Beauty Street and Future Avenue


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EAST SIDE OBSERVER

BY ARLENE KAYATT

Never got to say goodbye — Mid-afternoon call from friend Elaine did not bode well. Had to be uber important. Back and forth morning calls are the usual. But this was something else. News. Stop everything. Our favorite don’t-tell meet-up spot, Uno Grille, was gone. The East 86th Street location closed, shuttered, no more. The almost-all day happy hour, the big TV where only Elaine could get Chris the bartender to change the channel from forever sports to CNN despite the overflowing sports watchers. Where you could order bar-priced appetizers at happy hour and have them brought over to the table where you were having dinner. The sign on the window saying goodbye sends the locals across town to the West Side Uno Grille on 81st and Columbus. Sorry. Not. Upper East Siders go to the West Side for Fairway Cafe and Zabars. Not Uno. Uno on 86th belonged to the East Side. And they’re not going west! Methinks the departure of Uno 86th is a sign of what’s happening on the south side of 86th between Second and Third Avenues. Looks like all the commercial space east of the Bromley residential high-rise on the corner of 86th and Third — City Cinemas, Burger King, some storefronts, and maybe Fairway — are going to be razed along with the medical office building at 210 East 86th, and the homeless shelter between Burger King and another empty storefront. That assemblage would give way for a mixed-use commercial-residential high-rise complex similar to the one in progress on the northeast corner of 86th and Third and at the site of the old Gristede’s east of Second Ave. Looks like another bad hair day for the UES. With the new beauty corridor west of Third Ave — think ULTA, Sephora, L’Occitane and other big boxish stores in and coming to 86th Street — the UES is securely ensconced in Century 21 — er, make that the 21st century.

Going retro — Just when it seemed that it was all about grab and go, eat and run, no server in the world of fast casual food comes a sign that maybe, just maybe, it doesn’t always work. Several months ago, this column noted the people-less opening of a Horn & Hardart-style automated Eatsa on the southwest corner of 43rd and Third where you “pays your money and you gets your bowl” without seeing or being seen by a server or cashier. Can’t say I’m a fan of the concept or sorry to see it go. There’s something New York about being able to go into a restaurant, order and get what you want, and not have to say anything to anyone if you don’t want to. I mean how can you ignore nobody? Take that all away and you could be anywhere. Just not in New York. That being said, Eatsa locations in other states are also closing. Another sign perhaps that New York’s onto something?

Michael No Moore — Michael Moore’s “The Terms of My Surrender” had its last breath late last month at the Belasco Theater. Moore’s two-hour one-man stand-up was an advocacy for standing up against our president with notables in attendance, either in the audience or on stage, as U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and the UES’s Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright along with other women in Moore’s life who he said have always stood strong for him, including two nuns from his Catholic elementary school in Flint, Michigan, and the New Jersey librarian who helped jump start his career way back in the ‘80s when she wouldn’t allow the banning of a book Moore had written. Here’s to more Moore.


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