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MAP: 7 Longtime Upper West Side Businesses That Closed in the Past Year

By Emily Frost | February 3, 2015 9:03am
 Eight classic Upper West Side businesses that were open for more than a decade have closed in the past year. 
Classic UWS Businesses that Have Closed
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UPPER WEST SIDE — Everything from rent hikes and competition from online retailers to health code violations spelled the downfall of dozens of longtime local businesses in the past year

While some stores are seeking new locations with cheaper rents elsewhere, many are gone for good. 

Here's a look at some of the more notable businesses that have closed in the past year or will shutter in the coming months.

► Ding Dong Lounge

929 Columbus Ave., near West 105th Street
Closed: July 2014

Ding Dong Lounge closed over the summer after 13 years of late-night parties. After about six months of sitting empty, two women have taken over the space to launch a new, more low-key bar at the address called Bob's Your Uncle. The bar's owners are hoping to attract locals and promised to keep the noise and commotion to a minimum when it opens sometime this spring.

Additionally, Club 72, the neighborhood's only other existing club, closed in August after an eight-year run. 

► 3 Star Coffee Shop 
541 Columbus Ave. at West 86th Street
Closed: February 2014

This old-school diner was a fixture in the neighborhood for at least 30 years until it was shut down by the Health Department last February and never reopened. The space is still on the market. 

A majority of the longtime diners are still humming along, though, including The Manchester Diner, Broadway Restaurant, Metro Diner, Manhattan Diner, City Diner, Utopia Diner and Old John's Luncheonette. 

► Café Con Leche
424 Amsterdam Ave., near West 80th Street
Closed: Jan. 1, 2015

The 25-year-old Cuban restaurant announced it will move to East Harlem, citing rising rents as the reason for its leaving Amsterdam Avenue. The 1,300-square-foot space is on the market for $26,000 a month. 

► Citrus Bar & Grill
320 Amsterdam Ave., near West 75th Street
Closed: December 2014

The Latin-Asian restaurant closed in late December after 17 years. The space will next house a Mexican restaurant from the owner of French Roast, Nice Matin, 5 Napkin Burger and Le Monde. 

Citrus' owners also operate the health food-focused diner Josie's a block south. 

► Rigoletto
141 West 72nd St., between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues
Closed: March 2, 2014

Named after the opera as a nod to the nearby Lincoln Center, the pizzeria was part of the neighborhood for 21 years before closing. It moved to its West 72nd Street spot from West 69th and Columbus Avenues two years before it closed for good. The pizzeria was known for being family friendly, and for the heaps of kids and caretakers that made it a regular afternoon stop. 

Communal Oven & Earth opened in its place last April, serving flatbread pizzas, sandwiches and salads.

► Planet Kids
191 Amsterdam Ave., near West 69th Street
Closed: Feb. 28, 2014

The baby store — which first opened in the neighborhood in 1991 and later expanded to a second location on the Upper East Side — closed both shops in late February of last year. Planet Kids moved from its West 103rd Street and Broadway location to Amsterdam Avenue in 1999. 

“We’ve become more of a showroom for our customers,” owner Ariel Tavasi told DNAinfo last year. “They come in to look at the merchandise and ask questions, but then they leave and try find cheaper prices online.”

Planet Kids is one of a string of kids clothing and toy stores that have closed in recent years. In June 2013, the girls clothing shop Berkley Girl closed its doors after 11 years. It was replaced by the trendy jewelry store Alexis Bittar. 

HomBom Toys closed its Columbus Avenue and West 80th location last spring after five years. The store will become the newest location of Pure Barre, the ballet-based exercise technique.

Area Kids, another local toy store on Amsterdam Avenue at West 81st Street, closed last January and was replaced months later by Blossom du Jour, a vegan fast-food joint. 

► RCI Appliances 
2599 Broadway, at West 98th Street
Closed: November 2014

The appliance store announced it was closing in October 2014 after being in the neighborhood for 80 years, opening the same year as Zabar's, West Side Rag noted. The store said it would reopen in Queens, but has not announced a new location yet.  

What are your local favorites that have closed? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter