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American Comfort Food Spot Friedman's Opening Near Columbia

By Emily Frost | July 2, 2015 6:12pm | Updated on July 6, 2015 8:57am
 Friedman's will open a new location at Amsterdam Avenue on July 8. 
Friedman's Opening on Amsterdam Avenue
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MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS — A new restaurant with a focus on American comfort food is hoping to fill what it perceives as a lack of sit-down options nearby. 

Friedman's, a New York City-based restaurant with three other Manhattan locations, is bringing its farm-to-table, gluten-free menu uptown, said chef Justin Brunwasser.

The 59-seat restaurant, near West 118th Street, features a mix of bar seats, booths and communal tables aimed at bringing neighbors together, Brunwasser said. 

"Broadway is full of big-box restaurants and smaller places, Amsterdam has your local pizza parlor and Indian restaurant and a little sub shop, but there's nowhere to sit down and get breakfast, lunch and dinner and get good service," Brunwasser said.

The decor is a mix of rustic — using reclaimed wood from Kentucky horse barns — and old-school touches, from the floral booths and linoleum floor. 

The chef believes the menu is large and affordable enough to draw repeat customers. At its Hell's Kitchen location, burgers are priced between $15 and $17, with other entrees running between $15 and $25.

The restaurant's name is a tribute to free-market economist Milton Friedman.

"There’s no such thing as a free lunch," Brunwasser quoted Friedman as saying, adding, "we offer something very close to it."

The menu at the new spot will be the same as at Friedman's three other outposts, which are all on the West Side, he noted.

Nonetheless, there's more room for experimentation at the Amsterdam Avenue space. 

"We’ll be able to have a little more fun here because we have a larger kitchen here," Brunwasser said.

Friedman's, at 1187 Amsterdam Ave., will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. By September, the restaurant will stay open until 9 p.m. for weekend dinner. 

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