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New Mexican Restaurant and Steakhouse Coming to Upper West Side

By Emily Frost | November 13, 2014 12:01pm
 The new steakhouse plans to open in December 2014 and the Mexican restaurant in March 2015.
New Mexican Restaurant and Steakhouse Coming to Upper West Side
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UPPER WEST SIDE — The Asian-fusion restaurant Citrus will become a Mexican eatery with a twist after a change in ownership, the new operator said.

Simon Oren, the owner of the restaurant group Tour De France, which runs a slew of New York City restaurants including French Roast, Nice Matin and 5 Napkin Burger, bought the eatery located at 320 Amsterdam Ave. between West 76th and 75th streets.

"I'm negotiating with a great chef and I’m looking forward to doing Mexican in the neighborhood," Oren told Community Board 7's business committee regarding the space, known for its proximity to the Beacon Theatre and West 72nd Street subway stop.

Oren's lawyer, Robert Bookman, said the group's restaurants usually feature a twist on whatever cuisine they're serving, and that this spot would be no exception. 

"It’s not going to be your typical taqueria Mexican," said Bookman, without elaborating on planned dishes or which region of Mexico they'd draw from for the menu.

The new restaurant will close for two to three months of construction before relaunching in March, Oren said. The Board 7 committee recommended approving the the eatery for a full liquor license Wednesday. 

The owners of Citrus did not return a request for comment. 

► The space that housed Loi, a Greek restaurant on West 70th Street that closed this past July, will become a steakhouse, its new owners said. 

Lincoln Square Steak will open in early December in the space between Amsterdam and West End avenues.

The new owners — Shuqeri Selimaj, who also owns Club A Steakhouse on East 58th Street, and Don Evans, a local restaurateur — have invested close to $1 million in renovating the new space, which will seat 300 people in all.

At a meeting with the CB7 committee to request a liquor license, the owners fielded complaints from residents in the building above the restaurant who said there had been loud parties held late into the night at Loi in the past. 

Evans agreed, at the board's insistence, to have an acoustical engineer make sure the restaurant was soundproofed before opening. The committee ultimately approved the spot for a full liquor license. 

"We’re making it a romantic steak restaurant," Evans said. "Why can’t the West Side have a good steak restaurant?" 

► Community Board 7 also approved a plan by Cafe Tallulah, the French bistro and nightlife spot on Columbus Avenue at West 71st Street, to host live music in its basement and to stay open until 3 a.m. on the weekends.