By Scott Etkin and Lisa Kava
The Duane Reade at 1889 Broadway between 62nd and 63rd Streets is closing on November 9th. “When faced with the difficult decision to close a location, several factors are taken into account, including our existing footprint of stores, dynamics of the local market, and changes in the buying habits of our patients and customers, among other reasons,” a representative from Walgreens, Duane Reade’s parent company, wrote to WSR in an email. The closing of many chain and independent pharmacies – due to everything from raising rents and increased online shopping, to shoplifting and pharmacy benefit managers – has raised concerns about the ability to get prescriptions filled. Prescription records from this longtime pharmacy will be available at all Walgreens and Duane Reade locations. The closest existing Duane Reade is at 4 Amsterdam Avenue at the corner of 59th Street. “Typically when a store closes, pharmacy patients do not have to take any action,” the representative wrote. (Thanks to Kimberly for the tip.)
Clara, an American restaurant, is opening in two weeks on the first floor of the New-York Historical Society (2 West 77th Street between Central Park West and Columbus). It will seat approximately 80 people – similar to Storico, the previous restaurant in the space, which closed in July. The menu will feature “reimagined classics of the turn of the century – with an upscale [tilt] but hopefully accessible to the community,” said chef Diego Moya during a recent Community Board 7 meeting. Lunch service starts at 11 a.m. during the week – brunch at 10 a.m. on weekends – and dinner service will end at 10 p.m. The restaurant is backed by The Oberon Group, a sustainability-minded collection of restaurants in the city.
The Cashmere Sale, the annual pop-up for cashmere sweaters, wraps and accessories, is opening at 121 West 72nd Street (between Columbus and Amsterdam) on October 12th. It will be open daily until December 18th. The Cashmere Sale was founded 20 years ago by friends in Greenwich, Connecticut, and now features 16 pop-up stores nationwide each fall. The company carries cashmere items for women and men,including scarves, hats, and gloves. All clothing and accessories are sold at discount prices. “By offering online shopping and limiting our nationwide pop-up stores to once a year, we eliminate traditional brick-and-mortar expenses and pass the savings onto you,” according to the company’s website. Last year, the Upper West Side pop-up was at 79th and Broadway in the former DSW space. Hours are Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Key Food grocery store is opening on October 12th at 88th Street and Broadway. Key Food has a few other locations on the UWS, including: 86th and Amsterdam, 96th and Amsterdam, and 104th and Columbus. The space was formerly a Duane Reade and then a JOKR grocery delivery hub. (Thanks to Jenna for the tip.)
Old John’s Luncheonette, the diner at 148 West 67th Street, is expanding into the vacant space next door that was formerly the shoe repair store Foot Lights. Old John’s traces its roots back to 1951, when it was located at 66th and Broadway. The diner relocated to its current spot in 1998, but it shut down during the pandemic. In 2021, it was renovated and reopened by Louis Skibar, a former employee, who is also behind the nearby restaurant El Fish Marisqueria. “It was important to Skibar to respect and preserve the history of Old John’s by keeping key elements, such as the Art Deco lighting, mosaic tile floor ,and original ceiling,” according to the company’s website. “Many of the staff, some of whom have been there from 10 to 20-plus years, are back.”
New Balance, the athletic footwear and apparel store, opened on October 4th at 210 Columbus Avenue (between 69th and 70th Streets) in the space previously occupied by Intermix, the trendy women’s clothing store that closed in November 2022. While the company has three other stores in Manhattan (Upper East Side, Flatiron and Midtown), this will be its first “Uncommon Common” concept store in New York, manager Jackie Natale told West Side Rag. “Lifestyle and customer interaction are central to the store,” Natale explained, noting that the mannequins in the store are “interactive” and shown doing real-life activities such as going for a walk or sitting on a bench. While the store carries performance sneakers and gear, the concept is more of a “lifestyle brand,” she explained. New Balance opened the first “Uncommon Common” store in China in December 2022, and the first one in the U.S. in Boston earlier this year. According to a press release, the store features “a much tighter, more focused collection built specifically for the younger consumer.”
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