December 2011 Newsletter

  New to Columbus  
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Los Angeles' celebrated cult coffee chain, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, is opening its second New York City location, on Columbus Avenue at the corner of West 79th Street. This major West Coast brand, so popular with celebrities, opened its first location in midtown to much fanfare. Coffee Bean's signature ice-blended drinks, which pre-dated the frappuccino, are available in mocha, caramel, chai, black forest cherry, honey dew and seven other flavors. The new location will have a New York feel, while maintaining the California blonde-wooden siding and polished stone countertop of its SoCal cousins. The Bean, which has been brewing for nearly 50 years, "intends to add a handcrafted and customized touch to the Manhattan coffee landscape and fill a noticeable void between the coffee conglomerates and the independent 'mom and pop' shops."

392 Columbus Ave.
Opening Soon

Dakota Bar

Opening at the beginning of 2012, the corner café on West 72nd Street and Columbus Avenue is being transformed into a "upscale, yet whimsical café bar, with a special blend of food, fun, and cheer," said Jennifer Klein, the long time 72nd St. resident and owner of the new bar, "Dakota Bar will explore new wines from small producers, plus seasonal beers, and fresh, flavorful cocktail". The café will serve lunch, dinner, and midnight meals seven days a week, with a full food and bar menu. The bar will have seating for around 65 and a lounge for private parties. Dakota Bar promises to make each night a celebration for parties large and small.

53 West 72nd St.
Coming Soon

Farrow & Ball

Farrow & Ball's new contemporary showroom-style design beautifully displays their richly pigmented paint colors and artisanal painted wallpapers in an inviting setting, allowing renovating New Yorkers to visualize their new interiors. "Farrow & Ball is a one-of-a-kind paint and wallpaper manufacturer, and we feel that our heritage and beliefs are in keeping with the sophistication and historic feel of the Upper West Side. The new Columbus Avenue showroom is perfectly located in one of the city's most beautiful residential neighborhoods." Paint and wallpaper have never looked so good.

322 Columbus Ave.
(212) 799-0900

Polarn O. Pyret

Scandinavia's most popular children's clothing line has just opened their first New York location on Columbus Avenue. The store is loaded with their signature striped clothing for newborns to 11 year olds, as well as styles for expecting mothers. The manager of the new store said, "There is a significant population of Swedes on the Upper West Side who've said they remember Polarn O. Pyret from when they were children." This is no surprise, since the company is celebrating its 35th birthday. Their basic high-quality clothing is tough and comfortable for kids to play in. The store also carries kids winter-wear, proven warm enough for a Scandinavian winter.

428 Columbus Ave.
(212) 595-0130

Other Upcoming Openings
Seasonal Offerings

Fresh is getting ready for the holidays with great values on gift sets. Find the perfect combination of perfumes, makeup, and skin care products made from uniquely indulgent natural ingredients like sugar, soy, milk, and sake. Plus, receive a free travel perfume or body cream with your purchase, to stuff into a stocking or a treat for yourself.
159A Columbus Ave.
(212) 787-3505

Betsey Johnson

Bold, sassy, and electric, Betsey Johnson's styles have been rocking fashion on Columbus Ave for over 20 years. Betsey's hot pink walls are filled with clothes that are seductive and fun to wear, from frilly retro party dresses to flirty off-beat jewelry, shoes, and handbags. From now until Christmas they will be having weekly promotions and doorbuster sales, so make sure and check in to see what's happening! Athena and the gals would love to dress you up or help you find those holiday gifts. Plus, the store will be staying open an hour later (until 8pm) through Christmas, and even later on Thursdays (until 9pm) so you can shop and party late.

248 Columbus Ave.
(212) 362-3364

Magnolia Bakery

It's pie season at Magnolia! Choose from a range of fresh harvest pies that will pair perfectly with all your holiday get-togethers. Double crust apple pie, apple crumb pie, pumpkin pie and black bottom pecan pie. Giving the gift of Magnolia is even easier this season with their brand-new online store. Magnolia is shipping freshly baked classic desserts to hometowns nation wide, as well as adorable kitchen apparel, cookbooks, and gifts. Visit their website today to place your order.

200 Columbus Ave.
(212) 724-8101


This playful, energetic little shop is packed floor to ceiling with an eclectic, funky collection of accessories and handbags in every style. Verve specializes in handbags made by up-and-coming designers around the world, as well as great hats, jewelry, watches, and more. This holiday season, they are offering up to 25% off all shoes and handbags.

282 Columbus Ave.
(212) 580-7150


Roslyn and her staff give a personal touch to every shopping experience. “From the moment I walked in I was greeted by the sales people and it was obvious that Roslyn’s great eye was reason for her stunning selection,” beams a satisfied customer. There is no question that Roslyn has a special talent for distilling a person’s taste and personality to find the perfect wedding band, ring or necklace. Her unique collection of beautiful re-created vintage jewelry, contemporary styles and antique jewelry has a personality all its own.

