By Scott Etkin and Lisa Kava
Shun Lee 98th Street, the Chinese restaurant at 2596 Broadway, whose licensing agreement with the original Shun Lee led to confusion among customers, has rebranded to Dim Sum Bloom. “Our initial intention was to carry on the Chinese culinary culture of Shun Lee in an innovative way,” the restaurant posted on the Nextdoor neighborhood app. “However, we encountered significant obstacles as people perceive and love Shun Lee as a high-end Chinese restaurant brand, expecting an upscale dining environment. It was not feasible for Shun Lee to take a more mainstream approach.”
In April, The New York Times followed up on a post from West Side Rag about Shun Lee 98th Street, publishing a deep dive into the deal that allowed the new restaurant to use the “Shun Lee” name, and why the lasting impact of the original, iconic Shun Lee led so many patrons to feel protective of the brand. Dim Sum Bloom has made changes to the menu and is offering dim sum and lunch specials.
Ample Hills Creamery, the Brooklyn-based ice cream chain, is planning to reopen its Upper West Side location (Amsterdam between 85th Street and 86th Streets) in mid-July, co-founder Brian Smith confirmed in an email to West Side Rag. Ample Hills started out as a pushcart in 2010 and expanded quickly as it gained popularity. But it declared bankruptcy after almost ten years in business and, early in the pandemic, sold to Schmitt Industries, a machine parts company in Oregon. Schmitt also struggled with the business and suspended operations in December 2022, giving an opening for the original co-founders, Smith and Jackie Cuscuna, to buy the shops back for $150,000, The New York Times reported. Ample Hills has reopened its original location in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, and will open three more locations in NYC this summer.
Beambar, a teeth whitening salon, has signage up at 290 Columbus Ave in the space formerly occupied by the New York Barber Shop Museum, which closed in November 2022. Beambar, which expects to open the UWS salon in mid-July, was founded by two Columbia Business School students along with a dentist. The salon offers professional teeth whitening in a “fun, relaxed setting,” a representative from the company wrote to the Rag in an email. “The session takes an hour and feels like a spa for your mouth.” Beambar opened its first location at 267 Bleecker Street last year. “We are excited to be expanding to the Upper West Side,” the rep said. A teeth whitening session costs $129 and can be booked online. (Thanks to David for the tip.)
Dark Bullet Bar – which specializes in sake, whiskey, bourbon and scotch – has opened at 722 Amsterdam Ave between 95th and 96th Streets. The spot was formerly a Thai restaurant. Dark Bullet also has a sake and oyster bar at 154 West 72nd Street. (Thanks to Ian for the tip.)
Frame Coffee, a cafe, is opening on Amsterdam between 74th and 75th Streets (on the second level above Hummus Place). In addition to coffee drinks, the menu includes matcha and chai lattes, pastries, toasts, sandwiches, and bowls. Frame has another location on the Upper East Side. The space used to be a massage parlor. (Thanks to Katelyn for the tip.)
Mejuri, a jewelry store, has signage up at 495 Columbus Ave (84th Street), at the former location of a Jeffrey Stein Hair Salon, which closed in March 2018 and merged with the Broadway and 86th Street location. The space has been empty for five years but construction has been taking place for the past few months. Mejuri sells contemporary jewelry, including earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and diamonds, and has two dozen stores nationwide and in the UK and Canada. There is one location in NYC in the Flatiron District. Mejuri also offers piercing services and styling appointments.
Lenny’s Bagels, at 2601 Broadway (98th Street), is closing after 23 years in business at that location. The last day will be Thursday, June 29th. A sign posted on the store thanks customers for their unwavering support and refers to “fond memories of loyal customers, shared conversations, good coffee and homemade bagels.” Yelp reviews have been consistent in complimenting the bagels and friendly efficient service, and describing Lenny’s as a down-to-earth, easy-to-grab-a-quick-bite, neighborhood spot. (Thanks to Mark for the tip.)
Bourke Street Bakery, at 313 Amsterdam Avenue (between 74th and 75th Streets), has a sign in the window saying they are “closed until further notice.” A representative from the company told WSR that the temporary closing is due to a broken air-conditioning unit and they expect to reopen in a week. The sign directs customers to their other Manhattan locations in Nomad, Chelsea, and Grand Central. Bourke Street Bakery began in Sydney, Australia. The first NYC location opened in Nomad in 2019. The bakery sells coffee, pastries, sandwiches, muffins, cookies, and drinks, and offers catering services. (Thanks to Moline for the tip.)