What We've Lost

| 17 Feb 2015 | 04:39

Nancy's Pig Heaven

1540 2nd Ave. at 80th

?Chinese restaurant

? Opened in 1984, closed in September

?Owner lost the lease; rumored plans of its being demolished to make way for new condos Upper East Siders will soon miss this classic neighborhood Chinese restaurant. For decades, many have enjoyed Pig Heaven's reliable take out and its unmistakable display of toy pigs. The good news is that Nancy Lee, the owner, has secured a new lease nearby and plans to re-open soon Lascoff Drug Store

1209 Lexington Avenue at 82nd

?Opened in 1899, closed July 2012 -- 113 years in business

?Inability to compete with modern pharmacies and illness forced owner to sell the store and retire

According to the Times, Lascoff was the first registered drug store in the state of New York. Dr. Lascoff and his son were known for their old-time remedies-in particular, leeching. Costumers have described their shopping experience at Lascoff as stepping into a time warp, thanks to the building's high cathedral ceilings and its traditional apothecary smell.


1228 Madison Ave. between 88th & 89th

? Luggage, photo and toy store

? Established in 1935

What started as a luggage store, turned into much, much more. Residents turned to Moormends when in need of anything from a new camera to a kid's birthday party present.


151 E. 82nd St. between 3rd & Lexington

? Italian restaurant

? Open for about 23 years

Girasole was a neighborhood classic among local East siders. This tucked-away restaurant was often overlooked by tourists, despite its bright yellow awning. Locals, though, described it as underrated.

Planet Kids

247 E. 86th St., between 2nd & 3rd (also a West side location, which also closed)

?Baby store

? Original store opened in 1999, closed Feb. 2014

?Owner forced to close due to competition from online retailers and high rent

Planet Kids was known for its wide variety of kids merchandise and its great customer service. The store prided itself on its employees' close relationships with their regular customers. Planet Kids was a staple on the Upper East Side, and its loyal customers are sad and surprised to see it go.

Jackson Hole

1270 Madison Ave. between 90th & 91st

?Burger joint

This Carnegie Hill restaurant will be truly missed. Among other customers, it attracted a flock of kids from nearby Spence for sandwiches and hot chocolate. Land Thai Kitchen East Side

1562 2nd Ave. between 81st & 82nd

?Thai Restaurant

Locals will miss Land's $7 lunch special and spicy drunken noodles. This tiny Thai kitchen was always packed with East siders who could always count on Land for some authentic Thai cooking. Luckily, the West side location remains on Amsterdam Ave. and 82nd St.

Dandy Espresso

1375 Madison Ave. at 96th

? Coffee shop

? Closed after five months

? Unable to pay rent

If you needed a break from Starbucks on the corner of 96th and Madison, all you had to do was walk across the street to Dandy Espresso, located near Mt. Sinai Hospital and many Upper East Side high schools.

Gracie's Corner Diner

352 E. 86th St. between 1st & 2nd

?In business for 25 years

?Forced to leave due to plans of demolishment to make way for luxury condos. A new location is planned.

Gracie's generous portions and casual atmosphere will be missed by local East siders. For over 25 years, customers have enjoyed Gracie's classic diner grub at all hours of the day.

John's Pizzeria

408 E. 64th St. between 1st & York

? Opened in 1985

?Locals were shocked to see this Zagat-rated restaurant disappear! Known for its "no slice" policy, John's served whole pies to customers for almost 30 years. They now will have to treck to the restaurant's Times Square location.

Cascabel Taqueria

1538 2nd Ave. between 80th & 81st

?Owner lost the lease-rumored plans of its demolishment to make way for new condos

Many swear that Cascabel Taqueria made the best tacos in Manhattan. Maybe it's their homemade salsa and organic ingredients. Locals are devastated to see this little dig being shuttered to make room for a luxury condo.

Divino Restaurant

1556 2nd Ave. between 80th & 81st

?Italian restaurant

? In business for 37 years

? All stores on the block being knocked down to build high-rises

Northern-Italian immigrants, Mario Balducci and Antonio Bongioanni opened this restaurant in 1977 hoping to share good service and delicious food with the Upper East Side, and for 37 years they did just that. Divino was best known for its large portions and relaxed atmosphe.

Johnny Foxes

1546 2nd Ave. between 80th & 81st

?Sports Bar/pub

?Owner lost the lease-rumored plans of its demolishment to make way for new condos

For many East siders, Johnny Foxes was a favorite local watering hole, boasting lunch and two drinks for under $13.

Soup Burg

77th St. at Lexington Ave.


?Since 1948

?Forced out by landlord

A trusted, affordable, and delectable diner on the Upper East Side that was cherished by all is being replaced by a bank. Soup Burg was renowned for serving some of the best burgers in town and providing unparalleled customer service to the many regulars as well as newcomers.

Subway Inn Barr

143 E. 60th St. (Between Lexington & 3rd)

?Dive Bar

?Opened in 1937

?Closing to make way for a new building

Proclaimed as one of the last dive bars in the area, the Subway Inn was a great place to grab a cheap drink and listen to some great music. Many regulars would report straight from work.


205 East 75th St. at 3rd Ave.

? Seafood restaurant

? Six years of business

? Owners opted to close to focus on other restaurants

In a statement to customers, owner Joe Gurrera explained that he aims to focus his attention on the evolution of another restaurant. Known for delicious and fresh oyster and clam dishes at decent prices, Fulton was a great source for seafood lovers.

Blacker & Kooby

88th and Madison Ave.

?Stationary store

?Since 1963

?Expired lease and rent increase

This small but resourceful store provided a wide range of supplies to customers before it was forced to downsize and relocate to Lexington Ave. The closing of Blacker & Kooby belongs in a long string of 'mom and pop' stores leaving Madison Ave. on the basis of extreme rent increases.

