Upper West Side Openings & Closings: Good Enough To Eat, Syms/Filene’s Basement, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Monday, December 5th, 2011

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UPDATE 7/19/12: Reports Of Good Enough To Eat’s Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated

UPDATE: 5/14/13: UWS Fixture Good Enough To Eat Finds New Home In The Neighborhood

Neighborhood fixture Good Enough To Eat (483 Amsterdam, btw. 83/84), which has operated on the Upper West Side for 30 years, is locked in a dispute with landlord Arthur Leeds Management and is looking for a new home.

While owner Carrie Levin would like to stay on the UWS, it’s possible she’ll have to leave the neighborhood.

Gothamist and WSJ Metropolis have full details on the story. Per Gothamist:

Levin tells us she’s locked in a dispute with her landlord, Arthur Leeds Management, and is not at all optimistic that it can be resolved. She says Leeds has given her an ultimatum to make costly soundproofing improvements, following an upstairs neighbor’s complaints to 311. But Levin doesn’t believe any complaints were ever made, because the local police told her they’ve heard nothing about any noise issues at the address.

“It doesn’t seem that [Leeds] will be renewing our lease,” says Levin. “We were told that there were complaints to 311, but there were none, and the police told us we’re not even on their radar. Now, it would cost us a fortune to close for two weeks to have this soundproofing done. And it wouldn’t make a difference, because the traffic noise on Amsterdam Avenue is much louder than any noise from the restaurant. And then we would we reopen and the landlord would just come up with something else!” Arthur Leeds did not immediately respond to a call for comment.

In response to the Gothamist post, MUW reader Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) tweeted in “I’ve lived upstairs for 10 years [and] never heard a peep.”

This is the not the first complaint Levin has had about her landlord — West Side Spirit covered a dispute back in November of 2009.

Levin’s lease runs through June of 2013, but she worries that if it isn’t going to be renewed, she could be denied a new outdoor cafe permit, which expires before the lease does. Because of that, she’s already started to look for new space.

While her first preference is to remain in the neighborhood, her search has included a location on 122nd Street and another in Chelsea. If she’s forced to leave the UWS, she’ll miss it — noting to Gothamist how much it has changed since she first opened her doors in 1981:

“When I moved in we had bullet holes in our windows, crack vials in front of the building, snipers on the roof,” Levin recalls. “The corner across the street, at 83rd Street, was the crack center of New York City. It was the Wild West here. Now there’s a toy store across the street. We changed the neighborhood!”

You can read a bit about Levin’s story on Good Enough To Eat’s website.

Elsewhere… if you missed the post over the weekend, Syms/Filene’s Basement has upped the discounts for its liquidation sale.

Finally, just a bit more Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf news for those of you who can’t get enough (previous coverage last Wednesday & Thursday if you missed it). MUW reader Lena wrote in to point out that the soon-to-open location at 86th & Amsterdam (532 Amsterdam) has already been added to Time Out New York and MenuPages — they should open their doors within a week or two.



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