What We've Lost

| 16 Feb 2015 | 11:42

Westway Foods

375 Amsterdam, at the corner of 78th St.

? Delicatessen

? Open for 40 years

? The deli is closing due to competition from Duane Reade across the street

Westway Foods was a staple in this area, one of the last delis where people could grab a bite or a bottle of water. Westway was so closely knit into the community, residents would leave spare keys or packages behind the counter; one resident said their client asked him to leave her tax return there. There was a sense of trust and reliability that people will miss.

Big Nick's Burger and Pizza Joint

2175 Broadway, between 76th & 77th

? Restaurant

? 51 years in business

? Closed due to rising rents

Big Nick's Joint was considered as much a part of the Upper West Side as the sidewalks that line Broadway. It was where many people first went when they came to the neighborhood. The owner, Nick, was always kind and accommodating, and the expansive menu, featuring cuisines from around the world at relatively cheap prices, was legendary. Big Nick's was a place everyone had been to, whether late after a night out, or simply for a quick bite. Nick is hoping to open a new place soon somewhere on the Upper West Side.


208 W. 70th St. between Amsterdam & West End

? Greek Restaurant

? 3 years in business

? Closed after negotiations with the lease came to a stalemate

Loi, owned by Maria Loi, the self-proclaimed "Martha Stewart of Greece," was one of the only high-end Greek restaurants in the area, serving Greek classics like baked salted fish and spanakopita. It will be missed, but not gone for long, as the owners look to secure a new space.

Olympic Gourmet Deli

555 Columbus Ave. between 86th & 87th

? Delicatessen

? 25+ years in business

? The deli closed due to rent increases

Olympic Deli was a familiar face on the streets of Columbus Avenue. The owner was a man you could count on to be friendly on a terrible day. Anytime you entered the store, the radio was set to NPR. Patrons praised the selection and convenience of the corner shop.

Gotham Food

273 Columbus Ave. between 72nd & 73rd


? 44 years of business

? The deli closed due to a rent hike on the premises, and pressure from the Starbucks next door to expand into their space

Gotham Food, a smaller deli, was praised as the place to go for sandwiches and a mean German potato salad. All of the employees were well liked by residents in the area and have been known to make the extra effort to satisfy customers, even stretching to accommodate the more unusual or extravagant orders. With the friendly and gracious owners, the place has always been known as accommodating and reasonable.

The Spec Shop

2868 Broadway between 111th & 112th

? Optometrist

? 20+ years of business

? The owner is retiring and selling business

This was a local spec shop with a friendly optometrist. He was an older man known to be methodical in his work and extremely thorough. The business was a convenience to the neighborhood, working with patrons to supply them with glasses or contacts, and serving as an alternative to the commercial eye wear chains.

K&S Market

2477 Broadway, between 91st & 92nd

? Korean Deli & Grocer

? Open for nearly 30 years

? The store is finally closing its doors due to rising rents

This 24-hour deli iwas one of the last on Broadway for about 10 blocks uptown or downtown. Nearby residents came for their wide selection of fresh flowers and grocery odds and ends.

Mike's Bistro

228 W. 72nd St. between Broadway & West End

? Kosher Restaurant

? In business over 10 years

? Moving to a new location on East 54th Street

The loss of the restaurant comes as a surprise to many residents of the area. In the Upper West Side, which has a large Jewish community, Mike's was seen as one of the best options in the kosher dining experience. The presence of this local eatery will be missed, especially their braised short ribs and gnocchi with duck and truffle oil, but patrons can trek across town to their new Upper East Side location to get their fix.

Pet Health Store

440 Amsterdam Ave. at 81st St.

? Pet Store

? Nearly 10 years of business

? Closing due to rising rent and lease ending soon

This pet store will be a large loss for the area, as it is one of the only privately owned pet stores on the Upper West Side. Residents love the owners and also their adoption events held outside the store on weekends. The strong customer service and knowledgeable staff made this store a local favorite. The lease will expire at the end of October, and a listing for the property notes that the space will be available and can be vented for cooking, and that the landlord plans on installing a new storefront. Owners of Pet Health Store hope to relocate in the neighborhood.


