UPPER WEST SIDE — The popular seafood restaurant Flex Mussels is opening a new outpost on Columbus Avenue in the coming months after an extensive search for a spot in the neighborhood, the owner said.
The eatery is taking over the space currently occupied by Casa Pomona near the corner of West 84th Street, and plans to open by late summer, said Laura Shapiro, who owns the mini-chain with her husband, Bobby, and daughter Alexandra.
"We must have looked at 30 or 40 spaces [on the Upper West Side] over the past few years," she noted.
There won't be any major renovations at the space, because "it's got great bones, we're going to 'flex' it up," Shapiro explained.
With 25 percent more space than its Upper East Side location, the restaurant will seat roughly 100 people, she said. Flex Mussels also has a spot in Greenwich Village.
The Upper West Side location will be the first to offer weekend brunch, Shapiro said.
It will also have a larger raw bar menu and space for private events, she added.
The neighborhood was calling out to the Shapiros because "we love going into strong neighborhoods with a lot of local support," and "we love having children in our restaurants," Shapiro explained.
The new joint will offer happy hour every day, as well as the chain's signature donuts, she said.
"Donuts are as much a part of Flex Mussels as the mussels are, really," Shapiro said.
The restaurant will come before Community Board 7 next Wednesday to seek approval for a liquor license, before the State Liquor Authority makes a final decision.
Shapiro doubted they'd have any trouble getting approval, because "we're not a club," she said.
Marion Maur, the owner of Casa Pomona, did not respond to request for comment. A phone message at the restaurant, which opened n September 2012, said the restaurant was not open due to a "broken pipe in the kitchen," and to check back the next day.
In 2013, Casa Pomona was closed for seven months after a water pipe burst and flooded its kitchen.