By Scott Etkin and Lisa Kava
Rag & Bone, the clothing store at 182 Columbus at 68th Street, closed on January 14th. The district manager told West Side Rag that the lease was up and “logistically, it didn’t make sense to stay in the space.” Rag & Bone opened the Columbus Avenue store in 2011, the manager said. “We have many other stores and decided we were moving on from this space.” A sign in the window directs customers to locations on the Upper East Side, Soho, Tribeca, Meat Packing, and Brooklyn. Rag & Bone, which has stores nationwide, sells trendy clothing, footwear and accessories for men and women. (Thanks to David for the tip.)
The Wolfe, a new bar with a full menu, is opening at 425 Amsterdam between 80th and 81st Street, currently the home of Spaghetti Tavern. The concept is named after Tom Wolfe, the author of Bonfire of the Vanities and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, among other classic bestsellers. It will be part of the Stout Group, which includes Amity Hall on the UWS and several other bars throughout the city.
Harlem Biscuit Company, which serves up savory breakfast sandwiches, has moved its daytime pop-up to operate inside of Cantina, the Mexican restaurant at 2099 Frederick Douglass Boulevard between 113th and 114th Streets. It used to operate out of Orange 67, a bar a few blocks away. The new space is larger and allows for indoor seating, a company representative told WSR. “You can now make all sandwiches combos, with either grits or breakfast potatoes.” Chef Melvin Boots started the Southern-style biscuit concept in November 2021. Its hours are from 8am to 2pm. (Thanks to Gary for the tip.)
Hoka, the running shoe store at 199 Columbus (at 69th Street) closed on January 16th. The manager of the Hoka store in Flatiron told West Side Rag that both locations were “pop-ups” and meant to be temporary. The Flatiron store at 142 Fifth Avenue is closing January 18th. The manager also told us that a new Hoka pop-up will open at 172 Fifth Ave. (at 22nd Street), combining the merchandise from the previous stores. Hoka opened on Columbus in August 2022, and in Flatiron in September 2021. We asked the manager why Hoka is opening pop-up stores rather than permanent locations. “We are not given that information,” she replied.
Royal Crown Optical opened on January 10th at 466 Columbus Avenue (between 82nd and 83rd Streets). Formerly called Royal Opticians, the store has both a new name and new location but the same ownership. Royal Opticians operated at 453 Columbus Avenue for over 35 years. Its hours are 11:30am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and 11:30am to 4pm on Saturday. It is closed on Sundays and all visits are by appointment only. “We want to be sure to spend quality time with each client,” Andrew, the manager, told WSR. Royal Crown Optical specializes in progressive lenses (both reading and distance). They also sell polarized sunglasses and specialty sports goggles. Bring your prescription with you as there is no optometrist on site.
Hospital for Veterinary Surgery is coming to 150 Amsterdam near 67th Street this spring. Founded by Dr. Matthew Raske, a New York native, HVS will be the first surgery-exclusive veterinary hospital in New York City, according to the company’s website. Potential clients can sign up on the website to get email updates and notifications about when appointment bookings will begin. The space was previously a Flywheel spinning studio, which filed for bankruptcy in September 2020, closing all of its studios. (Thanks to Diane for the tip.)
It appears that two imitation Shun Lee restaurants have opened on the UWS and Upper East Side. A manager at Shun Lee West, the iconic Chinese restaurant that has been at 65th Street between Columbus and Central Park West since the 1980s, confirmed that they have sent a cease-and-desist letter to the “Shun Lee Cafe” Chinese restaurant that recently opened on Broadway and W. 98th Street. A manager at the 98th street location said they are the “same brand” but under “a new management team.” Both managers said that this has caused confusion with customers. There is also a new “Shun Lee Cafe” on the Upper East Side on E. 82nd Street and Third Avenue. A manager there said it is affiliated with the original Shun Lee location, but not the new one on 98th Street. The new 98th Street and 82nd Street restaurants use the same font and logo in their signage as the original Shun Lee, but they do not have the ornate interiors that Shun Lee is known for. These two locations do not appear on the Shun Lee website. We will follow up on this story and report back when we have more information. (Thanks to Claudia for the tip.)