Continuing our catch-up on a few things we’ve missed over the past few weeks…Westway Diner– on 9th Ave just south of 44th St, and famous for being the place Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David more-or-less came up with the idea of Seinfeld – closed their doors for renovations almost two weeks ago, and it turns out are going through a pretty major gut renovation.
It all looks the same from the front, but behind the paper is a different story:
In just two weeks though they’ve already made good progress:
They’re posting updates on the renovation on their Facebook page, so head over there to see all the details. Once the papers come down in a few weeks it’s going to be a very different diner.
And if you want to remember what the place used to look like (because it’s already been so long), Eater spent 24 hours in the place in 2012 and live-blogged the whole thing. The final bill: $555.
While one store opens, another closes… Marston Station, a relatively-new addition to W 53rd St, looks to have closed its doors, with a large “for rent” sign covering the doors:
Marston Station only opened at the start of this year, after a long wait. The place always seemed pretty nice, and had good reviews online, but was never really able to take off. It also spent a good portion of its time hidden under scaffolding, which didn’t help things.
Meanwhile, just a few stores down, new arrival Room 53 seems to be doing rather well, so all hope isn’t lost for that section of 53rd St. Still, it’s sad to see Marston’s go – they were one of the first places we covered back in the day, so held some significance there.
We here at Zuni just wanted you to know that we truly enjoyed serving you for all these years. Your business was much appreciated, and for that, we are most grateful. Due to the economy we regretfully inform you that we have to closed our doors.
Thank you from all of us here at Zuni!
A slightly different version of events, but still well-meaning.
Zuni has been around since 2006, and the impression seemed to be the place was okay. Still, never good seeing places get hit by the marshals. Anyway, with the for-lease sign up in the window it’s only a matter of time before someone else takes the place over.
The place is being taken over by Urban Deli, sister-store to the semi-new Urban Market literally just around the corner on W 47th St. While Urban Market is more-or-less your standard bodega/groceries store, Urban Deli should have a lot more pre-prepared food to go. Here’s their announcement on the window:
Meanwhile, back to the present, the gutting of the store has begun, and the froyo machines are already cleared out (much to my disappointment):
From happier times:
If you still need your froyo fix, don’t worry, there’s still Pinkberry a few streets down, and Tutti Frutti a few streets up on 8th Ave. You can never escape froyo.
Another day, another closure. Rice & Beans, on 9th Ave, is the latest victim, getting shuttered at the end of last week:
Strangely, the inspection results aren’t online, and they’re still listed with an A-rating from January, so that’s a mystery… It’s been around a week since the closure, so you can expect them to back up and running in no time.
Still, the closure looks very sudden. They’re still selling a Groupon for the place (and over 820 so far have been sold…), and haven’t made any announcement anywhere about their sudden disappearance. Once the scaffolding clears up around it, and the forever-incoming Galerie 515 opens up nearby, that location will be much more popular, so we should be looking forward to a new tenant in no time. Maybe we’ll even get a Thai restaurant!
They’ve put a letter up with the closure notice giving their side of the story:
They say they were closed “for reasons that cannot be shared”, but “were not closed down for a ‘dirty’ or unsanitary reason”. The health inspection violations are available online though, and list things like hot food not held at the correct temperature, evidence of mice, and food not protected from potential sources of contamination. So not sure what’s going on.
This is the second place this week the DOH has hit –they also got Stecchino further up 9th Ave, with a whole lot more “violation points” than here. Strict week at the health department it sounds like.
The health department has struck again, this time shuttering Stecchino, the Italian/American restaurant on 9th Ave just north of 51st St.
They racked up 94 violation points in their inspection this week, more than two and a half times their previous worst score. Not a good week I guess. They managed to get both the “live roaches” and “live/evidence of mice” ones, as well as a number of food handling and employee based violations, so that’s comforting.
Not wanting focus to go towards the health department closure notice, they’ve put their own giant sign up explaining the closure as a result of “mechanical problems”:
Hopefully they can sort out their “mechanical problems” and reopen cleaner than ever!
Turns out that wasn’t the only one to get shut down. On W 57th St, the UPS Store between 8th&9th Aves was also shut down without warning, and as you’d expect people are not happy. People with mailboxes in the store have been unable to retrieve their mail, and from all reports nobody with anything to do with UPS has responded to inquiries or complaints.
So people are taking matters into their own hands.
Funnily enough, the comments section in our previous post has more-or-less become the unofficial forum for customers to share their progress with the store, Consumer Affairs, etc. We’re glad we can help!
Meanwhile, offline, people have also begun covering the windows of the store with all sorts of letters and notes about the closure:
(Extra points to FedEx for leaving a failed delivery slip on the door…it’s good to see some humor in all this)
Here’s a helpful listing of all the phone numbers you might need if you’re trying to get mail from the place:
There’s even one giving people (roundabout) directions to the comments on the other post, which is flattering:
The store in question:
If you’ve had any troubles or experiences with these UPS stores, head over to the other post to find out the community’s progress so far and to share your experiences with your fellow neighbors. I’m sure they’d appreciate it. We’re also going to be updating that page with any extra information we can on the situation.