The little store is also bustling with a great selection of cozy and stylish hats to get you through the long winter. Get great savings on child and adult hats for the holidays, and do not forget to mention the Columbus Avenue BID for additional savings.

276 Columbus Ave.
(212) 496-5050

Culture on Columbus
The New New-York Historical Society

On November 11th, The New-York Historical Society reopened its doors after a three-year, $65 million renovation, bringing light and air into the historic Central Park West building. The museum now greets guests with an expanded main entrance opening immediately into the heart of the building, where the new 3,400-square-foot Robert H. and Clarice Smith New York Gallery of American History houses the museum's first permanent exhibit. The new DiMenna Children’s History Museum and the Barbara K. Lipman Children’s History Library, are designed to engage families as never before and transform kids into history detectives. The Museum’s new and beautiful restaurant, Caffè Storico, serves light fare during the day and a full menu in the evening. Chef Jim Burke will prepare a delicious menu of cicchetti, small dishes from Venice, for museum visitors and Upper West Side residents looking for delicious food.

In addition to the permanent collection, the museum’s exhibit, Revolution! The Atlantic World Reborn , takes a deeper look at the American, French, and Haitian revolutions through a global narrative of change in the 18th century. The exhibit brings history to life with everything from interactive computer stations to the original copy of the Stamp Act. Plan to visit this amazing museum soon.

170 Central Park West
(212) 873-3400

Landmark West!

While preserving the past, Landmark West! pushes boldly into the future. After 26 years of grassroots advocacy for architectural preservation, Landmark West!, founded by Arlene Simon, continues to protect the historic character of Columbus Avenue and to promote an appreciation for the built environment of yester-year through new technologies. In addition to dozens of public programs, walking tours, and educational programs for students, Landmark West! shares the love of preservation through their blog and a self-guided iphone walking tour of historic buildings along Columbus Avenue. Visit their website for a free download of this terrific app, as well as a complete listing of their tours and programs.

45 West 67th Street
(212) 496-8110

Beyond Planet Earth

The American Museum of Natural History's newest exhibition, Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration, launches visitors into the exciting future of space exploration in the next century. The exhibit features equipment from historic spacecraft, and speculates on the future with a full-size recreation of a lunar habitat, private crafts for space tourism, a model of an elevator reaching up into space, and a walk-through diorama of the Martian surface with a life-sized Mars-rover. Now through August 12, 2012, this exciting new exhibition invites you to explore our future with their interactive computer displays, and an augmented reality smart phone app that's a free download.

Central Park West at W. 79th St.
(212) 769-5100


Pedestrian island holiday display by Quality Florists on W 82nd St. & Columbus Ave.

  Spotlight on Local Business  


Delighting curry connoisseurs on the Upper West Side for 35 years, Mughlai serves authentic succulent Indian dishes befitting the palate of a Mughal prince. Their enclosed glass café, one of the first on the Upper West Side, creates a lush greenhouse in the middle of their warm and inviting dining room. The Gupta family is dedicated to serving the highest quality dishes from all regions of India, with recipes that Kiran Gupta learned in her mother's kitchen, to dishes taken from the dining rooms of the Royal Families of Hyderabad, with their unique flavors found nowhere else in New York.

Each winter, Mughlai lights up the avenue, with the entire café draped in beautiful holiday lights. Evergreen wreaths join the tropical plantings, and hang over the open tandoori kitchen, where you can watch the chefs prepare chicken and fresh baked breads. After 35 years of serving deliciously pungent diners, Mughlai is now open for lunch as well. Starting at noon, the lunchtime "Thali" platters ($9.99-$11.99) include generous portions of vegetarian and meat entrees, Naan, Daal, and a dessert. Mughlai is now also one of the first Indian restaurants to introduce a special vegan menu along with their Indian classics. Warm up your winter parties with Mughlai's private party planning and catering, and get individualized help in menu planning to accommodate any palate. The Gupta family has been a pioneer in serving great food on Columbus for decades. They are also the owners of the Italian restaurant, Papardella, across the street and a number of establishments throughout the City.

320 Columbus Ave.
(212) 724-6363

Ditch Plains

Ditch Plains is one of the most fun, family-friendly restaurants you're likely to find anywhere around town. Not only do they offer kids healthy meal options in accordance with the new USDA MyPlate nutritional guidelines, along with their famous mac & cheese, ditch dog and the like, but kids and adults alike love their food. The flat-screen TVs that are mounted over the booths in back of the restaurant offer cartoons or surfer footage, and definitely help keep little ones occupied while adults get to enjoy themselves on Chef Marc Murphy's fabulous food. You'll recognize him as the judge on "Chopped," the popular competitive cooking show on the Food Network.

