It looks like the long-vacant former West Branch space at 2178 Broadway (corner of 77th) may have finally found a new tenant.
MUW readers Erica, Robert, Tamara, and Sara all wrote in to say they spotted a liquor license application for Serafina taped to the window (thanks to Sara for the photo, and h/t to @HappyEinat).
Serafina will go before Community Board 7′s Business & Consumer Issues Committee on September 14th, but I can’t imagine they’d be denied a license. They’re an established business within New York City with five other locations (plus more outside NYC) and having 5,000+ square feet of empty space on a prime Broadway corner is not good for the neighborhood.
I’ve been to a couple of their other locations a bunch of times (had a family member how loved going), and assuming they open on the Upper West Side, I think they’ll do quite well. They serve solid Italian food and pretty decent wood-fired, stone-oven pizzas. The food is by no means spectacular, but it’s good enough and the restaurant has a very successful formula.
Zagat writes of them: “These ‘casual Italians’ are ‘crowd-pleasers’ – hence ‘there’s always a crowd’.” I think that’s pretty accurate.
West Branch seemed to close because of financial problems — hopefully history won’t repeat itself.
Speaking of pizza… here’s a small little rumored opening: I was walking past the old Best Buy Mobile store on Broadway (between 79th & 80th) and noticed some workers prepping it for something. I asked one of them if he knew what was coming and he THOUGHT it might be a pizza place. I don’t think he was being coy — it seemed like he really wasn’t sure. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that they weren’t installing pizza ovens that day which would have tipped him off for sure.
UPDATE 9/7: Rumor. Fail.
Elsewhere in the neighborhood, it looks like Mamajuana will NOT be opening this weekend. The restaurant is taking over the old Rancho space at 570 Amsterdam (between 87th & 88th) and had been hoping to open by Labor Day.
I spoke to someone there earlier today who indicated that they won’t be opening for “two or three” more weeks. In the meantime, here’s a pic from frequent MUW photo tipster Norma:
Filed under: Upper West Side Blog 5 Comments »
Tags: 2178 Broadway, 570 Amsterdam, Best Buy Mobile, Liquor License, Mamajuana Cafe, New York City, NYC, Pizza, Restaurant, Serafina, Upper West Side, UWS