UWS Openings: Wonder Yogurt, Cafe Tallulah

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Looks like the Upper West Side is getting another frozen yogurt place, although this one apparently also includes a juice bar.

No word yet if the store will be exclusively for women in skimpy clothing and seductive poses, as its signage implies.

MUW reader Jamie snapped the photo above at 265 Columbus, between 72nd & 73rd. Per Jamie:

The space was occupied by Paninoteca for a brief time (less than a year). Paninoteca closed at some point over the summer. Until November 2011, the spot was occupied by a sandwich shop that I think was owned by the same owner as Paninoteca.

Hopefully this latest venture has a bit more staying power.

Heading one block south…

Wrote earlier this week that Cafe Tallulah officially opened for business on Monday (240 Columbus, at 71st).

After going through a reported $2 million renovation, this is one of the bigger openings the Upper West Side has seen in a while.

NYT’s “Off The Menu” had this write-up yesterday:

Greg Hunt, who owns this handsomely evocative restaurant, bar and lounge, said he hoped to channel Balthazar or Elaine’s on the Upper West Side. A 20-seat zinc bar with a raw bar station, velvet drapes, a tin ceiling, a glassed-in brasserie-style sidewalk dining area and photos of stars like Brigitte Bardot set the stage. The design, by Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman, includes a lower-level lounge. The fairly classic French menu — foie gras, frisée aux lardons, onion soup, beef Bourguignon, skate Grenobloise and roast chicken — is by Roxanne K. Spruance, whose credentials include WD-50 and Blue Hill. Dushan Zaric of Employees Only is in charge of cocktails.

If you want more information on Chef Spruance’s food, you can find copies of the restaurant’s menu here.

DNAinfo had their own article about the new space as well.

I wrote about the downstairs lounge on Sunday and DNAinfo has this to add about the space:

The lounge area, which fits 100 people, has a working fireplace, billiards table, and hip cocktails designed by Dushan Zaric of Employees Only fame, is aimed to draw people in on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings to stay from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. The lounge furniture is vintage, sourced from around the city, including the Brooklyn Flea. Black and white photos of legends such as Mick Jagger and Brigitte Bardot line the walls.

“The goal is dinner up here [on the ground floor], and then stick around and have an after dinner drink downstairs,” Hunt said.

Of the expected clientele, Hunt told DNAinfo this:

“We’re not going to be an [early] 20-something place. We don’t want it to be a kiddie bar. College kids can go to Amsterdam Avenue.”

As I previously wrote, the downstairs lounge has some serious potential.

UPDATE 1/25: The lounge has its official grand opening tonight. While it will eventually be open Thursday through Saturday, 8:00 pm – 2:00 am, for the time being the hours are 8:00 pm – midnight, Friday and Saturday only.

If you’re curious how opening night went on Monday, the following was posted on Cafe Tallulah’s Facebook page on Tuesday:

Last night was opening night at Cafe Tallulah. We opened our doors to the public for the first time at 4pm. By 6:30 we had a full bar, & by 7:30 we had a booked solid dining room with a waiting list for tables. The dining room stayed busy til 11pm, & the bar was full til we closed at 2am. All of this on a Monday in January, and on the sleepy Upper West Side!

And to top everything off, Jeremy Stolle, who is the lead in Phantom of the Opera, dropped by around midnight after the show with some friends, and after we turned down the music, he sang ‘O Sole Mio,’ at the end of which the 75 or so people who were still there gave him a standing ovation.

They included this photo of the action at the upstairs bar:

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