May 2011 Newsletter

The New Columbus Avenue Website is Here!
  The Columbus Avenue BID is excited to announce a brand new website that is as bright and dynamic as the neighborhood it serves. The new site is filled with the latest news on the avenue, an interactive Google map of stores & attractions, and much more. Visit the new site at  

New Taste of the Upper West Side returns this year with a great lineup of top restaurants and special guests. May 20th and May 21st, join us under a grand tent in the schoolyard fronting Columbus Avenue between W.76th St. & W. 77th St. to help celebrate the neighborhood’s rich culinary culture. As one longtime participant of New Taste, Executive Chef Marc Murphy, said, “I go to a lot of food festivals around the country, but this is the one where you truly meet your customers; the neighborhood really comes out for this event”

Kicking off the weekend, the new Friday night event, Singha Beer Comfort Classics, will feature 35 wonderful chefs on a mission to reinvent the classics. Hosted by Adam Richman of the Travel Channel’s Man v. Food, and Dylan Lauren from Dylan’s Candy, the evening will feature live music, wine and spirits, and Ellie Krieger of the Food Network.

Saturday night’s signature event, Best of the West presented by ZAGAT, returns this year with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. Forty of the Upper West Side’s most celebrated chefs will be serving seasonal dishes with ingredients sourced from within 100 miles of New York City. The evening will honor Dana Cowin, Editor in Chief of Food and Wine Magazine for her wonderful contributions to the culinary world.

Saturday afternoon, we invite you to come to Long Island Takes on the World: A Wine and Cheese Tasting presented by Snooth and Lot 18. Explore local wines under the guidance of an expert panel.

These events sell out each year, so don’t wait to purchase your tickets. or 212 721-5048 for a full list of participants and details.

Kids on Columbus

Spring has arrived, bringing families out to explore all of the new children’s shops and activities that have sprouted up along Columbus Avenue. PhotoOp, a new children’s photo studio at 442 Columbus Ave, inspires photos with beaming smiles in a contemporary, fashion-forward style. Expert photographers will capture your child’s smile and print it on a variety of cool objects, from elegant Plexiglas and metal prints to customized iPad cases. PhotoOp can also put on a great red-carpet birthday party for you. Call them at (212) 362-1911 for complete details.

Make Meaning (329 Columbus Ave, (212) 362-0350)has opened a three story art creation space and retail store, buzzing with kids creating art from ceramics, jewelry, paper, glass and much more. Offering creative opportunities for all ages, little ones might paint a ceramic T-rex while munching on treats from Butterfly Bakeshop, as mom fashions a beautiful glass ring over a glass of wine. You can walk in and start creating, take classes, or plan a birthday party.

Columbus Avenue is bursting with fun family shops. While parents get a little urban therapy at Therapie NY (309 Columbus Ave., (212) 877-3307) a whole lower level of interesting and wonderful toys awaits kids downstairs. HomBoms (412 Columbus Ave., (212) 362-1039)) is a neighborhood staple, providing an outstanding selection of toys and crafts geared to newborns through preteens. Greenstone & Cie (442 Columbus Ave. (212) 580-4322), long a trusted kid’s shop on Columbus, moved a few doors north, and has teamed up with Naturinoto offer children’s shoes, in addition to their superior line of clothing and accessories. Fashionable ‘tweens can grab some bright and springy styles from Berkley Girl (410 Columbus Ave., (212) 877-4770),now offering 50-70% off selected items, Bit’z Kids (410 Columbus Ave., 212-724-1415), carries the latest styles from Japan for boys and girls from 1-8 years old. 30% off during their spring sale. And last but not least, for the littlest ones, Z’Baby (100 West 72nd St. (212) 579-2229) keeps babies and infants looking just as fashionable as their parents.

New Shops
Fit and fashionable, Athleta is opening It’s first location in New York right here on Columbus Avenue. The specialty women’s fitness and outdoor store, owned by the GAP, is slated to open this fall at 216 Columbus Ave., in the space formerly occupied by Lucky Brand Jeans. This great addition to the retail mix along Columbus will offer affordable sportswear to keep you looking good from the mountain top to the yoga mat.
216 Columbus Ave.
  European Wax Center  
  Brand new to Columbus Avenue, European Wax Center offers the ultimate luxurious waxing experience in a clean state-of-the-art facility. Be the first to discover this new spot. Join them for their their soft opening from Wed. May 11- Sun. May 14 for a free waxing of your choice. Before their grand opening on May 16th.
314 Columbus Ave.
(212) 799-5999
  La Terrine  
  Stacked to the ceiling with bold and beautiful handcrafted tableware from Italy, France and Portugal, La Terrine is certain to beautify any table. These unique items from renowned European designers, including Vietri, Arte Italica, and many more, make great gifts or additions to a bridal registry.
280 Columbus Ave.
(877) 837-7463
Seasonal Offerings
  67 Wine  

Celebrating 67 Wine’s 70th Birthday this year, Bernie Weiser, owner, is carrying on the tradition of this exceptional wine shop founded by his grandmother in 1941. Unique wine tasting offered every day of the week from 4-7pm. Come in on Mondays for “We Heart NY State Wine” or Thursdays for the “Exceptional Tasting Series”
179 Columbus Ave.
(212) 724-6767

