Thursday, August 21, 2014

3 Star Coffee Shop

Recently, I was disappointed to read about the shuttering of the Upper West Side's 3 Star Coffee Shop.



On her Tumblr blog, Raven Snook took a photo of the papered-over windows and noted: "Apparently, 3 Star Coffee Shop went out with a whimper in February when it failed to reopen after being closed down for a third time by the Health Department due to violations."

West Side Rag went inside for a look at the trashed interior.



Located at Columbus and 86th, across from a Starbucks, next to a Chase bank, and down the block from new luxury condo 101 W. 87, the modestly named 3 Star (why not 4 or 5?) Coffee Shop had that look of something that could not last.

3 Star had an A rating at the time of its closure. Do city agencies like the health department target these old joints, especially when they're located on desirable corners? It often makes me wonder.



Most of the reviewers on Yelp loved this place, citing it as one of the last old-school coffee shops left in the neighborhood.

3 Star's shuttered storefront means one more for a stretch filled with long-shuttered businesses. As West Side Rag noted, "The south half of the block is now almost entirely shuttered, except for one remaining dry cleaners. The Olympic deli on the North corner is also closed, but is seeking a new tenant. Some of the businesses have been empty for years, and they don’t seem like they’re looking aggressively for new tenants."

All in the same building. We have to wonder if the landlord is holding out for a block-long chain to move in.

14 comments:

randall said...

I knew that place was a goner. Don't forget that it is also across the street from a TD Bank.

Anonymous said...

was gutted when i walked by a few months ago and saw 3 star darkened and empty but held out some hope it would re-open. then a few weeks ago, when i passed by and saw no signs of change, i knew it was over.

used to be my local coffeeshop when i first moved here fresh out of college. i remember meeting a date for coffee there, she had just moved to the city as well and was carrying a pair of stillettos in a plastic bag for a shot girl gig she had to do at some fratty bar across the park later that night. it was the only job she could find at the time but she wanted to be a writer. i was working in the basement at the strand, shelving books.

i remember the windows of 3 star fogging up as it rained harder that evening and then sprinting across columbus to get the crosstown bus together. it's hard to believe that was over a decade ago.

Ken Mac said...

The next great diner from here going north is around Broadway and 105th. Let's hope it stays the course.

paulinux said...

From three years ago:

https://flic.kr/p/9TNScU

4:29 p.m said...

The new UWSiders are hoping its replacement would be a 5☆ gastrocaf√©, serving $10 pleasant, chickory, intense, cozy, and refined buttery cup of licorice coffee, curated and farmed from the far corners of... Brooklyn.

Anonymous said...

I think another bank. How many banks are enough?

Anonymous said...

Aww, so sad. I used to spend so much time at diners when I lived on 88 and WEA during high school ('80-'84). Just loved the fact that you could plop down and drink a few cups of regular old coffee for like 75 cents.

Anonymous said...

I remember this place. A cold Sunday afternoon in mid-February. The orange slant of the sun through the window. Coffee in a heavy ceramic cup. I thought living in New York meant going to diners and sitting alone and feeling that sweet sad way you feel in a city: tiny and anonymous and lost, but lucky for all that. Lucky to be there, in the middle of it.

Anonymous said...

I loved this diner and had no idea it's been closed. Nice staff and great food. They are closing all the old school diners in the city.

MPR said...

@Paulinux

From about a year and a half ago


http://instagram.com/p/YBxftaswJd/

Giovanni said...

The new UWSiders are so unlike the ones I grew up with they are making the area unrecognizable. From the comments on the West Side Rag you see how these Yunnies just want to push aside anyone in a rent stabilized apartment and turn the UWS into a glided cage for the upper income types.

They have no problems with Poor Doors being installed in buildings or locking Gyms and other amenities to seniors on fixed incomes who actually need a gym for their health and PT.

The Yunnies wont miss the 3 Star since it means another Foie Gras Meatball Factory with a Kiddie Sushi Bar will soon replace it. The rest of us will miss it since this is where you went for comfort on a rainy day, for a decent meal while reading a book, for a relaxed late night breakfast with friends. Nothing fancy, just real.

That long-predicted meteor strike just can't come soon enough.

onemorefoldedsunset said...

I never lived on the UWS, but worked up there thirty years ago. There were so many choices of good diners, delis, and cheap restaurants. And bookstores! It was so much livelier up there then - a wonderful place to have a first job in the city. Such a shame to see a place like this go.

Mitch said...

Interestingly, the linked West Side Rag article has comment that says that diner's owners also own the building. In which case, presumably there is something else going on than just a health code violation.

william byron said...

When Anon said:
"

Anonymous said...
I remember this place. A cold Sunday afternoon in mid-February. The orange slant of the sun through the window. Coffee in a heavy ceramic cup. I thought living in New York meant going to diners and sitting alone and feeling that sweet sad way you feel in a city: tiny and anonymous and lost, but lucky for all that. Lucky to be there, in the middle of it."

- Ugh, how you summed it all up so very, very well, my unknown friend. How I've been trying for years to sum up and put into words those fleeting moments I feel- like seeing the petals fall from the trees in central park at 2am in autumn- like the lonely hum of trucks on the next block over in the middle of the night- the isolating beauty and unusual nostalgia it all brings up- and always, always failing to find the words to convey it. Thanks for that comment.