187 Columbus Ave. between 68th & 69th

? Doughnut/Gelato shop

? In business about 4 years

? Closing for unknown reasons

Owned by David Ruggerio, Bomboloni was one of the only independent donut stores in neighborhood. People especially liked the bomboloni donuts and their coffee. The shop was a cozy place, great for dessert after dinner, or simply somewhere to rest your legs after a walk in the park.

The Toy Store

2422 Broadway at 89th St.

? Toy Store

? Closing due to rent increases

The closing of this toy store follows the trend of several other local toy stores that have closed in the area over the past year. With the loss of this store, there are almost no toy stores north of the store for 15 blocks.

Joe & C Deli

245 W. 72nd St. between Broadway & West End

? Delicatessen

? Closed due to raised rents on the quickly developing 72nd Street strip

Its closing is a reminder of the loss of these local delis throughout the city. Residents knew this deli for their mixed meat Italian heros.


25 Central Park West and 63rd St.

? Art Gallery

? In business about 5 years

? Closing to make room for a new pharmacy

25CPW was a gallery with a mission devoted to strengthening the community through diverse exhibitions, outreach, and promotion. The gallery has drawn many thought provoking exhibitions, and was a true outlier in the rapidly changing neighborhood.

Havana Central

2911 Broadway between 112th & 113th

? Cuban Restaurant

? In business 7 years

? Owners may be expanding to New Jersey

The restaurant had replaced the famous West End, a mainstay for students and creatives including Jack Kerouac. Havana was well liked by Columbia students, who came for brunch and live music and to grab empanadas from the cart out front on Wednesdays. Fans can still get a Cuban food fix at the Times Square location, or at their two other outposts in Yonkers and Garden City.

Olde Good Things

450 Columbus Ave. between 81st & 82nd

? Antique Shop

? At this location for about 4 years

? Moving to new location

Many resident are sad to see this treasure leave. One of the only antique shops in the neighborhood, people found their large selection excellent for gifts or additions to their apartments. From beautiful tables, to hand molded door knobs, Olde Good Things was a fun place to browse. The help of incredibly knowledgeable and kind staff made the establishment a pleasure to explore.

Café Frida

768 Amsterdam Ave. between 97th & 98th

? Restaurant

? In business about 4 years

? To be replaced by another Mexican restaurant

This upscale Mexican eatery was described as authentic, and customers noted its ambience, with the look of Mayan ruins, music, and low lights. They were known for their tacos and guacamole.


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.


141 W. 72nd St. betweenColumbus & Amsterdam

? Pizzeria/Restaurant

? 21 years in business

? Being replaced by restaurant Communal

Rigoletto's original location was on 69th Street and after great success they moved to their 72nd Street location. It was not unusual for people to pop into this neighborhood joint more then once a week, for a slice or two. It was the type of pizza place that defines a block, and a person's home. On their last Sunday before closing, they made over 600 pizzas.


188 Columbus Ave. b/t 68th & 69th

? Women's clothing store

? In business 8 years

? Moving out of the neighborhood

This women's clothing shop was featured on TLC as a go-to shop on the Upper West Side, with a great selection of clothing, shoes, and bags. Frequent customers also loved that the shop was able to quickly stock new items. Shopper confessed it impossible to leave the store without buying something.


2410 Broadway between 88th & 89th

? Jewelry & Accessories

? 17 years of business

? Closing due to rising rents and costs of business

La-Di-Da was a small shop, well liked for their collection of hats, jewelry, and accessories. The prices were always reasonable for the quality of their collections. They had enormous variety, and a staff that would know you by name. The tiny store was a nice change of pace from the larger commercial jewelry stores.

Planet Kids

191 Amsterdam Ave. at 69th St.

? Children's Store

? 15 years in business

? Closing due to competition of other businesses, primarily online market

Planet Kids was one of the largest children's stores in the area that is privately owned. The store was well liked by many residents of the area, due to their large selection and knowledgeable representatives. Owner Ariel Tavasi noted in an interview to DNAinfo.com that many customers were surprised to hear the news of Planet Kids closing.


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.

Fratelli La Bufala

2161 Broadway between 76th & 77th

? Italian Restaurant

? 2 years in business

? Closed for unknown reasons

This Italian restaurant was known for its authentic pizzas and bufala mozzarella. They made all of their food using the methods and equipment imported from Italy. The restaurant, started in Italy, has thrived in Italy and in other cities such as Miami. However, the restaurant never seemed to vibe with the Upper West Side.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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."