By Leslie Albrecht
UPPER WEST SIDE — An Upper East Side taqueria that's been praised for its "succulent" carnitas is coming to the Upper West Side.
Cascabel Taqueria is expanding beyond its Second Avenue and East 80th Street location to open a new branch at Broadway and West 108th Street.
The restaurant received initial approval for its liquor license from Community Board 7's Business and Consumer Issues committee Wednesday night.
The taco eatery will take over the space that was until recently occupied by Lime Leaf, a Thai restaurant.
Co-owner David Chiong said Cascabel Taqueria will have a "fast casual" atmosphere geared toward neighborhood customers who want to stop in for a quick bite of Mexican food. The restaurant, expected to open in April or May, will be open until midnight, Chiong told Community Board 7.
A New York magazine review described Cascabel Taqueria as having "unexpected niceties, like frosted glasses for microbrew beer, $6 glasses of wine, vibrant housemade salsas in chilled caddies."
Chiong and his partner also own Mahjong Dumpling House on Second Avenue and East 80th Street.
Community Board 7 also got a look at the restaurant the New York Historical Society plans to open at its building on Central Park West at West 76th Street later this year.
The restaurant, which doesn't have a name yet, will serve Italian small plates that run from $7 to $14 and offer discounts for members of the New-York Historical Society, restaurateur Stephen Starr told Community Board 7.
Philadelphia-based Starr Restaurants, which also owns Buddakan and Morimoto, is behind the project. The 1,800-square-foot space will feature a Keith Haring installation on its ceiling, the New York Times reported.
Another new restaurant set to open soon is Five Guys burger joint near Columbia University on Broadway and West 110th Street. Construction is almost finished on the new restaurant, and it's expected to open Saturday, a spokeswoman said.