One way or another, hopefully this all gets sorted out soon…
Broadway Joe, a long-time Restaurant Row establishment, has closed its doors after 65 years. The steakhouse opened way back in 1949, named after its owner Joe Moreno. In recent times, the place seemed to be having a hard time living up to its customers’ expectations, as its 2½ star rating on the-one-true-metric-for-success Yelp suggests. Broadway Joe had a lot of history though, and over the years a number of movies filmed scenes at the place. For example, you can see part of the scene in this trailer for the 1959 movie FBI Story.
Broadway Joe has been closed for a few weeks now, so we already have news of the new tenant. As reported by DNAinfo, an ex-NYPD officer is planning to open a police-themed bar at the location, complete with its own jail cell.
Retired police officer of 27 years Stephen Barounis missed his old job so much, he decided to open a police-themed bar in Midtown called The 46th Street Stationhouse — complete with a police car, a precinct desk, a jail cell and a commissioner’s room.
It sounds like they’re going all-out on the immersive experience:
“I can bring you in in handcuffs and you’ll actually think you’re in a precinct,” said Barounis, who served on the NYPD’s Bronx Task Force before he retired in 2011.
Head over to DNAinfo for more info about the new place, including how they plan to get an entire car inside the restaurant.
It’s been a rough few months for Restaurant Row. A few months ago, just across the road O’Flaherty’s closed down, and in December a fire at Barbetta caused them to close, however fortunately they recovered and reopened. Hopefully the planned “makeover” for the street doesn’t end up pricing any more long-time places out. We’d hate to end up with the street just being called “Row”…
A few months ago, O’Flaherty’s, on Restaurant Row, closed its doors for good. Since then, the place has sat dormant, eventually being gutted. Now, the for-rent banners have come out, so it’s only a matter of time before the last traces of the place is gone.
The interior is in a sad state:
The place was always a popular place for filming – they even proudly proclaimed “Frequently Featured on TV” on their signage. Fittingly, our last mention of the place was when Girls had taken the spot over to film back in September. Even though the place has closed, it will still “live on” in countless movies and shows.
With the planned “makeover” for Restaurant Row scheduled for some time this year, it’s not hard to imagine the street becoming more and more polished/“family friendly”/“Disney-fied”, so places like O’Flaherty’s would no doubt start to feel the pressure to move on (not to mention the parking lot across the road). The march of progress…
For unknown reasons, The UPS Store on 10th Ave has been made to close up shop by “head office”. Sure, it’s part of a chain, but the place is a franchise, so it’s owned and run by regular people, who understandably would be pretty upset with this turn of events.
They’ve put up a letter explaining the closure:
The shutters make it hard to read, so here’s the text:
The UPS Store Inc has forced the owners of this location to close the store and cease operating as a The UPS Store. The owners are currently in litigation with the Area franchisee from The UPS Store in connection with this matter and are taking all available actions to reopen this store as soon as possible.
If you have a mailbox at this location, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will advise you when you can come pick it up. If you have any questions regarding UPS packages you have routed to this location, please contact The UPS Store customer service at 18007425877. We apologize for this inconvenience, and hope to reopen as soon as possible.
All the drama that can happen with something as seemingly simple as a mail shop…
Update: Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences in the comments. Good to hear some of you are starting to make progress. We’ve received an email from commenter Eva about some success she’s had in the battle to get access back to your mail:
Good News! A rep for UPSSTORESINC contacted me this morning. They are stepping up so we can all get our mail. They will also honor our contracts and redistribute our mail to other UPSSTORE locations. If you have a box at 331 West 57th Street write to email@example.com. Give them your box number and other vital info as well as how long you have had your contract etc. and they will be more than happy to help you. You can also call them at 1(800)789‑4623. At the moment they are dealing with the owners to get our mail out of the store so you can pick it up at other UPSSTORE locations. They have also said that they are looking into forwarding any mail that is en route.
They promised to keep in touch. So please check back for more info about OURUPSSTORE.
We’ve also posted a follow-up article about all the goings-on at the 57th St store and all the messages being left on the windows. There’s a possibly-helpful list of phone numbers to try while you keep pushing to get your mail.
If you have any breakthroughs yourself, please let us know below, or by emailing us! Best of luck!
Update 2:(March 5) Commenter Eva reports below that UPS called with news that all the mail from the W 57th St location will be available for pickup by Friday at another UPS location.
In addition, commenter Karen has shared a number of images of employees (?) entering the store today gathering mail to take to the other location, as well as a new notice on the window with the address of the pickup location: the UPS Store on 8th Ave between 52nd&53rd. If you still haven’t gotten access to your mail yet, try that store as soon as you can.
It sounds like this nightmare might be coming to an end.