UWS Restaurant Owners Claim to be Taking Over New Space – To Surprise of Current Tenants

  Last modified on April 29th, 2024
the avenue bar and kitchen

The Avenue opened its doors in May 2023. Photo: Bobby Panza.

The owners of a popular Upper West Side restaurant claim to be taking over another commercial space across the street. That space’s current occupants, however, were unaware of these plans when we contacted them.

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At a Community Board 7 meeting this week, partners from Bustan, a Mediterranean restaurant at 487 Amsterdam Avenue (between 83rd and 84th streets), said they were in the process of assuming control of the space at 480 Amsterdam Avenue, located on the opposite corner of West 83rd Street. That space is currently occupied by The Avenue, an Irish bar which opened its doors in May 2023

“We’re looking to do more of an all day cafe that opens a little earlier and transitions from breakfast to lunch, dinner and possibly some craft cocktails towards the end of the night,” said Udi Vaknin of Bustan. “But someplace a little bit more inviting, more casual, more neighborhood-y, more welcoming; you know, we live on this block for so many years and we feel like something like that will be beneficial for the neighborhood.”

Vaknin also said that while significant interior changes aren’t in the works, they may make the bar a bit smaller as the plan is to focus more on dining. He also said there will be no more than about 70 seats and that for the most part, there will be background music – but he also DJs as a hobby, “so once in a blue moon, if we want to have somebody playing the music and creating like a vibe, we’ll be able to do it.”

The bar at The Avenue. Photo: Bobby Panza

We’ve reached out to Bustan for more information.

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Colum Flattery, one of The Avenue’s owners (though not its main shareholder), was surprised to hear this when we contacted him, saying they had signed a 10 year lease and that they’re up to date on their liquor license. He also tells us he spoke with one of the partners who said “no deal has been done.”

We called the landlord’s office but the person we spoke with wasn’t able to offer any clarification.

The space at 480 Amsterdam Ave. has seen a lot of tenants in recent years. The Avenue’s predecessor was Taco Tavern, which was actually called Barnacho until its owners attempted to rebrand it. Before Barnacho opened, the space was home to a J.G. Melon, and before that, a place called Joe’s (a bar with really good burgers).

We’ll provide an update when we learn more!

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