By Scott Etkin and Lisa Kava
Le Pain Quotidien, the casual French restaurant, is planning to renovate its longtime location in Central Park next to Sheep Meadow, near 69th Street. The plan includes reconfiguring the footprint to create more usable space for the restaurant’s operations and adding a “modern pergola” to create the option for indoor dining. The structure will have a motorized ceiling made of wood that can open and close depending on the weather, according to the architect, Jason Gold, at a recent Community Board 7 meeting. This will allow the restaurant to operate year-round; currently it closes in the winter months. Le Pain Quotidien has been at this location since 2010 and it is funding the renovation. Its concession agreement with the NYC Parks Department runs through 2037. There will be seating for about 60 people – the same as there is now. The construction is expected to take about six weeks, starting in February or March.
La Caridad, the Chinese-Cuban restaurant that’s returning to the Upper West Side between Amsterdam and Columbus on 72nd Street, shared some more information about the opening when applying for a liquor license at a recent Community Board 7 meeting. The restaurant will be under new ownership but carry forward the same menu as its previous iteration on 78th Street, which closed in 2020 after more than 50 years. The space will have nine tables with seating for 36 customers (indoor only). As previously mentioned in this column, Chinese-Cuban restaurants were once much more common in the city, but now only a few remain.
Rampoldi, a fine-dining restaurant based in Monte Carlo, has opened a location at 49 West 64th Street (just off Broadway). Founded in 1946, the Rampoldi in Monaco has been included in the Michelin Guide. This is Rampoldi’s first location in the US. Its dress code is “dinner-appropriate attire, sophisticated and chic.” The space used to be Atlantic Grill.
QQ Nails & Spa has replaced another salon, Less & More Nail Lab, at 167 Amsterdam between 67th and 68th Streets. Services include manicure/pedicure and waxing. QQ Nails has three other locations on the Upper West Side and many more throughout the city. New customers get 15% off their visit.
Amorino Gelato is opening a location at 44 West 63rd Street (between Broadway and Columbus Avenue), at the base of the Empire Hotel. Amorino was founded in Paris in 2002 and has hundreds of international shops, including another one on the Upper West Side at 414 Amsterdam Ave (80th Street). The popular gelato shop also serves macaroons with a gelato center as well as tea and coffee. Lavelier, a cosmetics shop, was formerly in the space. (Thanks to the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District for the Rampodi, QQ Nails, and Amorino tips.)
Per Se, the high end restaurant by chef Thomas Keller in the Shops at Columbus Circle, is planning to reopen on October 6th. The restaurant closed temporarily at the end of July for renovations, which were done by the space’s original designer, Adam Tihany. Reservations are available to book for the month of October. Per Se has been at this location since 2004 and it was added to the Michelin Guide two years later.
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