West Side Rag » Spirits Licenses Approved for a Steadfast Diner, New ‘Haven’, Hummus Favorite Expansion and Kosher BBQ


Posted February 11, 2022 at 5:22 am by West Side Rag

Photo by Missvain via Wikimedia Commons.

By Maya Mau

At its February 2022 meeting, the Community Board’s 7th Committee on Business and Consumer Affairs approved four new liquor licenses for restaurants in the Upper West Side. Committee members expressed great excitement about the sites whose licenses they approved.

Olympic flame, a diner at 200 West 60th Street (Amsterdam Avenue), has been in the neighborhood for almost 30 years. The previous owner was licensed to sell wine and beer without incident, and many of the employees stayed with the new owner, Hong Liu. Liu has held off applying for the license because of the pandemic, but now sees alcohol as a way to improve their profit margins. She shared the story of her takeover of the restaurant in 2019. She lost money when she took it over, but when the pandemic hit, she made the decision to continue operations since there is a hospital across the street. As one of the few restaurants in the area, she said, she served the doctors, nurses and other emergency workers and offered them free and discounted food. The committee commended her trip. There is no entertainment and there is no record of previous incidents, so the motion was overwhelmingly approved.

Haven UWS, a new restaurant at 226 West 79th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue), takes over the space that was formerly Burke & Wills, an Australian restaurant. Brian Staub, the owner, has been in the hospitality industry for many years and has been an Upper West Sider since 1995. (He mentioned that he frequently visits the Olympic Flame.) The Haven UWS will serve “upscale casual” dining based on American home cooking with playful ethnic twists. For example, miso soup is served with matzo balls! They will be family-friendly, said Staub, who shared his love for the neighborhood where he raises his own children. The request was approved by the committee.

hummus kitchen, 175 West 90th Street (Amsterdam Avenue), is a soon to be opened full service restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine. There will be indoor and outdoor seating. There are currently locations on the Upper East Side and Hell’s Kitchen. Sharon Hoota has been running these restaurants since 2008 and has never received a complaint. They look forward to expanding their reach in Manhattan. The request was approved by the committee.

Izzy’s BBQ, 660 Amsterdam Avenue (92nd Street), is a kosher grill restaurant. They opened at the end of February 2021 and have been non-alcoholic ever since. Izzy’s has another location in Brooklyn. With little discussion, the motion was approved by the committee.

The liquor licenses are pending final approval by the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA).


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