WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Seven years into her dental career, Dr. Katayoun Josephs found it difficult not to notice the difference between the Ridgewood, New Jersey, dental clinic where she worked full-time and the Bronx and Washington Heights clinics where she part-timed.
At the Ridgewood clinic, where insurances weren't even accepted, Josephs tended to affluent clients and saw a significantly higher level of service than in the lower-income clinics, where staff crammed as many patients into a day as possible to maximize profits.
This didn't sit well with Josephs, who lived with her husband Saleem on West 190th Street and Fort Washington in Hudson Heights for six years.
"I just kept coming back to: 'Why is it that this New Jersey office with those people should be receiving that level of care — by me, the same person?'" questioned Josephs, 36. "And now I'm over [in Washington Heights], unable to give them the same care?"
The solution for Josephs was to open her own dental clinic, one that would offer the New Jersey level of service to Washington Heights residents.
On Monday, that solution will become reality when Josephs opens Cascada Dental Spa, located at 719 West 181st St. The clinic promises to offer uptowners a high-end experience: from the complimentary bottles of water that every customer receives upon entering to the waterfall fountain in the clinic's lobby to the LED screens that dentists will use to show patients high-resolution images of the inside of their mouths.
Cascada intends to be community-focused, Josephs insists. The company will accept as many insurances as possible, and if they come across one they don't accept, they'll call up the insurance company and ask to be added onto the list.
The clinic will be open seven days a week, with Sundays as dedicated pediatric days.
To survive, Josephs plans to appeal to higher-end customers by offering optional services such as botox, teeth whitenings and invisalign.
The goal, Josephs says, is to have the more affluent customers subsidize the lower-income income ones.
And although the clinic isn't open yet, Josephs said the response from the community has been particularly positive. One example sticks out to Josephs in particular: that of an elderly woman who walked by the clinic and was impressed by the decor.
"She said: 'This looks like Madison Avenue, but we deserve that too,'" Josephs said.
Uptown's First Chipotle to Large Crowds
Hungry Washington Heights residents finally have a Chipotle to call their own — if they can survive the lines.
Uptown's first Chipotle, located at 4009 Broadway near West 168th Street, officially opened its doors June 10 and was immediately mobbed by large lines.
"We had lines out the door," said one employee Monday.
The lines persisted throughout the week, with dozens of snackers at one time or another stretched out of the store and out to the curb.
Residents Melissa Lantigua and Luis Hernandez said they waited on line for 45 minutes Tuesday night.
But neither of them complained — they were too excited about Chipotle finally venturing uptown.
"I wrote on Chipotle's Facebook wall that I wanted a place around here," said Lantigua, who said she'd anticipated eating at the chain at least twice a week. "I'm tired of going Downtown."
"We used to go all the way to Yonkers," Hernandez added.
Rusty Mackerel Holds Sneak Preview of Hudson Heights Diners
New Hudson Heights restaurant The Rusty Mackerel gave residents a sneak peek of its menu this week. The restaurant, located at at 209 Pinehurst Ave. near 187th Street, invited locals in for "Neighbors Nights" on June 11 and 12.
"The feedback was really positive," said restaurant spokeswoman Danielle Oteri. "People were really happy that we were here and pleased with the menu."
The restaurant, owned by former Todd English Enterprises chef James Moran, will be holding a soft opening on Friday before holding its official opening night on June 17.