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UWS Restaurant Good Enough to Eat Closing its Doors

By DNAinfo Staff on July 13, 2012 10:12am

Good Enough to Eat is losing its lease this year, forcing owner Carrie Levin to look for a new home.
Good Enough to Eat is losing its lease this year, forcing owner Carrie Levin to look for a new home.
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DNAinfo/ Emily Frost

UPPER WEST SIDE — Beloved restaurant Good Enough to Eat is closing its doors after more than three decades on the Upper West Side.

The comfort food eatery at 83rd Street and Amsterdam Avenue has lost its lease after thirty years serving Upper West Side siders — from the rough times in the 80s, when there were "snipers on the roofs and crack vials on the doorstep" until the current day, according to owner Carrie Levin.

"I’d really love to stay on the Upper West Side," Levin, 54, told members of Community Board 7 during a meeting this week, adding that customers and financial backers have been scouring the city in search of a new venue for her.

"I’m a good tenant; I pay my bills. We’re quiet; we’re good. Help!” 

Levin said her landlord rescinded her lease for the 1,000-square-foot space. Landlord Arthur Leeds Management did not immediately return calls for comment.

But according to earlier reports in Gothamist, Arthur Leeds Management issued Good Enough to Eat an ultimatum after claiming numerous 311 calls were made by upstairs tenants: soundproof the restaurant or move. Levin told Gothamist such repairs would be too costly to make and that subsequent complaints from the landlord would likely emerge even if she agreed to them. 

Levin said she has been scouting locations in Harlem at 151st and Broadway — as well as in Prospect Park, Boerum Hill and Fort Greene, if she can't find an appropriate space on the Upper West Side. 

She said she might even consider moving to Asia — after being filmed for a Japanese reality t.v. show a few years ago. Levin said Japanese vistors have been streaming in ever since for a taste of her "real American cooking."

Hailey Handler, 19, has lived on the Upper West Side her whole life and has spent many birthdays and special occasion nights eating at the restaurant. She was shocked and saddened by the news that one of her favorite spots would have to move.

"They're a neighborhood staple," she said. "On Sundays the line for brunch is around the block."

Levin takes pride in knowing her customers and in welcoming people from all walks of life. She has continued to add more and more items to her menu as she moves through different food phases herself, including vegan and vegetarian items.

She and her husband recently purchased a farm in Morris, Connecticut, investing their life's saving to produce local produce for the restaurant. The farm's produce has already made its way onto the menu, with garlic scapes being added to the restaurant's mashed potatoes and local blackberries have made their way into the blackberry vinagrette.

Karen Delaney, who has been dining at Good Enough to Eat since learning about it in her Frommer's guidebook, said she was sorry to see another piece of Manhattan's history come to an end.

"[The move] is very sad. it's the old places that are the best. The city needs to hold on to these little places," said Delaney, who was eating with her husband and grandson.

"The breakfast is delicious," she added, "it tastes like you're going to somebody's home."