Slightly Oliver

511 Amsterdam Ave. between 84th & 85th

? American Gastropub

? 4 years in business

? Closed for unknown reasons

Slightly Oliver was known for their wide selection of drinks. Next door to Jacob's Pickles, this eclectic neighbor was favored for dishes like their crispy duck tongue salad.

Ding Dong Lounge

929 Columbus Ave. between 105th & 106th

? Dive Bar & Venue

? 13 years in business

? Lost its lease

Ding Dong Lounge was named the Best Cheap Manhattan Dive by both the Village Voice and Gothamist, and owners said that their last year in business was also their most lucrative, but it still wasn't enough to keep up with rent demands. The popular dive was also a spot for local musical acts. Owners hope to re-open somewhere on the Upper West Side.


20 W. 72nd St. between Central Park West & Columbus

? Italian Restaurant

? 28 years in business

? Closed by owner for changes

Sambuca had been an option for those on the Upper West Side looking for quality Italian food. As the tastes of the neighborhood have changed, the owner has looked to reinvent the space to attract new clientele. People hope that the quality of the food and the friendly atmosphere remain, no matter the changes that happen.

Columbia Cottage

1034 Amsterdam Ave. between Cathedral Pky & 111th St.

? Chinese Restaurant

? 22 years in business

? Closed due to rising rent

This restaurant had an extensive menu and was a big draw for nearby Columbia students, who came for the free wine and dined there frequently. One of the favorites was the "Little Bit of Everything Noodle Soup."

Popover Café

551 Amsterdam Ave. between 86th & 87th

? American Café & Restaurant

? 32 years in business

? Closed due to loss of lease

Everyone knew this restaurant, a mainstay on the Upper West Side. Well liked for their namesake, a popover breakfast pastry with jam and butter, this was a favorite spot of many to meet a friend and enjoy a meal. For families it was a favorite spot for brunch or dinner, many people returning to its booths long after moving from the city.

103 Grocery & Flower

2705 Broadway at 103rd St.

? Delicatessen

? About 30 years in business

? Closed due to rising rents

This 103rd Street Korean deli was known for its wide selection of flowers out front and the quality of its produce. This was one of the first delis in the neighborhood. Patrons liked their late hours and constant good service, and it was a place of convenience and reliability.

Ditch Plains

100 W. 82nd St. between Columbus & Amsterdam

? Seafood restaurant

? Over 3 years

? Closed due to rent increases

This unique surfer seafood shack featured original takes on typical dishes such as the Ditch Dog, a hot dog topped with mac and cheese and spicy fried shrimp. Although Ditch Plains is survived by their West Village location, their presence will be sorely missed by their Upper West Side patrons.

The French Coast

472 Amsterdam Ave. at 83rd St.

? Mediterranean French Cuisine

? Nearly 2 years in business

? Closed for unknown reasons

Known for their delicious meats and fish, patrons of this restaurant saw it as an interesting change to typical French cuisine. It was a choice of diversity among the many different places in the neighborhood.


2101 Broadway between 73rd & 74th

? Clothing Store

? 93 years in business

? Closed after filing for bankruptcy

Loehmann's has been part of the Upper West Side for so many years, everyone has some memory of it. Long well known for their deals on designer clothes in "the back room," Loehmanns gave those who couldn't afford high end clothing options for a fraction of the cost. In the weeks before their closing, many patrons visited the store to pay their respects. They relived the memories of the communal changing rooms, the best deals, and funny events.


489 Columbus Ave. at 83rd

? Deli

? Years of operation unknown

? Relocated one block south

This New York deli lost its position on Columbus Avenue to a new restaurant by Swagat Indian cuisine owner. Customers of the new restaurant Savoury seem to be pleased with the dining, however.

Our Town OCTOBER 2, 2014

Café Blossom

466 Columbus Ave. at 82nd St

? Vegan Restaurant

? Since 2007

? Building management issues that were "beyond the control" of restaurant owners

A restaurant dedicated to serving fresh and healthy alternatives to the typical dining experience, Café Blossom had become a vegan staple in the Upper West Side. Blossom supported many health-conscious customers and dedicated regulars and hopes to continue to serve them at their other locations around the city.

Rizzoli Bookstore

31 West 57th Street between 5th and 6th

? Bookstore

? Since 1985

? Expired lease

After the Landmark Preservation Commission failed to grant landmark status to the historical building Rizzoli was forced to relinquish their store to the possibility of complete demolition. The closing aroused resentment in many New Yorkers and protests against LPC ensued. Rizzoli has since announced their plans to relocate to the NoMad neighborhood at 1133 Broadway by Spring 2015, but the store will never be quite the same without the intricate framework of the early 1900s building.


239 W. 105th St. between Amsterdam & Broadway

? Japanese Restaurant

? Open less than a year

? Closed for unknown reasons

After opening only months before, Pitaya closed their doors. The restaurant was given great reviews and customers thought the food was very good. It seemed to have trouble attracting new customers, however, and has since reopened as Szechuan Gourmet.

Rui Rong He Laundry

567 Columbus Ave. at 88th St.

? Dry Cleaner

? 32 years of business

? Rent increases

Small but reliable, this dry cleaner was known for providing great work for low prices until owner and operator Rui Rong He received the news of rent increases in his building. No longer able to afford the steep prices on a $9.50 wage, He was forced to close the neighborhood's cherished store. Councilmember Helen Rosenthal remarked that the lose of He's store is a loss of "the unique character of the Upper West Side."

Lee's Market

78th and First Ave

? Korean deli

? At least 25 years of business

? Closed due to rent increases

The site where the wildly popular show 'Seinfeld' was envisioned by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld has closed because of rent issues.