The former home of Victoria’s Secret at 2333 Broadway (corner of 85th Street) has sat vacant since November 2021, but new businesses set to occupy the 7,500-square-foot space are finally taking shape.
Panera Bread signed a lease back in June 2022, promising a smooth transition from bras to broccoli cheddar soup for Upper West Side fans of the St. Louis-based mega-chain, which most recently went viral for the shockingly high caffeine content in their “Charged Lemonades.” It’s expected to open at some point this year.
Now, another fast casual joint has entered the equation to make mealtimes more interesting. Naya Middle Eastern Counter & Grill, which currently has a dozen locations in New York City and is also eyeing suburban growth in the tri-state area, inked a deal to secure 1,700 square feet next to Panera.
A representative for Naya confirmed the news to ILTUWS, stating the lease for the “prime corner location” was signed two weeks ago. They are hoping to open up shop in October. Founded in 2010, Naya has developed somewhat of a cult following from the corporate lunch crowd who undoubtedly appreciate a change from the standard sandwich and salad options that traditionally populate the midday dining scene.
More Upper West Side Openings, Here
According to a previous press release from the brand, their “concept has proven to be very popular, foremost for its taste, with recipes inherited from older generations and refined for modern diners; the consistent quality and freshness of its ingredients; and the simply generous value of Naya’s portions.”
The counter-service spot follows the tried-and-true build-your-own meal method; diners can select a base (including seasonal grains, a pita or a salad), a protein (think falafel, chicken shawarma or cauliflower) and a series of toppings (reviewers rave about the Toum garlic whip and spicy green sauce). There are also a few appetizers such as hummus, baba ganoush and grape leaves. Their official Instagram account offers a closer look at the Lebanese eats.
Landlords for 2333 Broadway were reportedly asking $250 per foot — which would result in an estimated yearly rent of $425,000. There’s still 800 square feet up for grabs.
I was about to give up on that Panera. Does this mean the bagel place and the bakery on 72/WEA and 70/Amst might someday emerge?
Naya is good, it’s like the middle eastern Chipotle. It’ll have to be very good to get me away from Mamoun’s.
I spent two years advocating for Panera to open on the UWS. I sent several letters to the corporate office, and had some nice exchanges. I’m not sure how much credit I can actually take, but it does seem like they finally found a spot they liked. (I had original told them about the SE and SW corners of West 80th as possible sites (both of which remain empty). This was before Victoria’s Secret closed.)
I am really looking forward to having them here, even though, in the interim, they have discontinued my favorite item (their cherry danish was the best ever made). And now I also welcome another needed eatery.
But still too many empty storefronts on the UWS!