  Harry's Burritos  

The time of year has finally come to sit outside in the sun and sip a cool margarita. Harry’s Burritos has been bringing New Yorkers their delicious San Francisco style burritos and margaritas since 1987. Come in for Happy Hour twice a day, at 4-7pm and 10-11pm and all day Saturday and Sunday: $3.50 margaritas and imported beers, $2.50 domestics.
241 Columbus Ave.
(212) 580-9494

  The World's Largest Dinosaurs at American Museum of Natural History  

Giant dinosaurs roamed the planet for 140 million years. How they lived, breathed, ate and got around is the subject of this exciting exhibition, featuring cutting-edge research about the super-sized sauropods, including the giant Mamenchisaurus, one of the largest animals to ever walk the earth. See a life-sized, fully fleshed-out model at this new and wonderful exhibit, just opened, which displays muscles and ribs, including a projection showing heart, lungs, and their digestive systems at work. With their huge size, 60 foot length, and with 30-foot necks, the super-sized sauropods, like the giant Memenchisaurus, are really awe-inspiring. Not to be missed.

Central Park West at 79th Street
(212) 769-5100

Spotlight on New Restaurants

Columbus Tavern

“Ask any Chef what his favorite part of his restaurant is,” says Columbus Tavern Executive Chef, Phil Conlon, “And he’ll tell you, The Bar.” That’s an easy one when your bar is 80 years old. Columbus Tavern, which replaced City Grill, is the newest iteration of a Columbus Avenue eatery dating back to the 1930s. With its tasty New American cuisine and convivial feel, it celebrates that long tradition with a modern spin. The menu is a selection of American bar-room classics updated with finer ingredients and original flavors like brisket & bone marrow burger, braised oxtail black bean chili, and lamb shank shepard’s pie, with the signature cocktails that each take the moniker of a famous Upper West Side building. True to form, the lit up sign proclaiming, “Grill” above the new open-format kitchen, is actually recycled from the exterior of the old City Grill. The rustic and elegant wooden dining room is an affordable spot with appetizers made to share among friends, and the crispy BLT dumplings will leave you craving more.
269 Columbus Ave.
(212) 873-9400


Ditch Plains

You know the feeling when you sit down with a cool drink after a sun-drenched day at the beach? Well, now you can find it on the Upper West Side. Marc Murphy, the prominent chef of two Landmarc restaurants and a downtown Ditch Plains, has brought his gourmet surf-shack to West 82nd St. just off Columbus Avenue. This beach bungalow is a great spot to grab a casual drink and bar snacks, like fried jalapeños and smoked mozzarella & ricotta fritters with friends. Or bring the kids, who will sit transfixed by the countless monitors showing big, pipeline surf videos. The menu is stacked with beachside favorites from succulent lobster rolls and soft tacos to the signature Ditchdog, a hotdog topped with mac n’ cheese, as well as delicious grilled fresh fish. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with a homemade Ditchwich ice cream sandwich. Marc started surfing only four years ago, after receiving a surfing board for Father’s Day. A dedicated Westsider, Chef Murphy is committed to creating real neighborhood restaurants.
100 W 82nd St.
(212) 362-4815

Cafe Sonatina

Inspired by the old Café Mozart, this charmingly classic Viennese coffee shop offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of New York. With classical music filling the air and decorating the walls (and no cell phones allowed) Café Sonatina is a perfect space for long conversations and good books. Sonatina’s proprietor, Chris Kim, invites people to have a cup of coffee, pastry, salad, or sandwich, and stay as long as they like.
106 W 69th St.
(212) 362-0819

Obama at the American Museum of Natural History

On March 29th, President Barack Obama and Mayor Bloomberg visited the New York Science and Engineering Fair at the American Museum of Natural History. The surprise appearance was part of the President’s ongoing campaign to encourage kids to consider careers in math and sciences. After a few brief remarks the President toured the fair, speaking with students about their projects. Standing beneath the giant blue whale, Mr. Obama said, “the most important formula for this country being successful is making sure our young people are excelling in areas like math, science and technology, and so whenever I get a chance to go to a science fair, I go.”

Business Services

Business Acceleration & Customer Service Initiative for Small Business Owners & Operators

The City has begun a Business Acceleration Initiative, led by the Mayor's Office of Operations, to improve the way the City interacts with businesses. Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith is spearheading this large project, intended to simplify City government by streamlining City operations, improving customer service, and embracing innovation. Although the program is intended to help all small businesses, they are focusing their efforts during this first year of operation on food services and other retail businesses. You can contact New Business Acceleration Team (NBAT) by calling them at 212 788-6722. If you are considering a new business, you will be assigned a case manager who will help to coordinate all the various City permits and inspections necessary to open.

Travis Craw

Travis Craw joined the Columbus Avenue BID about three months ago, as the assistant to the Executive Director and Media Coordinator. In addition to other things, he will be out and about on the avenue, looking for things to write about, and is happy to list your upcoming sales, special events, or new openings on our Columbus Avenue Facebook page ( or our Twitter account (@NewtasteUWS) or for our online newsletter. You can also contact Travis with any general questions you might have. I am certain you will find him to be helpful and enthusiastic. You can email Travis at

Barbara Adler
Executive Director

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