zootiez] is selling cannabis, they’re selling it illegally, full stop,” said a representative from City Council Member Gale Brewer’s office. A recent sweep of smoke shops on the UWS confiscated more than $200,000 of unregulated THC, cigarettes and vaping products.
Columbus Park Dental, a general and cosmetic dentistry office, is opening at 40 West 72nd Street between Columbus and Central Park West in early March. It is founded by Dr. Sidak Singh, who chose the UWS for her first practice because she lives in the neighborhood with her family. She’s looking to bring a sense of community to her practice: “I think there’s something special about having a personal relationship with your dentist,” said Dr. Singh in a call with WSR. “It gives patients a lot of comfort knowing who [is] seeing them every time.” The renovated space will incorporate technology to help “alleviat[e] the fear of dentistry,” such as using scanners (instead of impressions, which can be uncomfortable) and letting patients watch TV or listen to headphones “to put you at ease while you’re in the chair.” Specialists will be joining the practice so that most procedures can be done in house.
Intimissimi, an Italian lingerie brand founded in 1996, is coming to 241 Columbus Avenue (at 71st Street). The space was formerly occupied by the high end European clothing store IRO. A worker at the space told West Side Rag they plan to open in about six weeks. Intimissimi also sells pajamas, socks, and swimwear.
Wonder, a restaurant concept backed by former Jet.com CEO Marc Lore, is coming to 2030 Broadway between 69th and 70th Streets. Scanning the QR code on the storefront takes you to a website that simply says, “The best restaurants under one roof,” in front of a looping video of sushi, pizza, and other dishes being prepared. In other cities, Wonder is operating a separate aspect of its business doing mobile food delivery, expediting meals from top restaurants.
Indie Food and Wine, the restaurant located in the Film Society of Lincoln Center at 144 West 65th Street, is closing on January 31st. Indie, which opened in 2011, operates as a cafe during the day and does dinner table service at night. (Thanks to Helene and Charlotte for the tips.)