Try their new 'Surfer Sundays' (& Mondays too) $30 Lobster Bake, with 1 1/2 lb. lobster, corn on the cob, potatoes & sausage, coleslaw, drawn butter and old bay aioli. Their private room (for 10-14) is now serving their new "large format" dinners: Lobster Bake, Whole Roasted Suckling Pig dinner, Crab Boils, Salt Crusted Whole Fish dinners or Thanksgiving All Year. They need only 48 hours notice, and it's available 7 days a week. Great fish-shack fare with a super casual vibe, in the heart of the Upper West Side.

100 West 82nd St.
(212) 219-2126


Nestled into a cozy space between W.70th-W.71st on Columbus Avenue, Älskling, which means "darling" in Swedish, could not be more aptly named. The store's walls are hung floor to ceiling with women's garments filled with inviting floral patterns, ruffles, and antique lace, that draw on the style of the 1920's and 1930's, while still feeling fresh and contemporary. The shops founder and designer, Vivianne Tvilling, who first opened Älskling 18 years ago, has become a neighborhood institution. Many Upper West Siders look back fondly on "a time when every shop was emblematic of the personality of its owner", a feeling you still find at Älskling. "It is hard to have real soul today when there is so much uniformity," says one long time customer, gushing with praise for Ms. Tvilling and her work. " Her clothing is spirited and unique, full of romance and imagination... and some kind of Swedish magic".

Tvilling says when she is in her store she is as much a therapist as she is a designer. "People from the neighborhood will come into the shop for advice about their boyfriend or job, or bring in a garment from home for guidance on completing an outfit." Having extended her lease just now, Tvilling will continue to be a staple of the Columbus Avenue community. Her newest line features scores of baby onesies with the word "Darling" printed on them in one of forty different languages: Chéri, Lieveling, Älskling,  and the like.

228 Columbus Ave.
(212) 787-7066

Santa Fe

With a delicious menu of South Western classics, contemporary Mexican cuisine, and some of the best margaritas around, Santa Fe has remained an Upper West Side favorite for over 25 years. Chef Jose Gonzalez draws on his past, growing up in a talented culinary family in Atlixco, Mexico, to serve up old favorites and sophisticated regional plates such as Yucatan chicken and the spicy-sweet New Mexico pepper steak, in the cheery atmosphere of this family owned and operated restaurant.

73 W. 71st St.
(212) 724-0822

Supreme Hardware

Serving the Upper West Side for 32 years! The friendly and knowledgeable staff in this traditional mom-and-pop style shop serve residents and professional contractors alike. The store carries thousands of products from tools and piping to eco-friendly lighting and cleaning supplies, and provides custom cut glass and lumber. They also offer handyman services and free local delivery between W. 64th-W. 86th St. on the west side. Sign up for their newsletter and receive a 10% discount on all purchases!

65 W. 73rd St.
(212) 362-3555

Business Services

The Doe Fund

One man's dishes are another man's diesel. Each day restaurants in New York throw out thousands of gallons of waste cooking oil. However since 2006, The Doe Fund's Resource Recovery program has recycled nearly 1.5 million gallons of that waste oil into bio-diesel fuel. Bio-diesel can be used in any diesel engine, and burns 78% cleaner than petroleum diesel. Columbus Avenue BID restaurants including Cafe Rhonda, Cafe Frida, Pasha, and Harry's Burritos take part in the program. In turn, the fuel serves to power the trucks used by the program.

The Doe Fund, whose trainees work hard each day to keep Columbus Avenue clean and free of graffiti, is a holistic program dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness by providing housing and employment training to formerly homeless men. The Resource Recovery program provides free, reliable waste pickup, and helps Doe Fund trainees get their commercial driver's licenses.

It is thought that there are 50 million gallons-worth of fuel that could be created annually from NYC alone. If your restaurant would like to sign up for free waste oil pick up, contact:

James Washington


Thinking of Spring

Photo of Council Member Brewer planting bulbs with Mandell School Students

This year, the Columbus Avenue BID has planted a record number of daffodils in our tree pits, thanks to a donation from New Yorkers for Parks. The bulbs have been donated each year since 9/11 by the Dutch government, as a way to commemorate those who were lost, with yellow blooms across the City. This year, the BID was able to donate additional bulbs to Community Board 7,  so that other volunteers could plant them in the new Columbus Avenue pedestrian malls outside our area. Students from the Mandell School met in Council Member Brewer's office to pick up their bulbs and converse with her about greening initiatives.



The Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District
Phone: 212 721-5048
Fax: 212 721-407

The Columbus Avenue BID is a
501 (c)(3) not for profit corporation.


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