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Han Dynasty Days From Opening on Upper West Side

By Emily Frost | April 9, 2015 2:29pm | Updated on April 10, 2015 6:15pm
 The Chinese restaurant is known for its affordability and authenticity. 
Han Dynasty Opening on West 85th Street
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UPPER WEST SIDE — Popular chain Chinese restaurant Han Dynasty will open on West 85th Street near Broadway in a matter of days, a relative of the owner said Wednesday. 

The restaurant, which specializes in authentic Sichuan dishes, started with outposts in Pennsylvania and New Jersey before opening its first New York City location last September in the East Village. 

The new spot, formerly occupied by Italian chain Bocca di Bacco, will be Han's eighth location and can hold 175 diners, said June Kwan, the aunt of owner Han Chiang. 

"People have doubts, but after just a half year we were one of the 10 hottest restaurants in 2013," said Kwan of the Third Avenue and East 12th Street location.

At the East Village eatery, companies and groups are constantly asking to rent out the entire restaurant, something Han Dynasty won't agree to, she said.  

Given that demand, the restaurant is creating a private dining room at its Upper West Side location, she said. 

"The success of the restaurant is we offer a very truly authentic Sichuan style, but having more Americanized service," Kwan explained.

Customers "like the vibe," she added.

"They like the place and they’re surprised about the quality of the food," Kwan said.

And the prices — with entrees generally in the $12 to $16 range — add to the appeal, she noted. 

The West 85th Street spot will have delivery and will be open for lunch and until 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, as well as midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, she said. 

With approval from the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene under its belt, the restaurant will begin its "soft opening" in just a few days, Kwan said. 

Community Board 7 OK'd the restaurant's liquor license application on Wednesday, but it still needs approval from the State Liquor Authority before it can begin serving alcohol. 

► Gluten-free restaurant and takeout spot Risotteria is about two weeks away from opening, owner Joseph Pace told CB7 members Wednesday. 

The 50-seat restaurant is opening on Amsterdam Avenue at West 78th Street, a space formerly occupied by a deli. Risotteria opened its only other location on Bleecker Street 16 years ago, Pace said.

Along with offering to-go risotto — the centerpiece of its dine-in menu — Risotteria will also serve gluten-free Neapolitan pizza from the wood-fired oven it installed during renovations, he explained. 

CB7 members approved Wednesday the restaurant's application for an outdoor cafe that will include 10 tables and 20 seats. 

However, Risotteria still needs approval from the board for its liquor license.

The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily and until 12 a.m. on weekends, Pace said. 

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